Reggie McKenzie wants his team to look good coming off the bus, just as Al Davis did. The difference? The new Raiders will disembark with laptops and iPads, ultraserious about the business of playing football. "You show up, on time, and work as hard as you can," McKenzie said. "When it's time to leave the building, you're going to make sure that you're able to come back the next day ready to go to work and trying to make this team a better team. "We want guys that are football players, not wannabes. There's a whole lot of wannabes. They look the part, think they're the guy, but they're not willing to do the work." McKenzie heads into his second NFL draft with the Raiders on Thursday in complete control of the football operation. He has rebuilt the personnel department to his specifications, with new hardware, software and a clear chain of command. Having worked for 19 years moving up the personnel ranks with the Green Bay Packers, McKenzie believes the draft and development of young players are the foundations of an organization. "He's a true old-school evaluator, where he wants a football player first and an athlete second, and I think Mr. Davis was a little bit the opposite," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "He wanted the athlete first and thought he could mold him into a football player." In Green Bay, working under Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson, the Packers became champions largely through their work in the draft. When Green Bay won Super Bowl XLV after the 2010 season, its Week 1 roster had 35 draft picks and five players who were signed as undrafted free agents -- meaning 40 of its 53-man roster had never played for another NFL team. After last season's draft, among the moves in a restructured scouting department was the hiring of Shaun Herock as director of college personnel away from the Packers. McKenzie also brought in Joey Clinkscales, a high school and college teammate, as director of player personnel. Wolf, whose recommendation to owner Mark Davis helped get McKenzie the job, believes McKenzie "will be a lot more comfortable because he knows the people that are reporting to him."
Mantra of Oakland Raiders' Reggie McKenzie: Commitment to character
Oakland Tribune | Apr 25