Raiders

NFL draft expert Mike Mayock has interviewed for Raiders GM/exec job

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NFL draft expert Mike Mayock has interviewed for Raiders GM/exec job

The Raiders are seeking a new front-office executive to replace fired general manager Reggie McKenzie, and they've interviewed someone very familiar with the NFL draft.

Mike Mayock, an NFL Network draft analyst, confirmed to NBC Sports California's Scott Bair on Sunday in Kansas City that he interviewed with the Raiders for their vacant GM/executive job.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Raiders have interviewed a minority candidate, thus complying with the league's Rooney Rule.

The Raiders will have three first-round draft picks in 2019, so Mayock's expertise in this area would be extremely valuable.

Mayock has been with NFL Network since 2004. He also has television experience with ABC Sports, Fox Sports Net and CBS Sports, and he worked NBC's Notre Dame football broadcasts from 2010 to 2014.

Mayock also had a very brief NFL playing career as a defensive back. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 10th round in 1981, Mayock later appeared in nine games over two seasons with the New York Giants.

McKenzie was fired by the Raiders on Dec. 10 after six seasons as GM. The team began its search for a replacement at that moment.

ESPN reported last week that former Giants GM Jerry Reese declined to interview with the Raiders, and it isn't known what other candidates have spoken with the team.

Raiders appreciate Jon Gruden's coaching style, expletives included

Raiders appreciate Jon Gruden's coaching style, expletives included

NAPA – Jon Gruden used three choice words to describe what he wanted to see heading into the Raiders’ second preseason game.

“Better f---ing execution.”

“Hard Knocks” cameras always are recording, with boom mics overhead to catch the coach’s every word. A senior producer certainly smiled when he heard those words.

That reached HBO’s air during the second episode, along with dozens more curse words during an hour-long show.

Cameras also caught Gruden following up a stern conversation with Nathan Peterman by saying, “I’ve got to stop cussing.”

Derek Carr isn’t holding a breath for that to happen.

“I said, ‘Good luck, man!’” Carr said with a smile. “’I wish you the best.’”

Look, Gruden swears like a sailor. It shows his passion. It’s part of his charm. It’s a regular occurrence on the practice field, where local reporters respect an element of privacy on the practice field by not repeating what’s said.

“Hard Knocks” adheres by no such rules. They’re recording everything and editing it after – with team approval, of course – so there are lots of curse words to choose from.

Gruden doesn’t love seeing them all played back.

“I don’t like hearing all the profanity,” Gruden said on Saturday. “It’s like every time I swear it makes the show. I mean I just love football. I really have a lot of passion for this and I get way carried away sometimes. I apologize, but I’m not as foul mouth as people think. If you think I am, I’m sorry.”

His players don’t have a problem with it. Gruden’s a firey coach, but he cares about details and making sure his players succeed. If you work hard for him, he’ll work hard for you.

“What people don’t get to see enough of maybe, is he treats us like we are his kids, like he loves us dearly,” Carr said. “That guy, when he is getting on us is just because he wants us to be perfect and that’s just how he is. So, it’s fun to watch [‘Hard Knocks’] and I tell those guys, ‘Hey, man.’ I told them before, ‘He’s aggressive, he’s going to be like that and it’s all because he wants you to be the best.’ It has nothing to do with him coming at you or him thinking some type of way about you. It’s only because he wants you to be the best version of yourself.”

Prior to last season, Carr hadn’t worked with Gruden beyond an ESPN “Gruden’s QB Camp” episode, but he was ready for a gruff exterior because he trusted that support and good intentions were always behind it.

“You know how much he cares about you. You know where his heart is,” Carr said. “You just say, ‘Yes sir.’ He’s just trying to make you better, so we never had a problem. I’ve had some head coaches, I won’t throw their names out there. I’ve had some certain coaches in my life, especially in college, that were the same way, so I’ve been used to that for sure.”

[RELATED: Why Jacobs has been seen on 'Hard Knocks']

Tyrell Williams hadn’t experienced Gruden’s trademark intensity except for what he viewed on TV.

“Obviously, you see the mic’d up’s and stuff before I started playing for him,” the receiver said. “So, I mean just being around him he’s hilarious and fun to be around so it’s been awesome, just his one-liners and all that stuff is just fun and seeing him on the sidelines in games is comedy, too. It’s been a lot of fun being around him.”

NFL rumors: Antonio Brown's quest to wear preferred helmet hits a snag

NFL rumors: Antonio Brown's quest to wear preferred helmet hits a snag

Antonio Brown’s camp thought the superstar receiver’s quest to wear his preferred helmet was nearing its end.

Not so fast, apparently.

Brown wants to wear a Schutt Air Advantage helmet, a version of headgear he has worn, in one model or another, since high school. It has been discontinued and is more than 10 years old, making it ineligible for certification.

Brown was told he could use the Schutt Air Advantage if he could find one made less than 10 years ago. He would then have to get it re-conditioned and re-certified.

The star Raiders receiver crowd sourced his helmet search, and found some that were made more recently.

The NFL tested a helmet made in 2010 that Brown’s camp submitted and, according to Pro Football Talk, the helmet failed the test. Brown was reportedly told of the failure on Saturday. Brown also has one from 2014 that was certified by an independent body, but it has not yet been recently tested by the NFL.

PFT also reports that Brown will continue his quest to wear the helmet he prefers.

The receiver, who squashed all talk of retirement over this helmet issue, said Thursday night that he would work within the system to get a helmet that works for him.

[RELATED: Brown shows great retention during practice]

“I’m still trying helmets right now,” Brown said after the Raiders beat Arizona in their preseason game. “As long as the league certifies them, those are the ones I’m trying out. I’m trying out every one I have. There have been a lot of great fans sending helmets. I’m just following protocol, man. I’m just excited to be back. You’ll be seeing a lot of me here shortly. I’m just excited to be around my teammates in the building and reached the shared goals we’re here to achieve.”