Tuesday, January 31, 2012
McKenzie-Allen will run the Green Bay Way
By Bill Williamson
Maybe the Green Bay Way will prevail in Oakland after all.
When the Oakland Raiders hired longtime Green Bay executive Reggie McKenzie to take over as general manager this month, it was expected that they would become the East Bay Packers. But McKenzie changed that perception quickly when he bypassed several former Green Bay cohorts in favor of Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
Yet, in comments made to the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday after Allen’s introductory news conference, McKenzie showed that he, indeed, will build his team from the Green Bay model.
During and after the news conference, McKenzie talked about how important it is for the general manager and the coach to work together. McKenzie said he and Allen will be a team. During his time in Green Bay, McKenzie watched similar partnerships.
“Fortunately, I come from a situation in my 18 years where most of those years that’s where we excelled. You know, when coach Holmgren and Ron Wolf, watching them work together, and then piecing it together how we did that… and they were always in communication. They were always in each other’s office. And I saw how it’s supposed to be done.
“Up until the end, with coach McCarthy and Ted Thompson, how their relationship was. It was never things forced on the other. And it was always the right hand knew what the left hand was doing. They were in communication. And I think that’s vital.”
McKenzie is a bright guy. He saw how important the relationship with the coach is for someone in his role. It has produced championships in Green Bay, and McKenzie is clearly looking to duplicate it with his own partnership, even though Allen doesn’t have Green Bay ties.