Since his arrival in Oakland Reggie McKenzie has quietly handled his business. Not that he’s operating under the Al Davis cloak of secrecy mind you. McKenzie called his shot when he tossed of the “out-of-whack contracts” remark. What followed was a cap cleansing that is still very much in progress.
Of course McKenzie’s salary reductions have left the Raiders stuck somewhere between rebuilding and re-tooling. As a result there hasn’t been much talk of McKenzie’s actual expectations for his team this season.
At least there wasn’t any sort of talk of expectations until yesterday.
Following the lead of Carson Palmer, McKenzie chimed in with his expectations for the Silver and Black in 2012.
“I feel what Carson is saying, as far as where we’re headed. We’re headed in the direction to where we can get there.”
For McKenzie it hasn’t even required an actual practice to know he’s got a team capable of playing well into January. The Raiders GM found out everything he needed to know during the offseason OTAs apparently.
“I think after being around these guys the whole offseason, being around the coaching staff and the players, I definitely think we have the makeup of being a playoff team.”
The generic way of responding to McKenzie’s claim is the ever-so-popular “what else is he supposed to say?” In this instance that doesn’t at all apply.
McKenzie sent a clear message upon his arrival by firing Hue Jackson and wasting no time to shred a few crazy contracts. He could have easily and understandably warned the fans and players alike that the coming season would have been one of adjusting (aka rebuilding). Instead he did the sensible thing.
Reggie McKenzie hired his first head coach, made his roster moves, drafted new talent then watched as his coaches started working with the roster before saying anything about his expectations. Even if he’s proven wrong in his assertion McKenzie’s approach should be commended. Now let’s just hope that translates to the product on the field.