Davis acts decisively in landing McKenzie

Davis acts decisively in landing McKenzie
January 6, 2012, 7:32 am
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He acted swiftly and decisively, and for that, Raiders owner Mark Davis should be applauded.Davis, in his first true act as Raiders owner following the passing of his father Al Davis in October, has agreed to hire the right candidate to be his franchise's next general manager in Reggie McKenzie. Because really, McKenzie should have been the first, second and third name on Davis' list.The hire was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who Tweeted the Raiders "plan" to hire McKenzie. It was later confirmed by ESPNWisconsin's Jason Wilde, who reported McKenzie texted to him his confirmation. The Raiders, meanwhile, have kept mum, which is their norm when things of this scale are underway.
McKenzie, currently the Green Bay Packers director of football operations, has paid his dues working his way in personnel matters from the bottom up in an iconic franchise. And while the Raiders have long been seen in a dysfunctional light, McKenzie brings stability, a presence and a certain regalness to an organization with a massive power vacuum at the top since Davis' death.Yet, he does not come in with a larger-than-life persona, or an ego that will marginalize coach Hue Jackson, though that should not be a concern in most circumstances. In fact, McKenzie is the low-key yin to the Jackson colorful yang.That McKenzie is family, so to speak, and not some outsider or carpetbagger also made him a no-brainer. He played four seasons with the Raiders, starting all 16 games as a 10th-round rookie linebacker for the 1985 Los Angeles Raiders team that went 12-4.And Davis has an affinity for the same players his father held in such high esteem. Media conferences with the elder Davis were must-see TV, if for no other reason than to see him unleash his fury in one second, his thought-provoking side the next, while being totally fascinating the entire time. This one, with Davis the son, McKenzie and Jackson on the dais will be the dawning of a new era.Of course, a formal introduction won't happen until the deal becomes official, which cannot become so until after the Packers' postseason run is done. That might take us through the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 -- unless, of course, the Packers agree to let him go before their season ends.In the interim, it will be interesting to see if McKenzie plans to bring along Eliot Wolf, the Packers assistant director of player personnel and the son of Ron Wolf, the former longtime Raiders executive who endorsed McKenzie from the start.The hire does not come without questions. How much true power will McKenzie hold over Jackson, who basically answered to no one on football matters after Davis' death? What about Jackson's decisions on the coaching staff, does McKenzie have any say on that before he officially takes over? And how much input will Jackson have on roster decisions going forward, especially since, as it stands now, the Raiders have only fifth- and sixth-round picks in the April draft, though some compensatory picks are sure to come their way.But those are all concerns for the near-future. For now, Mark Davis took care of the business at hand. And that was the most important aspect.