Raiders GM Mike Mayock makes sure coaches, scouts are on same page

Raiders GM Mike Mayock makes sure coaches, scouts are on same page

MOBILE, Ala. -- Mike Mayock took the job as Raiders general manager with eyes wide open. He understands full well that head coach Jon Gruden has the final say on personnel. He also knows he’ll have a loud voice in vital decisions, especially heading toward a pivotal NFL draft with four picks in the top 35.

Understanding what the Raiders need was his first task as Raiders GM. Mayock announced at his introductory press conference that he would do a deep dive into the Raiders' roster to identify and remedy the team’s biggest issues.

He also dug deep into the organization itself, and found some issues with how the Raiders ran their ship.

His conclusion: there was too much division within the building itself. Mayock set out to be a unifying force.

Mayock has long-standing relationships with most Raiders coaches. He knows several scouts from his days as NFL Network’s top draft analyst.

He’s trying to bring those two sides closer together as the Raiders head into this offseason’s work.

“The best thing that we have going for us right now is that the head coach and general manager are truly on the same page as far as what we’re looking for from football players,” Mayock said Thursday night at the Senior Bowl during a sit down with Raiders beat writers. “The point I want to make, which I think is really important, is that we’re a completely open and transparent building right now, as far as the coaches and the scouts.”

This comes after year where coaches and scouts reportedly had different draft boards, that coaches had their own evaluator and there were enough issues working with Reggie McKenzie that Gruden chose to fire him.

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“I don’t know what was going on before, and I am not going to comment about anything else — all I am going to tell you is that the common denominator of dysfunctional football buildings is when the coaches and the scouts don’t have a true relationship that goes both ways.

"And my goal walking into the building Day 1 was to use my relationship with the coaching staff — and there is a bunch of them — to make that,” Mayock said. “I told Coach Gruden and the entire staff that we’re going to give you everything we have.”

The Senior Bowl showed great examples of that. Each Raiders position coach received a thick binder with scouting reports, grade and background information on every player under his jurisdiction during a practice week spent guiding the North squad.

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“My point to them was, ‘We’re not hiding anything in this building.’ And when we get back from the Senior Bowl, I am going to expect that every position coach is going to put into our grading system — on our computers, we have a new coaches’ tab in there — and I am going to want a summary of every player and what we learned on and off the field,” Mayock said.

“This is all common-sense stuff. The point is that there are no walls in that building right now. It’s a completely open building and the information is flowing both ways, and that’s what’s got me more juiced than anything.”

Mayock has spent time with each coach trying to understand what player-types best fit schemes and preferences. Mayock has been working crazy hours since getting hired, trying to best prepare for the upcoming NFL draft, his particular area of expertise, while adjusting to all the non-scouting work required of an NFL GM.

“You’re in the office at 5:30 in the morning and you look at your watch at night and you’re like, ‘Holt sh--, I havne’t watched any tape yet,” Mayock said. “That’s not good for me.

“…I have had to learn to prioritize and delegate, so that my core job, which is trying to bring more football talent into the building.”

Source: Curtis Riley agrees to contract with Raiders to help secondary

Source: Curtis Riley agrees to contract with Raiders to help secondary

The Raiders continued fleshing out their secondary on Friday agreeing on terms of a contract with safety Curtis Riley, a source said. The former New York Giant visited the team’s Alameda facility on Thursday and left without a deal, but he ended up taking the Raiders offer despite interest from other teams.

Riley hinted at a pact on Twitter, saying he was coming to the Bay Area. He’ll exchange coasts after starting all 16 games at free safety with last year’s Giants. He had 75 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups for that squad.

He’ll have an opportunity to play significant snaps in the Raiders secondary. High-priced free-agent signing Lamarcus Joyner is also a free safety but is expected to play slot cornerback regularly in 2019, likely shuttling back and forth between positions.

Riley could step in as the free safety in sub packages that defenses spend significant time in nowadays. Erik Harris will compete for that role opposite strong safety Karl Joseph.

The Raiders have options in the secondary now, with the aforementioned safeties and depth at cornerback. Gareon Conley’s a virtual lock to start at one outside cornerback spot. Daryl Worley’s expected to return on a second-round free-agent tender, through Thursday’s signing Nevin Lawson will compete for time there as well. Last year’s fourth-round pick Nick Nelson will have to fight for time with this new defensive back depth chart.

The Raiders could well draft another defensive back as well, especially if a good one slips and becomes a great value pick.

[RELATED: Mayock explains the importance of pro day tour]

News of Riley’s agreement should excite quarterback Derek Carr. Riley’s a fellow Fresno State alum and was teammates with Carr in 2013.

The Raiders also had interest in George Iloka, who played with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in Cincinnati. Iloka visited the Raiders complex Thursday but left without a deal and scheduled other visits. 

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

The Raiders hope Rodney Hudson plays every single offensive snap in 2019. He might be the league’s best center, and is the unquestioned leader along the offensive front.

They need a Plan B, even if they never hope to use it. Jon Feliciano was the primary reserve at guard and center, leaving a void upon signing with the Buffalo Bills.

Jordan Devey will fill it. The former Kansas City Chief signed a one-year contract with the Raiders on Thursday, the team announced, adding depth and versatility to an overhauled front.

Devey spent parts of five NFL seasons with New England, the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, primarily as a reserve guard. He played more center over the past two seasons, and has some tackle work on his resume. Devey finished last season on injured reserve with a pectoral issue

Offensive line coach Tom Cable prizes versatility, especially with a need on the inside. Second-year pro Brandon Parker is expected to be a swing tackle.

Kolton Miller and Trent Brown will be starting tackles, with Hudson at center. Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good look like starting guards at this time.

[RELATED: Raiders GM Mike Mayock explains the value of important pro day tour]

Devey was clean cut Thursday when signing with the Raiders, but he rocked a pretty serious mullet last season in Kansas City.