How did Green Bay forge Raiders’ Gruden-McKenzie pairing?


The Oakland Raiders' owner Mark Davis has his photo taken with new head coach Jon Gruden at the team facility in Alameda, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.(Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)

ALAMEDA – Jon Gruden and Reggie McKenzie are, at least in Raiders owner Mark Davis’ eyes, a dream team.

Davis revealed Tuesday he spent six years trying not only to lure Gruden back as the Raiders coach but to pair him with McKenzie, who was hired in January 2012, three months after Al Davis died and left the franchise in his son’s hands.

“My vision at that time was Jon Gruden coaching this football team and Reggie McKenzie bringing in the talent,” Mark Davis said. “It took me six years of chasing Jon … It is the biggest day of my life right now to have him here to run this organization.”

The Oakland Raiders’ owner Mark Davis has his photo taken with new head coach Jon Gruden at the team facility in Alameda, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.(Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)

This wasn’t news to McKenzie.

“We’ve talked about Gruden,” McKenzie said. “This is not the first time. (Davis) knows my history.”

That history traces to the 1994 Green Bay Packers. McKenzie was a first-year scout. Gruden was the wide receivers coach. Both were 31, both on the fast track to promotions.

“Reggie and I come from the same tree in Green Bay, raised by Ron Wolf as young Green Bay Packers,” Gruden said. “We have a similar viewpoint in terms of what kind of players we’re looking for. But it’s got to be a collaborative effort, whether it’s a salary-cap decision, a free-agent acquisition, who we draft. We’ve got to work together.

“We’re not always going to agree. Reggie will probably win – look at the size of the guy,” Gruden said, drawing laughs. “But you know what, I don’t want to agree with everybody. I want to work hard and pursue every vehicle possible to improve the Raiders.”

Those 1994 Packers reached the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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