Mike Mayock received the General Manager's title in Oakland, but there is little question who possesses total control of the Raiders: Jon Gruden.
Mayock admitted in an interview on Monday with ESPN ahead of the College Football Playoff that he's in Oakland to support Gruden, not preside over him as a normal GM-coach relationship would be structured.
"In all honesty, Jon's got final say, if it ever comes to that, and I've got zero problems with that," Mayock said. "Now, having said that, I think we're going to come to a consensus, and I like a little yelling, a little screaming, a little fighting for what players you believe in. But at the end of the day, I guarantee you, Jon Gruden and I are going to know what a Raider looks like and smells like. I don't think we're going to have any issues."
Mayock's comment comes as no surprise. The former NFL Network draft analyst was always viewed as a buffer to the $100 million coach, not his boss.
Since Gruden signed in Oakland, he's wielded supreme power, first marginalizing, then firing former GM Reggie McKenzie. Now the coach hand-picked Mayock to be his GM.
It's easy for Mayock to brush off potential head-butts with Gruden during the honeymoon phase of the process. It'll be much different if the coach consistently ignores the talent evaluator's input to poor effect down the road.
Mayock was scouting the Clemson-Alabama championship tilt Monday, and noting the player evaluation part of the GM gig is the most familiar. It's the other aspects he's getting up to speed on.
"This is the first time I got out of the building, I think, in a week, and I'm not even kidding you," Mayock said. "It's been awesome. I've been a little overwhelmed with some of the non-football duties that go along with being a GM, and you've got to kind of prioritize, get yourself back to the tape, because that's the reason I'm there in the first place."