The Raiders went 4-12 in McKenzie's first year, and the makeup of the roster indicates his second season might be just as rough while he cleans up the previous regimes' mistakes.
While Raiders owner Mark Davis gave McKenzie assurances he would be given leeway to rebuild his way, Sports Illustrated's Peter King asked the general manager if he worried another poor season might cause the owner to change his mind.
"No, I don't fear that,'' McKenzie told King on Monday morning. "You know what? I don't think along those lines. I just think of doing what's needed to make this team the best it can be long-term. That's my job. But fearful? No. Not at all. Mark knew the cap part of this was going to be a two-year deal. Mark is not his father. He is allowing me to do this, and we talk about the process all the time. He's allowing me to do the job that needs to be done.''
Best and Worst Draft Picks
While he's had to be frugal and calculated this season to navigate around the team's financial troubles, don't expect McKenzie to go on a shopping spree next season when he has cap space to play with.
"Remember -- the way I was raised in football, in Green Bay, was not as a big spender in free agency," McKenzie told King. "I hope we continue to draft well, and I hope we can sign our own players, because that's the way I believe you win in this league. You draft, develop and sign your own players. Mark is on board with that, and what we have to do now and in the future, he's on board with and understands and he supports.''
McKenzie's plan is beginning to unfold, and as long as Mark Davis continues to stay out of McKenzie's way, the Raiders' resurgence might not be as far off as the team's record would indicate.