The Oakland Raiders are about to embark on a new era of football, and it is an exciting time for their players, fans and coaching staff. New general manager Reggie McKenzie has worked tirelessly to improve his club in recent months despite a lack of available funds, and now has just a few weeks left to prepare for the 2012 NFL Draft.
McKenzie was interviewed this week and discussed a wide range of topics. We have the highlights after the jump...
Interview courtesy of ContraCostaTimes.com.
His thoughts on the job and team thus far:
McKenzie: A little bit better, because we were able to knock out a couple of areas we felt we wanted to upgrade, and fill in or solidfy, and we felt like the O-line as a group we solidified it big time by getting the two veterans back (Cooper Carlisle, Khalif Barnes) and the coaching staff would like to see Wiz move inside, see what he can do. They feel pretty good about that.
As for bringing in another quarterback option for the team:
McKenzie: Kind of the same as like running back for us, make sure you bring a legitimate guy in.
On where the team needs to improve on in the coming weeks:
McKenzie: One thing I don't have is a starting outside linebacker. I would like to try to find me a guy that can play there. Other than that, we've got a guy that can line up and start at every position. Now we just need some competition and depth in case this guy gets hurt or can't cut it. That's where I am now. But I'm looking for an outside linebacker.
And finally, how not having many draft picks to work with will affect his first season on the job:
McKenzie: You can get (a linebacker) in the draft, you can find the right guy. Can you target someone at the end of the third round, yeah. But I think there are going to be some guysu in the latter rounds that will be able to be productive players. I'm not at all discouraged because we don't have a first, second or third rounder. We'll make due. It'd be nice to have one of those, but I'm not going to worry about it.
It sure seems like GM McKenzie has a solid hand on the day-to-day operations of the Raiders and appears hungry to get this franchise back to their glory days. It will not be easy, but he appears to be the right man for the job to this point.
For more on the Raiders, be sure to visit Silver and Black Pride.