Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, Jon Gruden on same page for the NFL Draft
New Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has made it clear in his short time back for a second stint with the team that he’s calling the shots. The one-time Super Bowl champion came back to Oakland and immediately started cleaning house with an intention to mold the team the way he wants it for the foreseeable future.
With Gruden making moves he wants, there have been questions as to whether longtime general manager Reggie McKenzie is on the same page and has any power under the new regime in Oakland, especially with the 2018 NFL Draft looming. McKenzie cleared the air recently making it be known he and Gruden see eye-to-eye, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
“I’ve got a feeling for Coach Gruden. We like the same type of players,” McKenzie said. “Just good football players. It’s not about height, weight, speed or where they come from. It’s about who they are as players, do they love playing football. All those characteristics you truly like about football players.”
McKenzie’s role being marginalized or perceived to be different with Gruden in town isn’t all that surprising. Raiders owner Mark Davis was determined to land Gruden this NFL offseason and was willing to pay a premium to get it done.
Oakland signed Gruden to an unprecedented 10-year, $10 million deal after parting ways with Jack Del Rio following the end of the 2017 NFL season. A long-term commitment like that for a head coach has to make a general manager feel uneasy about his role, but so far, it appears things are going well regarding that relationship in the front office.
As for the upcoming draft, the Raiders own the No. 10 pick and are expected to address their issues on defense.