2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Raiders GM says vindication comes with playoffs

By JOSH DUBOW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-18 19:20

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Reggie McKenzie heard all the preseason predictions from the pundits that had his Oakland Raiders pegged as one of the worst teams in the NFL.

After a tight road loss at Indianapolis and a home win over Jacksonville to start the season, the Raiders general manager is not ready to crow about his team's success.

``Vindication? No. Not at all,'' he said Wednesday. ``It's way too early. Vindication is when we're in the playoffs. Then it's a whole new season. That's my goal. ... Our goal is to try and win as many games as we can and get to the playoffs.''

McKenzie touched on many subjects in a 30-minute interview with local beat reporters, with much of the focus being on the quarterbacks after Terrelle Pryor beat out Matt Flynn for the starting job in training camp.

Flynn held the top spot for most of the offseason and training camp after McKenzie traded two draft picks to Seattle and committed $6.5 million in guaranteed money to acquire a quarterback he spent four years with in Green Bay.

McKenzie had traded away last year's starter, Carson Palmer, and did not have confidence in Pryor to be the starter at the time of the deal in April.

But Pryor exceeded expectations in the preseason and Flynn struggled with a sore elbow, leading to the decision to go with late owner Al Davis' final draft pick over the player hand-picked by the new regime.

``He's made leaps and bounds from last year, from the time I spent with him,'' McKenzie said. ``He's done a good job.''

Pryor has done well so far. He posted the eighth 200-yard passing, 100-yard rushing game since the 1970 merger in the 21-17 loss at Indianapolis and then posted a 19-9 win in the home opener over Jacksonville.

McKenzie said Pryor is only getting better as his confidence and playing time increases.

McKenzie has spent much of his first two years on the job tearing down the team as part of a massive rebuilding job. Only 14 players on the active roster were with the organization when McKenzie was hired in January 2011.

McKenzie has cut ties with many of the high-profile players he inherited, letting go of former first-round picks Michael Huff, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Rolando McClain and players acquired for first-rounders in Carson Palmer and Richard Seymour.

Those moves have led to the Raiders carrying over $50 million of ``dead money'' on their salary cap, meaning about 40 percent of their cap is going to players no longer in the organization.

``It's not about driving off players who were here and bringing in our own guys,'' McKenzie said. ``It's trying to put together a good nucleus and core group of guys and then funnel other players in that can help complement them and put together the best team. And whoever plays will be whoever the coach thinks gives us the best chance to win. And that's what it's all about.''

McKenzie has vowed to build through the draft but that is still a work in progress. The 16 players he has picked in his first two drafts have combined for one start this season and only 278 total snaps on offense and defense.

McKenzie's first draft class was hamstrung by having no picks until the 95th overall and only defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi was active from that group of six last Sunday.

The 2013 class has been more productive with first-rounder D.J. Hayden getting playing time as a nickel cornerback, third-round linebacker Sio Moore starting one game, sixth-round tight end Mychal Rivera emerging as a receiving threat and seventh-round receiver Brice Butler getting significant time.

But McKenzie said it's too early to judge those picks.

He has made judgments on some of the current players, signing extensions with kicker Sebastian Janikowski, fullback Marcel Reece and long snapper Jon Condo to keep them off the open market next year.

He has also had talks with defensive end Lamarr Houston and left tackle Jared Veldheer about long-term deals and hopes to be able to lock up some of his potential free agents before they hit the market.

``We're working diligently to keep our own,'' he said. ``If we can lock some guys up that's going to be key for us. That's how I want to build this thing.''

McKenzie will finally get to build the team his way next offseason when he will have plenty of salary cap room and all of his top draft choices at his disposal.

The goal this year is to build a foundation for future success as the Raiders try to end a 10-year playoff drought.

``I think we're moving in that direction, we really are,'' he said. ``Next year, from an offseason standpoint, we're going to be in line like the other teams. What I'm saying there is the cap won't be an issue. I won't be way out here while everybody else is able to play the free-agency game. The first three picks? You got `em. That's 2014. This year, we were able to get some pieces that we feel can help us. Hopefully, we can build on that every week and turn some of these games into some victories.''

NOTES: McKenzie said no decision has been made by the NFL about whether to move the Oct. 6 game against San Diego because of a possible conflict with the Oakland Athletics in the playoffs.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Stephen HillAug 2 08:02p

The Carolina Panthers waived WR Stephen Hill (knee) after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament Sunday, Aug. 2.

Terrelle PryorAug 2 07:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Terrelle Pryor took reps with the first-team offense during training camp Sunday, Aug. 2.

Martavis BryantAug 2 04:22p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (elbow) will undergo a procedure for an elbow infection that will cause him to miss the Hall of Fame Game Sunday, Aug. 9, against [ More ]

Michael EgnewAug 2 03:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released TE Michael Egnew.

Tony McDanielAug 2 12:12p

The Seattle Seahawks released DT Tony McDaniel Sunday, Aug. 2. McDaniel should quickly find a new home.

Stephen HillAug 2 12:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Stephen Hill (knee) has an ACL injury, according to assistant head coach Steve Wilks Sunday, Aug. 2.

Sam BradfordAug 2 11:52a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) has been cleared for 11-on-11 drills Sunday, Aug. 2, and head coach Chip Kelly told reporters the quarterback doesn't have any restrictions.

Stephen HillAug 2 10:12a

The Carolina Panthers signed free-agent WR Paul Browning Sunday, Aug. 2. Browning is expected to take WR Stephen Hill's roster spot.

Brandon BoykinAug 1 08:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired CB Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Aug. 1, in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles could [ More ]

Kyle WilliamsAug 1 02:22p

Denver Broncos WR Kyle Williams (Achilles') suffered at least a partially torn Achilles' tendon in practice Saturday, Aug. 1, according to a source. He may be out for the season.

Melvin GordonAug 1 02:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has struggled with pass protection through the first three days of training camp.

Devin SmithJul 31 09:32p

New York Jets WR Devin Smith (ribs) will miss a majority of training camp after suffering broken ribs Friday, July 31, according to the team. He will be held [ More ]

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:42p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland (knee) is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a knee injury he suffered during practice Friday, July 31.

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:22p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Breeland received a citation for marijuana possession last year.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 31 06:22p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) is not allowed to use his injured hand while it is healing from the fireworks accident he had earlier this month. Pierre-Paul [ More ]

Orson CharlesJul 31 06:02p

New Orleans Saints TE Orson Charles has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Marcus MariotaJul 31 03:52p

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota went 13-for-18 with zero interceptions during team drills at practice Friday, July 31. He was able to use a hard count to make the [ More ]

Jameis WinstonJul 31 12:52p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston was officially named the starting quarterback Friday, July 31, by Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith.

Junior GaletteJul 31 12:12p

Free-agent LB Junior Galette (Saints) will sign a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins, according to a source.

James JonesJul 30 06:52p

Free-agent WR James Jones (Raiders) is signing a one-year deal with the New York Giants. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Cobi HamiltonJul 30 06:42p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Cobi Hamilton was waived Thursday, July 30.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 30 06:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) has not reported to training camp as he continues to rehabilitate from a finger injury, much to the dismay of owner John [ More ]

David FluellenJul 30 06:12p

Free-agent RB David Fluellen (Colts) signed with the Tennessee Titans Thursday, July 30.

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group