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Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie:`I knew I had to take some lumps . . . it’s the best I’ve felt going into Napa’

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NAPA _ Reggie McKenzie isn’t ready to proclaim the Raiders have arrived, but he feels as if they’re knocking on the door.

After going 11-37 over his first three seasons, McKenzie finally has a roster to his liking as well as an energetic new coaching staff led by Jack Del Rio.

“Nobody likes losing,” McKenzie said Monday. “I knew we had to take some lumps. To see it come together like the way I had planned it from building the roster and getting the team together, it’s the best I’ve felt going into Napa since I’ve been here.

“I’m anxiously awaiting preseason games now. I want to see how they can gel and come together I feel pretty good about this team . . . really good.”

Sitting at a table with beat writers on a patio at the Napa Marriott, McKenzie flashed a big smile when he asked what was different this year.

“Y’all can’t tell?,” McKenzie said. “It’s obvious. I think we’re big and strong. I think we’re fast. I like the way the players are responding to the coaches. The energy is off the chain. It’s looking the way I like it to look.

“Players are flying around, going in the right directions. It’s been a competitive camp. I mean every position. These guys are feeling it. It’s going to bring out the best in each and every one of them.”

Among the other things McKenzie addressed in a 24-minute interview session with local writers:

— The Raiders have likely made contact with recently released Seattle defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, a starter who has experience with defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

Asked if McDaniel could be added to the roster, McKenzie said, “There’s a chance.”

— Recent upgrades to the Alameda facility, even though the team isn’t committed to the Bay Area beyond this season, will send the players a message.

“It’s showing we’re committed to them, and that’s what it’s all about,” McKenzie said. “We’re committed to the players. It’s not about what’s going to happen down the road. This is the NFL and these players are here now. So let’s provde them with the best that we can. And I’m sure they will appreciate that.”

— The future of the franchise is secure with second-year quarterback Derek Carr.

“He’s got all the intangibles to go along with his talent level,” McKenzie said. “You’re talking about a sophomore player, it’s not like he’s a 10-year vet. It’s Year 2 and two systems. I don’t want to put all the pressure on him, but we’re looking for big things. we’re excited about his whole game, from a mental standpoint and physically.”

— A defensive philosophy which will often have Khalil Mack playing more as a defensive end than as a strong side linebacker.

“He’s pretty doggone good getting after the quarterback,” McKenzie said. “He’s just really good going forward and it’s an opportunity to really do a lot of things with him. He’s a dominant defensive player, so let him do what he does best and move him around, play him at different spots and I think that was the outlook for the defensive staff _ to put him in a position to make plays.”

— The addition of wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who has been a bright spot through four days of practice.

“Right off the bat you can tell he’s been working. That part is good,” McKenzie said. “His whole skill set is pretty much what we thought he could be. He can always catch teh ball . . . it seems like he and Derek are trying to get on point. That’s good.”

— The expectations for cornerback DJ Hayden, a first-round draft pick in 2013 who is competing for a starting spot.

“Year three is the year to kind of show who you are as an NFL player,” McKenzie said. “In that regard, this is an opportunity for him to show the league, `This is who I am as a player.’ ”

— The progress of running back Latavius Murray, currently the leader to be the Raiders’ lead runner.

“This is the first offseason he didn’t have to go through (injury) rehab,” McKenzie said. “Coming into training camp he’s 100 percent. Last year he didn’t get his opportunity until Week 10, 11. That part wasn’t his fault. He was ready to play. If he can stay healthy I don’t think anything is holding him back.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • MaddenRaider916

    Me too. Except I can see the Rams going back to LA. Raiders leaving Oakland and Chargers leaving Daygo? Nah.

  • DutchRaid

    Chargers and Rams in L.A. would be nice…

  • Twinkle

    Quite frankly clueless one ……. it’s you who has no fvcking clue whatsoever ..
    Do us all a big favor and just STFU.

  • RaiderCODE

    Except the Rams .. otherwise you’re spot on

  • JLofty

    I love how you are all in with the city of Oakland actually accomplishing something. That’s great. You DO know their track record right?
    At least losing Alameda might shake it up some.
    I love how they want to stick the tenant with the finance charges for a 20 year old reno….

  • Ajemerso

    The raiders are not leaving oakland for the long term

  • MaddenRaider916

    San Diego’s a big city. They’ll find the investors at some point.

  • JLofty

    you are feeling frisky tonight huh?

  • RaiderCODE

    If LA was wide open and Mark had the money – it would have been done already no question.. But LA is not and Mark is broke. Do the math…

  • ElkGRaider

    What the heck was the idea of having a renovation that runs past 20 years to pay off? Clowns man…

    The PSL’s I guess. But somebody was bad at math

  • _Mista_

    Is there a blog “friend” of Wristbands on here that will be honest with him and try and get him some help??????

    He has been blogging from morning until night for over a week now.

    The guy needs your help!

  • Twinkle

    This azzhole has no fvcking clue whatsoever …. justs vomits his BS all over the blog and I’m sick to death of reading the shvt.

  • DutchRaid

    True…but I can hope…Chargers and Rams in L.A. would make very unlikely for the Raiders to move?

  • MaddenRaider916

    JFB’s alright. A little too high on the G-Men, and Bumgarner’s obnoxious “country” personality, but then again, regarding the latter, that would make two of you.

  • RaidingTexas

    Correct. They’re being forced out.

  • Morilla_00

    LA isn’t ready yet. It’s too much of a clustertruck. Every year the LA bug comes around its all talk. Same this year. They even said 2016 is jumping the gun.

    It’s all lip service

  • People acting like this doesn’t happen in other sports.
    As if goes can just hotdog in the NFL with zero consequence.
    Baseball players just get after it a little more.
    In the NFL some guy gets cleaned off the pile, a little pushing or shoving, and nobody bats an eye.
    MLB pitchers drill you in the ribs, and they are racists.

  • ElkGRaider

    He’s a lock if I have a top pick

  • Twinkle

    I’ve been drinking ….. damn did I just say that ? …lol

  • JLofty

    Amateurs and idiots Elk, amateurs and idiots.
    Politicians who won’t make it past an election cycle employing financial managers whose previous job was helping Stockton…

  • RaidingTexas

    Me too. Although the 100 catches or 1400 yards is a pretty tall order.

  • New post for everyone except Jame Gumb

  • EDWARD TEACH

    I honestly think that moving the team to SF was part of the plan when Lacob and Guber first began discussions to buy the team. Those two are not Oakland guys at all.

  • _Mista_

    What about the City & County libtards that are incompetent?

    Are you “empressed” with those “loosers”?

  • JLofty

    Show me the math in Oakland or are you just assuming Raiders play in the current stadium forever? Maybe a new scoreboard and A’s just keep depositing the checks season after season?

  • 909RaiderLifer

    Energetic, to say the least…

  • And getting booed at midcourt after the Monte trade just made him bitter.
    He isn’t used to getting booed.

  • Twinkle

    Too funny that Alameda want’s out of the sports venue business ..
    You’d think that dealing with Al might have driven them to that realization in the 60’s…… but nooooo.

  • Howard Benner

    I don’t see any “racism” from Mad Bum. . .rather I see cultural differences fueling his ire. . .

  • Twinkle

    Pull off your socks man…….. you are gonna need the help.

  • EDWARD TEACH

    What’s nice for the Raiders is that Helu, while not the rushing threat, is almost as equally effective as Bell when catching balls out of the backfield.

  • Has to be first pick in any PPR league.

  • RaiderCODE

    Dont know how its going to work out in Oakland – my point is and always has been LA is not going to happen for Mark Davis and the Raiders – unless he sells the team. What happens in Oakland is unknown, but Mark will not be in LA and Ive shown over and over why. The biggest reason being Stan Kronke and Mark has no cred or money to even come close to matching that.

  • Helu is going to get 50 catches this year if he stays healthy.
    And convert some random 3rd and 12 dumpoffs when he breaks two tackles and gets 13 yards.
    Just not a guy who can get a lot of carries.

  • EDWARD TEACH

    Lacob looked like he was going to cry that night. Never seen anything like that before.

  • Twinkle

    What I see is one nasty azzed P and he can do what ever the hell he wants……. He’s a GOB so what ? ….. I believe he a thinks Jeff Kent is role model……….. not a bad choice imo.

  • Twinkle

    You have no fvcking clue azzhole…… We have an in in LA and a backup plan in full regalia in San Antonio……. you can now quite happily go fvcking root for someone else….. scumbag.

  • EDWARD TEACH

    Agreed, and that’s ok if we’re getting those rush yards someplace else. I remember reading something after we signed him about him being either the league leader or close to it in “elusiveness ranking” or somesuch, which tracks how often a running back makes the first guy miss after catching the ball.

  • Twinkle

    Only because it’s you …… lol.

  • MaddenRaider916

    Flee where, right across the bay? Like Mark couldn’t hit up billionaires on the other side of the bay for money? It’s the same region. And with the redevelopment already under way in Oakland, it’s going to look the same as SF in 10 years anyway. I can’t believe how many people are stuck in the 80s with this logic.

  • JLofty

    NO!!!! Really?!?! Lol….

  • Dan78
  • Krawfish Rik…

    Hows it going D i c k breath!!

  • RAIDERFANXXX

    I think Reggie has done a good job. this team has gotten a lot better and all the contracts are sound. he has us on the right road.

  • Reuel Smith

    hahaahahaa this idiot said we would be going to the playoff when he got here!

  • inonewordraider

    “Plenty of times,” Crabtree said when asked if he’d met Biletnikoff before. “I won the Biletnikoff Award twice. I know his wife [Angela] real well. He’s like my pops and she’s like my mom. My mom still talks to his wife. It’s great.”

  • itsalleffedupandwearetoblame

    They can win the Super Bowl this year and I would think they did in spite of Reggie. I do not believe he is GM/Executive material.