Reggie McKenzie: I will hire Raiders' next coach


Less than one day after firing Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie -- presiding over a winless football team -- reminded reporters on Tuesday: "We're here to win championships."

In the meantime, the Raiders will attempt to win their first game of the season while McKenzie begins his search for the organization's next head coach. Amid word from NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport that Oakland is on the hunt for a "superstar" leader, McKenzie assured reporters that he hasn't been stripped of his power.

"I will hire the next coach," McKenzie said, after announcing Tony Sparano as the team's interim coach and praising Allen as someone who "worked hard -- very diligent -- but I had to make the move."

Rapoport also reported Monday that McKenzie's job is safe. The general manager said that he "always believes" his employment is on the line but confirmed that owner Mark Davis hasn't threatened to fire him. Davis himself told reporters Tuesday that he's never considered firing McKenzie, per Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The conversations with me and Mark are focused on the here and now," McKenzie said. "... As far as my job, we're not talking about that."

McKenzie didn't shy away from taking blame for a team that has spit out back-to-back four-win campaigns under his watch.

"A lot of it rides on me. I brought Dennis here to win championships," McKenzie said. "... That falls on me."

McKenzie confirmed that his conversation with Allen on Monday was difficult, acknowledging that the former coach was "disappointed" to learn of his fate after producing an 8-28 mark over two-plus seasons.

"0-4 is 0-4. Whether it's a setback or not, it's 0-4," McKenzie said. "...It's time to get this thing right. ... That's where we're headed now."

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