The Oakland Raiders finally managed to land arguably the most elusive person in the NFL when they agreed to a 10-year deal with head coach Jon Gruden. The former Oakland coach seemed content with his job as an analyst on Monday Night Football, but the allure of the silver and black coupled with a lucrative contract was apparently too much to pass up.
With Gruden at the helm, there’s a renewed sense of optimism for the franchise. However, his arrival also brought up questions as to what general manager Reggie McKenzie’s role would be going forward.
According to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area, owner Mark Davis explained Gruden and McKenzie’s dynamic:
They have roles to play. At this point in time, the role Reggie plays now is a little different than the role he played with Jack (Del Rio), a little different than his role working with Dennis (Allen),” Davis said. “It evolves. He has built the team to where we are now, and we’re in pretty good shape with the cap and everything else. Now he has a head coach who’s going to be running this thing for the next 10 years. His vision is going to be most important building what type of team we’ve got. That vision, and that direction is going to be helpful to Reggie more so than not. I think they’ll work together very well.
McKenzie previously had complete authority of Oakland’s roster but it seems as though that power has shifted to Gruden given all the team’s recent signings. While this may look troubling on the surface, all reports from the team indicate the two have a positive relationship and appear committed to returning the team to the postseason.
There is still some skepticism around the league as to how Gruden will handle the sidelines after being out of coaching for so long. It will be interesting to see how the Raiders head coach handles his first year back on the sidelines when the 2018 NFL season begins.