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Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie says he and Jon Gruden work well together

When the Oakland Raiders signed on Jon Gruden to be the head coach there were questions about how long he and general manager Reggie McKenzie would last to together. Many believed that Gruden would force him out after this season and although that still might be the case McKenzie said on Monday that he and Gruden work well together.

“You talk about pulling the strings — Gruden and I, we work together very well,” McKenzie said Monday  to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Let’s get no mistakes about him pushing me out. That’s not happening. Me not being able to work with Gruden, that’s furthest from the truth, OK? We work really well together.”

Gruden has made it clear he doesn’t like all of the players that McKenzie has drafted and has continued to released high draft picks. McKenzie said that he and Gruden will work together on the upcoming draft and they will both come to a decision on what players they would like to take.

“We’ve got one draft board, OK?” McKenzie said. “Every coaching staff that I’ve been a part of, from Green Bay to Gruden’s staff, I want to know how the coaches rank each player. So that’s not going to change. I want to know how they like players. But to say they have their own draft board — they have their own way of doing it because that’s the way our system is put up, that’s the way I’ve always done it. But when we go in the big draft room, that’s what we go by.”

This next draft is probably going to be the most important of Gruden’s time with the Raiders as they sit with three first-round draft picks. If he wants the little rebuild they are going through to be successful they need to hit on this draft.