by Tom LaMarre
Mike Mayock, the new general manager of the Oakland Raiders, said on Monday that he believes the team is moving forward with two key cornerstones in their rebuilding process.
Mayock mentioned head coach Jon Gruden, and yes, Derek Carr, even though there has been plenty of talk that the Raiders are looking to start over at quarterback.
“I’m excited about the Oakland Raiders; we got a head coach, got a quarterback, and I got three draft picks and we’re going to try and take advantage of that,” Mayock said on ESPN before the College Football Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Mayock also expressed support for Carr in an interview with the NFL Network last week despite a 4-12 season in Gruden’s first season back in his second stint with the Raiders. He said had the former Fresno State quarterback listed in the top 20 players in the 2014 draft, when the Raiders made him a second-round pick (No. 36 overall).
However, he balked when asked to give a current evaluation.
“That’s really part of my study right now,” Mayock said when asked specifically about his impression of Carr. “Bottom line, it’s easy to pick names right now, but I’m not going to make a comment on anybody on the current roster until I’ve done a complete deep dive and I’ve had a chance to meet with all of the coaches.”
Mayock was happy to be watching in person as Clemson routed Alabama in the title game.
It was nice to be out in the fresh air because he said he and Gruden have been working hard in the Raiders office since he was hired the day after the season ended with a 35-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“This is the first time I’ve been 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 by the non-football duties that go along with being the GM. You’ve got to prioritize, get yourself back to the tape, because that’s the reason I’m there in the first place.”
This is a new experience for the 60-year-old Mayock, who served with the NFL Network as an expert draft analyst since 2004 after working with CBS, ESPN and other sports broadcasting networks.
Mayock, who earlier he played in the NFL and the Canadian Football League, confirmed what everybody already knew.
“I mean it’s an easy one in all honesty, Jon’s got final say if it ever comes to that,” Mayock said. “And I have zero problems with that. Now that being said I think we’re going to come to a consensus.
“I like a little yelling, a little screaming, a little fighting for the players you believe in. But at the end of the day, 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.”
Just so the Raiders don’t go 4-12 again.