Raiders G.M. McKenzie outlines future plans

General manager Reggie McKenzie told the local media Thursday he saw the Raiders as “a different 4-12 team’’ in 2013, is looking forward to operating with a full draft and salary cap room and outlined some of his philosophies and ideas regarding the future.

Although an eight-game losing streak to close out the season gave the Raiders the won-loss record as 2012, McKenzie didn’t see it as the same product.

The running game was better, McKenzie said, and the team was more competitive, particularly early in the season. McKenzie conceded the defense was smaller, short on depth and wore down in November, having trouble on third down.

“But the overall play was better in 2013, if you’re comparing,’’ McKenzie said.

More items addressed by McKenzie in an approximately 45-minute press conference with media which covers the team regularly:

— An agreement was being finalized with special teams coordinator Bobby April, who joins defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tony Sparano as returning assistants on the staff of coach Dennis Allen.

There was speculation the Raiders could lose key assistants because of owner Mark Davis’ reluctance to extend existing contracts.

— Areas which need improvement are everywhere.

“Biggest need? We have biggest needs, with an `s,’’ McKenzie said. “We’re going to attack it. I don’t care if it’s the waiver wire, an unrestricted guy, the trade, the draft, we’re going to upgrade this team in any way.’’

He included the position of quarterback, with Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin, in that assessment. McKenzie cited Pryor’s inconsistency as an issue and while he liked McGloin’s ability to get the ball out quickly, said his decision-making down the stretch was a problem.

Asked specifically about the possibility of drafting Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, McKenzie said, “He’s a playmaker . . whether it’s him or any of these other guys, when you can add a playmaker to your team that’s what you’re shooting for.’’

However, McKenzie also said he wanted a veteran presence (currently that is Trent Edwards) at the position and ideally wouldn’t start a rookie at quarterback.

“You have to make sure you surround those young players with good football players, whether it’s weapons, protection from an offensive line standpoint, or the run game,’’ McKenzie said.

— McKenzie sounded as if key unrestricted free agents Lamarr Houston, Jared Veldheer, Charles Woodson and Rashad Jennings will all be pursued, and discussions are underway with the agents for all players.

Running back Darren McFadden looks destined to hit the open market.

“His agent has no idea what his market value will be and I couldn’t tell you what the other 31 teams think,’’ McKenzie said. “His agent is leaning toward trying to figure out what that is.’’

Although the franchise tag would be a possibility for Houston or Veldheer, McKenzie said, “I don’t really like to go there as an option. I’d like to negotiate a deal.’’

The Raiders have 17 unrestricted free agents in all.

— The Raiders’ approach to free agency with the possibility of being as much as $50 million under the salary cap.

“We’re going to do things that make sense,’’ McKenzie said. “Just because I have $5 in my pocket, that doesn’t mean I have to spend it all of it on junk. I don’t want to do that. We’re going to look at every player out there and decide whether he can help us,’’

— Thoughts relayed to him in postseason discussions with owner Mark Davis.

“He saw some progress in some areas, absolutely, but still, it’s the bottom-line, and like myself, Mark wants some better results.’’

— Why he stayed silent while the job status of Allen was an open debate as the season came to a close.

“I wasn’t going to add fuel to just to put out a fire that wasn’t there. I hate that stuff has to get thrown around,’’ McKenzie said.

McKenzie said he approached Allen late in the season to assuage his fears.

“I took it upon myself to just say, hey, man, all the stuff that’s out there, I don’t know where that’s coming from but just coach these guys, let’s get going,’’ McKenzie said.

— McKenzie’s first two drafts, which haven’t much immediate production, will be better assessed down the road.

“We’ll be better able to assess them in the next year to a year-and-a-half what they can do and who they truly are as players,’’ McKenzie said.

McKenzie cited injuries to cornerback DJ Hayden, tackle Menelik Watson and second-year player Miles Burris as impediments to instant progress.

— With so many late-round draft picks and undrafted players assuming starting roles, McKenzie conceded it illustrated the lack of overall talent on the 2013 roster.

“Definitely we lack some talent in some areas, no question,’’ McKenzie said. “We don’t have that go-to big hitter Calvin Johnson-type guy at receiver. Every position we’re going to try to upgrade. We’re fully aware of some of the places we’re lacking offensively and defensively.’’

— McKenzie echoed Allen’s goal to become a “top 12” or playoff team.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • r8ter4evr

    Totally agree Millen on the radio said Niners LBs best he has seen in 40 years ??? Steelers Lambert, Ham. Chicago. Singletary,. Marshall Giants Carson, LT Ravens Lewis Suggs all great LB corps hard to call one team the best and I know I left others off this list

  • Twinkle

    And some cap to hire them with.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    They’ll manage it. Like Ravens did….trim the roster here and there to keep the franchise qb.

  • 504 Raider

    Looking more and more like Reggie will stand pat and wait to see who falls in his lap. I guess sort of like pancake syrup.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    The sexual predator angle caught me by surprise. He’s right about the
    close to zero recidivism rate but whoore mongering is hardly predatory
    And I don’t think I’ve ever used that phrase before.

  • Twinkle

    I believe we are all intimately familiar with the concept.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Intimately even! 😛

  • Dakota

    Good for Norv.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    i’d used all those words before except w h o r e and mongering and took a wild guess that Disqus didn’t object to mongering.

  • Twinkle

    That only due to the length of time we were close lol

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    whodda thunk it

  • Dakota

    He died of an STD he got from ginger.

  • RaiderLen

    Raiders will shotgun the QB position. That’s what Teams without a real #1 do.

    The hole IHOP syrup / pancake thing is tired. Reggie would kick your assss.

  • prometheus

    IBA blog blog reports that Derek Carr, Reggie McKenzie and Hooters Allen were seen leaving bible study together.

  • RaiderLen

    Not bad if He banged her for 5 years or so and lived to 89. Winning!

  • Chino
  • Dakota

    Reggie is more of a golden corral kind of guy anyhow.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Hey, I would pay to see that.

  • Dakota


  • RaiderLen

    P Man, nobody called Cable a sexual predator.

    The recidivism rate of sexual predators is very High. Off the charts high.

    I guy that slaps a woman or hires a hoe, is not necessarily a predator.

  • Twinkle

    He was once an LB in this league He is an imposing figure still …I don’t doubt you for a second lol

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    as i said before, you can bet your britches teams are knocking teddy in order that he falls to them…


    According to NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, “several teams” don’t view Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater as a first-round talent.

    Jeremiah is a well-sourced former scout, so we doubt he’s
    reaching. Although it’s surprising to hear that “several” teams are questioning Bridgewater’s first-round credentials, “several” could still mean only three or four clubs. Consensus is rare for any player, especially quarterbacks. Despite some outlier views, we still fully expect Bridgewater to be a first-round pick.

  • Dakota

    New post

  • RaiderLen

    Exactly. Half of the IHOP crowd have no Idea.

  • RaiderLen

    Me too.

  • RaiderLen

    More savory type of guy. lol

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Re reading your post I see where I went off track. Actually I blame Twinkle. He took me off on that tangent. Hah!

  • Twinkle

    You picked it dude ….. cracks me up with the female dog thingy though.Must have been put in there by a woman lol

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    And Cork can write a post referring to the Steelers DC by his commonly used name, but we have to say Richard Lebeau.

  • Twinkle

    Do as I say not as I do …has a familiar ring to it.

  • Twinkle

    Hah lol

  • the swanky socialite dr robert

    Sounds like the doctor is right. Again.

  • the swanky socialite dr robert

    Classic episode.


    Agreed. Anyone that’s worked for both Al Davis and Jerry Jones and lived to tell the tale deserves a job in the NFL.

  • the swanky socialite dr robert

    Jungle for from the fat “native” girl who wore pooka shells for a bra and a grass skirt.

  • Twinkle

    Thanks for correcting me on the predator deal btw.I need to be more careful of who I’m reading and not so involved in the topic.

  • the swanky socialite dr robert


  • Twinkle

    Surprised ? We are lol

  • kuhlest

    spend big $$$ on the following:
    Byrd- FS
    Bennett- DE

  • 504 Raider

    Thanks Raider Len. First time for me making
    An ihop reference. You’re the man. Tough Guy.

  • funnyfalcon

    lol, hooters allen

  • funnyfalcon

    Al Saunders ought to downgrade that offense…

  • funnyfalcon

    That’s not a bad way to go if you’re stranded on an island.

  • funnyfalcon

    You sure you weren’t watching the ending scene of “The Warriors”?? Can you dig it?

  • kuhlest

    reunite Freeman and Olsen (veteran presence) and use 1st/2nd rd pick on a QB…..that’s all

  • funnyfalcon

    Norv’s like a cockroach.

  • kuhlest

    Mallet for our 3rd rd??? I would do it…

  • RaiderLen

    No problem. Just pointing out… that it’s played out.

    I AM a tough guy. However you were calling Reggie out.

    Reggie could kick my assss as well for what it’s worth.

    Slinging IHOP references is weak sauce. It say’s to Me you have nothing else to offer.

    It’s a cheap shot. You fight Dirty?

  • 504 Raider

    Whatever tough guy. I am a Reggie supporter. So many others on here talk the ihop crap. I was being sarcastic. But hey everyone is tough behind a computer screen and key pad.

  • PlunkforHOF

    Yeah, not as spicy as regular Capt.