Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was fired on Monday after a disastrous 0-4 start, but those still representing Silver and Black know blame can be pointed and should be pointed in several directions.
That includes general manager Reggie McKenzie, the architect of this underperforming roster. While Allen took the brunt of the blame for the quality of recent play, plenty of criticism has been come McKenzie’s way.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said he never considered letting McKenzie go, but the GM knows results must improve to retain his post long-term.
Until he does so, he considers his job relatively insecure.
“I always believe that,” McKenzie said during a Tuesday press conference announcing Tony Sparano as interim head coach. “Until I am winning, until I am playing in the championship, I’m going to always bust my tail until I get to that championship, period.
"I work every day like my job is on the line. That’s just the way I am. No one has to tell me my job is on the line. No one.”
Davis isn’t happy with current results, but is focused on issues outside the purview of the general manager. That’s why he fired Allen and chose to go in a different direction.
“I wanted to look at – is it the players, is that the problem, is it the coaches, is it the scheme?” Davis said. “In my evaluation, I think we do have some players and we may be running some schemes that are putting a square peg into a round hole.
"Maybe with some changes in that type of environment, we might be able to get something out of these players.”
The Raiders hope Sparano can get more out of the current roster and start winning football games. Continued struggles could jeopardize McKenzie’s future with the club, but he wanted to talk primarily about the present.
“Conversations with me and Mark are focused on the here and now; trying to get this team headed in the right direction, headed in the right way,” McKenzie said. “As far as my job, we’re not talking about that.
“…I am not going to get into me down the line. It’s not about what I’m going to do in the future. My job is to lead this team, look for the next interim head coach, look for our coach for the future. I’m going to continue to do that unless I’m told otherwise.”
As it was with Allen, the bottom line will weigh heavily in McKenzie’s long-term job status.
“Results,” Davis said, “are what is going to be the determining factor of everything.”