As the Oakland Raiders limp toward the 2017 finish line, reflection upon a brutal season must happen. With so much hope in the summer, this team fell woefully short. Many players struggled for the balance of the season. As a result, moves need to occur, in order to ensure 2018 success.
Promote Reggie McKenzie
If you are scratching your head, wait a minute. As general manager, McKenzie oversaw the rebuild of a downtrodden Raiders franchise. Through key contract manipulation and mostly shrewd business, McKenzie built a foundation of a strong franchise. In 2014, he drafted the cornerstone offensive and defensive players to build with. Since then, McKenzie’s draft disappointed, leading to the thought that bringing in a talent evaluator to assume GM duties could help McKenzie focus on cap space. By giving McKenzie the title of team president, the Raiders can bring in an extra set of eyes into the talent evaluation process.
Solution 1: Nick Caserio
Who? Caserio is the current director of player personnel for the Patriots. Before you dismiss this, look deeper into the matter. Caserio started as a scout, gained field experience as a wide receivers coach. Eventually, Caserio became the Director of Pro Personnel. If you look at the Patriots roster since 2008, look at the depth of talent. They bring in talent to fit their scheme. In addition, New England adds depth. Under those circumstances, the Patriots appear always prepared to handle any injury. Tom Brady, through injury or suspension missed significant time. Matt Cassel and Jimmy Garoppolo filled in admirably. As Tom Brady slowly ages, would Caserio want a new challenge?
Solution 2: Scot McCloughan
McCloughan brings an odd dynamic to Oakland. As of this writing, McCloughan is suing Washington for wrongful termination . On the field, McCloughan’s work speaks for itself. The touchy part centers around McCloughan’s issues with alcoholism. If McCloughan can keep his demons at bay, the Raiders would employ a general manager that would strictly focus on talent, not financials. Moreover, McKenzie worked alongside McCloughan in Green Bay. McKenzie values familiarity. Although McCloughan bring baggage, he also scouts like few.
Shaun Alexander Michael Crabtree
Steve Hutchinson Bruce Irvin
Vernon Davis Alex Smith
Patrick Willis Marcus Trufant
In reality, Reggie McKenzie’s presence benefits the Oakland Raiders. However, as Derek Carr and Khalil Mack age, the need for draft success increases. While neither is older than 27, filling in spots with young, talent that will develop remains a priority. In the NFL, windows of opportunity can shut in a heartbeat. The Raiders should not sit on the outside of the playoffs with two supremely skilled players on each side of the ball.