McKenzie: This is my show now so it's going to be fun.

March 26, 2012, 11:52 pm
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Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie engaged in a 16-minute conference call Monday afternoon with Bay Area reporters to talk about Oakland receiving three compensatory picks -- a third, a fourth, and a fifth-rounder -- to go with the fifth and sixth-rounders the team already held. But the conversation also broached several other topics.

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From managing the Raiders' salary cap to draft needs to, ahem, welcoming Peyton Manning to the division.Following then, a sampling of the call...On not knowing the formula for comp picks but his thoughts on it after the Raiders were given three: "Let me tell you something -- whatever the formula is, I love this formula. I love it. I thought I would possibly get a three, a high one, for Nnamdi (Asomugha). Now the others, obviously, this was better than what I expected. I'm extremely excited about the compensatory picks that the league has afforded the Raiders. Hopefully we can make due and have some good picks from this."On if he considers a third-round pick a starter: "Yes. No. 3 pick, No. 4 pick. Honestly, guys, when you set the board, you're trying to set it to where you have some possible starters through the fifth round. And then you get lucky with a college free agent, seventh-round, I've been fortunate to have some good fortune with later picks in my 18-year career. I'm not going to just limit it just to the third roundOK, you have a third so you only have one opportunity to get a starter. I don't want to go into this draft like that. I want to get some good players that we can get as many possible starters as possibledon't tie me down just to the third round."On if knowing he'd receive some comp picks change his approach to the offseason: "No, it really didn't. It really did not. I'm trying to build a team so the more the merrier. If I see a possible free agent that we feel like, Man, we can do this, and this feels pretty good, I'm going to do it, in free agency. Regardless of what we have in the draft. But that's not going to minimize what I do in the draft. Even if I sign an unrestricted free agent offensive lineman. That's not going to say, I'm not going to draft one. I don't look at it like that. I'm still looking for great backups who can become starters at every position. So I need a lot more picks than what I have now and some more free agent moves. The only thing I wish I had more of was NFL money and NFL cap. That's what I wish I had more of."On what he can do to address that to add pieces to his puzzle: "Not a whole lot this year. And I think the bulk of it has been done. Now you just try to wait it out and see who's the best fit for these 53 guys in the long run to make this team and then try to figure (it) out. At this point, it's going to be production and talent. It's not about money, money, money, as far as the comings and goings of players. With the goings, mainly."On if he might still trade a player for picks: "That could be possible. You know, I don't close the door on trades. I really don't. That door is always open."On his career leading to this moment: "It's been a process now. I've done this for quite some time but this is my show now so it's going to be, it's going to be fun."On if it's been frustrating dealing with the Raiders' salary cap issues to start his GM career: "It's not frustrating, it really isn't. But you'd always like to have a comfort level. And to me, having cap, having cash, it gives you a comfort so it's teaching me how to manage moneythis is good. This is good for me, learning on the fly how to deal with certain adverse situations. Initially, we are able to handle it so far. What I don't want to do is allow this to get us in the end. But I always want to be in position to, if we need to add a quality playerI want to make a move. That's my whole outlook. When we had to make certain cuts, we do it with a future plan. So far, it's working accordingly."On his priorities in the draft now that he knows how many picks he has at his disposal: "Regardless, I'm going to use the draft to make sure we draft the best available player. And if it's at a position where we're strong at, so be it. If we feel like this is the best guy, it's a difference between adding solid starters and difference makers."On if the players cut thus far were about performance or finances: "A little bit of both. When you talk about production versus a salarylet's face it, guys, contacts and production, all of that goes hand in hand. If something's not matching, or it's kind of out of whack, you don't have to be forced to make the decisionit was not all eitherorIt wasn't, Well, he cost us too much money, he's got to go. No. If the guy was highly productive and we could make it work, we'd try to make it work financially. But if not, we're going to have to make certain decision. Tough decisions. Which we did."On if he envisions the Raiders being stronger this year, or if there is a rebuilding plan in place: "Honestly, I envision it being stronger."On if he's comfortable with the three tight ends already on the roster, of if he wants to add another: "I'm comfortable with it, butI would like to add another guy there to compete, yes."On the linebackers in the draft: "You know, there's some good linebackers. Is it deep? I wouldn't say that. But there are some good linebackers in this draft."On Peyton Manning joining Denver and the AFC West: "I have a great admiration for Peyton. Do we have to put in a different gameplan defending Peyton than (Tim) Tebow? Absolutely. If he's healthy and hitting on all cylinders physically, he's going to be a good football player in our division. We're going to have to find ways to slow him downare we going to be scared of him? Absolutely not."

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