ALAMEDA -- Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie admitted that he got caught up in the moment as he surveyed the O.co Coliseum landscape and awaited his first game in charge of the organization that entrusted him with its future.
"You kind of grasp it all, savor it, the hype of Monday night," McKenzie said Thursday. "So, yeah, I kind of got fired up, got excited. But once it kicks off, you focus on the game, seeing how the guys play."
By the time the Raiders were deep into the second half, McKenzie's focus had shifted to assembling a lengthy list of long snappers, a testament to the unpredictability of the NFL.
"Not too many snappers go out," McKenzie said of the concussion that sidelined Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo and led to the ill-fated debut of Travis Goethel in an emergency role in the 22-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers. "You knew he wasn't the type of snapper who does it for a living but hope he can get back there and do it OK.
"Games are different. Hopefully that's a once-in-a-lifetime deal."
One game into his new career charting the course of the Raiders, McKenzie took about a half-hour to assess how things are progressing.
"We just didn't feel that those three were the right ones. Clear and simple. If I felt like they could have added to something we were doing, I would have strongly considered it. ... (Derek) Hagan will help. He's never been the go-to guy, like T.O. or Chad with all the catches they have ... but he's been in the league. That does help solidify the group."
"Watching our defense this summer, I felt pretty good, and I stated that earlier. That's the same. I didn't waver there. As far as the offense getting the timing of the quarterback, you've got a guy that's been there for a week (Hagan) and a rookie (Rod Streater) getting a lot of play. Then you have (Darrius Heyward-Bey) and the other rookie that was hurt (Juron Criner) -- those were our four receivers.
"That will set you back a little. We're going to have to pick it up in that area."
"You're talking about a rookie quarterback versus two Super Bowl quarterbacks, of course, that's a different deal. But you get a win any way you can get it. That doesn't mean we put added pressure on ourselves that we've got to beat Miami. We're not chalking up any wins until we get them."
"It was the flow of the game. It wasn't like he was getting worn down, eight plays in a row. It wasn't by design to throw (18) passes his way. But the quarterback is not going to hesitate to throw it to him. And I'm not going to tell him not to put it in his hands.
"Darren will be OK. We have enough confidence in the other two (Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson) to let them touch the ball."
"Trust me, instead of six, it could have been 56. By the end of the game I already had a list of guys. When I got home that night, and got to the office the next morning, everybody had a snapper for me."
Note: A transcript of the entire interview with Reggie McKenzie can be found at www.insidebayarea.com/raiders. For more on the Raiders, visit the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog at ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders. Follow Jerry McDonald on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jerrymcd.