PALM BEACH, Fla. – When Green Bay Packers assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach Winston Moss interviewed for the Oakland Raiders’ head-coaching position the day before the Packers’ NFC Divisional Playoff loss to the New York Giants, he did so with coach Mike McCarthy’s blessing.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, the former Packers’ director of football operations, said Monday at the NFL Meetings that he made sure McCarthy was fine with Moss interviewing on Saturday, Jan. 14. Traditionally, coaches on teams with first-round playoff byes interview for prospective jobs the weekend before, while their teams are on their playoff bye week.
“You’ve got to get permission before (you do the interview),” McKenzie said Monday during a break in the NFL Meetings at The Breakers resort. “That’s the time that Coach Mike gave me. He has to (OK) it.”
McKenzie said he did not interview Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, as some media outlets reported. He did interview cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, “but that was more as a defensive coordinator with Joe.” Whitt’s interview was over the phone, McKenzie said.
McKenzie ultimately hired former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as his head coach.
“I wasn’t in a hurry to hire a guy. I took my time, made sure I interviewed all the key guys I said I was and it worked out real well,” McKenzie said. “To say the least, it was a good choice by me, sitting back and going through the process. I never want to be hasty in my decisions. So I was patient.”
There were also reports that McKenzie might take Eliot Wolf, the son of former Packers general manager Ron Wolf, with him to Oakland, but that has not happened. McKenzie said there is a “gentlemen’s agreement” among personnel men not to raid the staff of the club you just left.
“It’s always a gentlemen’s agreement not to kill your old team in personnel, but you’re trying to upgrade what you have, you’re trying to implement your system. That’s why I spoke to some of the coaches at Green Bay. It’s the familiarity and what they bring,” McKenzie said. “Even the scouts, usually you don’t make moves there until after the draft anyway; you can’t do anything. I’m not going to get caught tampering with another team. But yes, you’d love to have that situation where you could get your guys.”
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