McKenzie: Raiders don't want guys that just run fast


Reggie McKenzie stepped to the podium at his pre-draft press conference, surveyed the tape recorders in front of him, and asked: "Is it ok if I turn all of these off?"

McKenzie isn't a great quote like his predecessor in Oakland, but Raiders fans won't mind if he can deliver a return the franchise to excellence. We have been very impressed with McKenzie's methodical style this offseason and his ability to make hard decisions.

There were many moments during Wednesday's presser where it was clear things had changed in Oakland:

1. There was no overhead projector to be found.

2. "We're not looking for guys that just run fast," McKenzie said.

That wasn't intended as a shot at Al Davis, who McKenzie praised repeatedly. But it's clear the Raiders are going to evaluate players differently.

3. McKenzie mentioned how the Raiders have plenty of good starters, but they badly need to build depth. That will be difficult with Oakland missing a number of high draft picks this year. The Raiders have been a top-heavy team for too long.

4. The Raiders "do not want to consider" trading future draft picks, unless it's a seventh-rounder. No more mortgaging the future.

5. McKenzie said the transition to Oakland has gone "much better" than he expected. He was talking primarily about changing the way the team is organized and their scouting system.

"Mark Davis has been excellent in allowing me to do it the way I need to do it," McKenzie said.

McKenzie is doing things differently. After the last decade in Oakland, that's a very good thing.