Clock is Now Ticking on McKenzie

With Dennis Allen now out as head coach, how long can Raiders GM survive?

Yes, Dennis Allen is gone.

Dropping 10 straight games and having an 8-28 record is certainly grounds for dismissal. Clearly, the Raiders weren’t progressing under their third-year head coach.

But certainly the Raiders’ woes weren’t all because of the coaching.

General manager Reggie McKenzie is now on the clock, too. If owner Mark Davis wants to see results, how much more time will he give McKenzie?

McKenzie came to Oakland with an impeccable reputation as a football man. He was part of the brain trust that built the Green Bay Packers organization. He was a scout, first and foremost.

Yet McKenzie has whiffed badly as a judge of quarterbacks, trading veteran Carson Palmer – who has played well in Arizona – and bringing in two veterans who bellyflopped in Oakland, Matt Flynn and Matt Schaub.

Plus, his second draft class has been notable only for its lack of impact. Top picks D.J. Hayden and Menelik Watson have spent far more time off the field with injuries than in the lineup. Both need playing time to show if they can play – but can’t seem to stay healthy.

As Bill Williamson of wrote Tuesday, McKenzie’s roster “should be better.”

“The Raiders’ issues can no longer be blamed on Al Davis, who died nearly three years ago. It’s on McKenzie now," he wrote. 

“McKenzie and Allen took over a team that won eight games in back-to-back seasons. The Raiders have matched that total in 2¼ years. McKenzie has to come up with some answers or he will likely join his guy (Allen) as one of Oakland’s failures.”

A turnaround on the field this season seems unlikely. Rookie starting quarterback Derek Carr is hurt and may be out of the lineup a while, plus the running game is absent and the defense is leaky.

So, will Davis pull the trigger on McKenzie the day after the 2014 season comes to an end? Or give him one more shot – with perhaps the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft?

McKenzie’s third draft class, after all – with Carr, Khalil Mack, Gabe Jackson and T.J. Carrie, among others – looks like it can play.

But trusting McKenzie for the long-term health of this franchise, at this point, would seem only to be a leap of faith.

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