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  1. #1
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    Reggie McKennzie Interview....San Francisco Chronicle

    Sometimes one can find some great discarded treasures at a yard sale, at bargain-basement prices. The chip in the paint or the minor defect might not be visible until later.

    Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did a nice job this past offseason putting together a defense from scrap parts and discarded free agents. A lack of depth has taken its toll as the team has lost five of six, but McKenzie has been pleased with how competitive the Raiders (4-9) have been.

    "Unfortunately, with the budget and the (salary) cap being where it was - all the dead money - we didn't have a lot of room to spread a whole lot of money around," McKenzie said. "But we got some smart guys who knew how to play the game and had something to prove."

    McKenzie signed eight new defensive starters last offseason. That came after the roster was gutted and he and owner Mark Davis took what they thought were necessary salary-cap hits.

    Early success

    A tough, aggressive bunch with something to prove, the defense led the team to a surprising 3-4 start. It was surprising not only because Oakland was paying $56 million to players no longer with the team, but because many experts thought its roster was one of the worst in the NFL.

    Early in the season, the players ran hard to the ball, picked up a blitz-happy scheme quickly and gave up an average of only 15 points in the three wins.

    That was then.

    The worn out-defense has allowed 31.2 points and 386 yards per game in the past six games, five of them losses. That's up from 21.4 and 331 in the first seven games.

    "We were hopeful we could piece them together and put together a pretty good defense," McKenzie said. "We knew that we weren't going to have a top-five defense because we weren't able to land top-five defense-type players, but we definitely were trying to get the best football players we could get. With experience and leadership."

    Short-term deals

    McKenzie signed the majority of the defensive players to one-year contracts. In some cases, that's all he had to offer; in others, it was because the players wanted to play well this season and get back on the free-agent market next year.

    "It's a two-way street," McKenzie said. "Any real player would see that as a motivation."

    That two-way street was a dead end last year. The Raiders would have loved to re-sign linebacker Philip Wheeler this spring but couldn't afford him.

    Oakland will have roughly $70 million to sign players for 2014.

    "We knew that we would be playing in the same ballpark that the rest of the league is in 2014," McKenzie said. "We were a little bit behind the 8-ball with contracts and the cap, but that's all right."

    Many of the players have expressed an interest in returning, and that was part of McKenzie's recruitment plan.

    "The key is we want these guys to be around and get a feel for these coaches, and what we're trying to do," McKenzie said. "What's it like being a Raider. I think that's a selling point, especially when you're heading in the right direction and feel good about it."

    Style helps substance

    The Raiders have 32 sacks by 14 players, and McKenzie said the aggressive, disguised defense used by head coach Dennis Allen and coordinator Jason Tarver will be a selling point to the upcoming crop of free agents.

    "No question, no question," McKenzie said. "It's a good thing when you have creative coaches. They know what we're working with; we don't have a whole bunch of Reggie Whites running around ...

    "But that's all right, we've got some guys that can play football and guys that are willing to work. The defensive scheme weighs a lot."

    Last offseason, McKenzie targeted "good effort" players and signed six players (five of them starters) between March 13 and 18. Linebackers Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett and Kaluka Maiava all signed multiyear contracts. Defensive linemen Pat Sims, Vance Walker and Jason Hunter got one-year deals.

  2. #2
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    I hope you don't mind Renz....I thought it would be easier for everyone to read in another thread. I get the impression he'd like to stick with this staff in 2014.

  3. #3
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    Don't mind at all, Max. I agree, it does seem like he and Davis are sharing perspective and narrative. I interpreted things as you did.

  4. #4
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    The absence of any media speculation to the contrary coupled with Mark Davis and McKenzie's acknowledgment of the situation indicate to me that DA is returning and that his status for 2014 has never been in doubt.

    I am just reading between the lines here, but I think its pretty clear that baring a collapse the coaching staff pretty much returns as is.

    I for one think that would be great.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximo View Post
    The absence of any media speculation to the contrary coupled with Mark Davis and McKenzie's acknowledgment of the situation indicate to me that DA is returning and that his status for 2014 has never been in doubt.

    I am just reading between the lines here, but I think its pretty clear that baring a collapse the coaching staff pretty much returns as is.

    I for one think that would be great.
    With the exception of Olson??


    Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how wrong they consistently are.

    -Stork

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxfly View Post
    Linebackers Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett and Kaluka Maiava all signed multiyear contracts.
    sweet. I like roach and burnett, good to know they'll both be here at least another year
    "i don't believe in mysteries but still i pray for my sister, when speaking to the higher power that listens, to the lifeless vision of freedom everytime we're imprisoned, to the righteous victims of people of a higher position" - planet asia, old timer thoughts

    "God is Universal he is the Ruler Universal" - gangstarr (rip guru), robbin hood theory

    "don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold" - bob marley, zion train

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaiderNation24 View Post
    With the exception of Olson??
    It might just be better to hold on to him. He's no Hue Jackson, I'm aware of that, but the whole qb situation was a little much, I know he's the easy out, and there's no doubt he's had some streaks of really bad play calling. But with mcgloin in (and I like pryor, so let's please not turn this into one of those threads), this offense has been putting together some very very solid drives which show good variety and ball control on the offense. My biggest gripe with him at this point is those stupid trick plays, Hue could pull it off, Olson can't. Either way, a one and done might not be the best move with the oc at this point.
    "i don't believe in mysteries but still i pray for my sister, when speaking to the higher power that listens, to the lifeless vision of freedom everytime we're imprisoned, to the righteous victims of people of a higher position" - planet asia, old timer thoughts

    "God is Universal he is the Ruler Universal" - gangstarr (rip guru), robbin hood theory

    "don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold" - bob marley, zion train

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nastynice View Post
    It might just be better to hold on to him. He's no Hue Jackson, I'm aware of that, but the whole qb situation was a little much, I know he's the easy out, and there's no doubt he's had some streaks of really bad play calling. But with mcgloin in (and I like pryor, so let's please not turn this into one of those threads), this offense has been putting together some very very solid drives which show good variety and ball control on the offense. My biggest gripe with him at this point is those stupid trick plays, Hue could pull it off, Olson can't. Either way, a one and done might not be the best move with the oc at this point.
    I can't say I've noticed Olson's trick plays because there's no trick to them, apparently haha. For me, Olson is just too conservative. Maybe he felt it was the better route to go in certain situations. If he's versatile and/or needs more offensive pieces, then another year is fine. The Raiders just can't afford much conservatism when they have the ball.


    Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how wrong they consistently are.

    -Stork

  9. #9
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    i like Olson. i hope he returns.
    believing what you believe in. sticking up for your rights and sticking up for the rights of others from time to time. do it your way. don't let the culture tell you what to do. that's being a Raider. -Al Davis


  10. #10
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    thanks Max and Renz for the read
    believing what you believe in. sticking up for your rights and sticking up for the rights of others from time to time. do it your way. don't let the culture tell you what to do. that's being a Raider. -Al Davis


  11. #11
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    I think Greg Olson has done a hell of a job.

    Consider what he's working with - yet he's still managed to muster some sort of production in virtually every game this season.

  12. #12
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    I like Greg Olson as well. I think he is good at getting the most out of young QB's. He has done it at other stops in the NFL. Some of those young QB's played their best ball when he was their OC or QB coach. There are not a lot of Elite weapons on the Raiders offensive side of the ball. I don't know if the Raiders could have done much better with another OC.

  13. #13
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    Olson has done commendably considering he's practically had to reshape the offense twice this season. Also, the lack of talent on this team cannot be understated. Retaining Olson would also probably prove prudent if a QB were to be drafted this April. He track record in that area is impressive. I wouldn't argue Olson is great or not expendable, but I'm not sure he deserves the ridicule common in the forum.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaiderNation24 View Post
    With the exception of Olson??
    No, I would like to see Olson return.

  15. #15
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    Reggie McKennzie Interview....San Francisco Chronicle

    Keep all coaches and management in place please...continuity and improved roster equals progress...and if no progress then heads will roll

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