2014 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

Dane FletcherMay 27 02:33a

Free-agent LB Dane Fletcher (Buccaneers) has returned to the New England Patriots on a one-year contract.

Devonta FreemanMay 26 09:53p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman worked with the first-team offense during organized team activities Tuesday, May 26.

Charles SimsMay 26 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims has a solid chance of beating out RB Doug Martin for Tampa Bay's starting running back gig, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com.

A.J. JenkinsMay 26 01:02p

Free-agent WR A.J. Jenkins (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, May 26, according to a source. Jenkins was the 30th overall pick by the San [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 26 08:43a

Updating an ongoing story, the Dallas Cowboys have moved on from the idea of trading for Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, despite persistent rumors, according to The Dallas Morning [ More ]

A.J. McCarronMay 25 10:37p

Cincinnati Bengals QB AJ McCarron (shoulder) is healthy and hoping to push QB Andy Dalton in 2015. 'We wanted him in our building so bad and it happened and [ More ]

Ray McDonaldMay 25 04:42p

Updating previous reports, Chicago Bears DE Ray McDonald has been released Monday, May 25, just hours after being arrested for alleged domestic violence and child endangerment.

Adrian PetersonMay 25 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson still wants to be traded, according to a source. Peterson intends to skip all organized team activities, which would cause him to lose $250,000 in workout bonuses.

Adrian PetersonMay 24 09:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has informed head coach Mike Zimmer that he will not attend the optional practices that begin Tuesday, May 26, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Tom BradyMay 22 04:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will have the appeal of his four-game suspension heard by commissioner Roger Goodell after the NFL rejected a motion by the NFL Players [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 22 03:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension has not been scheduled at this time.

Ray RiceMay 22 11:42a

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) could be a consideration for the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, speculates The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota. He cites Cowboys owner and general [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 22 09:52a

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains in pursuit of being traded or receiving a new contract and remains away from the organization during voluntary workouts. [ More ]

William BeattyMay 21 12:02p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty (chest) underwent successful surgery Thursday, May 21, to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Beatty will need approximately five to six months of recovery time.

Derek CarrMay 20 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) will not need surgery on his injured finger and may be able to throw again before the end of offseason workouts, according to his agent.

Joseph RandleMay 20 09:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle is the most likely option to lead the team's running back by committee approach in 2015. Randle has the most experience in the system, [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:53p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty's (pectoral) torn pectoral will require surgery and Beatty's recovery time is expected to be around five months. Beatty suffered the [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) tore his pectoral while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source, and will undergo surgery. One [ More ]

Josh HillMay 20 03:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is slated as the starting tight end this season with TE Jimmy Graham now in Seattle. TE Benjamin Watson could give Hill a run for his money, however.

William BeattyMay 20 03:13p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) suffered a potentially serious shoulder injury while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source. Surgery is a possibility.

Geno SmithMay 20 03:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith is the starting quarterback and will not see competition in training camp, according to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Tom BradyMay 20 03:03p

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal will not be affected by the team's decision to accept their sanctions. Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants to [ More ]

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

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