If there were any question about who ranks higher on the Raiders organizational chart, head coach Jon Gruden or general manager Reggie McKenzie, they’ve been erased.
This past weekend, team owner Mark Davis made it clear Gruden – who signed a 10-year deal to return to Oakland – will set the team’s course and have final say on roster decisions.
“Jon’s the head coach and he’s going to be here a while, so it’s important that he gets the players he wants and builds a team he wants to build,” Davis said. “Reggie is there with his staff to find the players and also to keep the (salary) cap and everything else in order.”
Recently, McKenzie said he’s fine with the new arrangement and has been taking time to get familiar with Gruden, his staff and others new to the organization.
“It’s been great,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of fun. A lot of work, a lot of getting to know some guys. New staff, and for them, them to know the building, know our scouts. We’ve been together. Getting together and going through this process here, and evaluating our team, free agency. We’ve had a lot of time together and they’re hitting the ground running pretty good.”
Davis says McKenzie’s role is now different than it was when he presided over the coaching tenures of Dennis Allen and Jack Del Rio.
“He has built the team to where we are now, and we’re in pretty good shape with the cap and everything else,” said Davis. “Now he has a head coach who’s going to be running this thing for the next 10 years. His vision is going to be most important building what type of team we’ve got. That vision, and that direction, is going to be helpful to Reggie more so than not. I think they’ll work together very well.”