McKenzie interviews with Texans

Reggie McKenzie, Green Bay's longtime director of pro personnel, met with the Houston Texans today to interview for the team's vacant general manager position. McKenzie met with Texans owner Bob McNair, new coach Gary Kubiak and former Packers coach and GM Mike Sherman, among others.

McKenzie is one of two top candidates for the position. Rick Smith, the Denver Broncos' assistant general manager, interviewed for the job last week. McNair has made it clear that the person hired must be able to work well with Kubiak. The Texans are replace Charlie Casserly, who has re-signed from his position, effective June 1.

McKenzie, 43, is not only familiar with Sherman, but with Kubiak as well. McKenzie and Kubiak first met as players when Kubiak was the backup quarterback for the Denver Broncos from 1983 to 1991. McKenzie joined the Packers in 1994 as a pro personnel assistant under then-GM Ron Wolf. McKenzie played in the NFL as a linebacker with the Los Angeles Raiders (1985-88), Arizona Cardinals (89-90) and San Francisco 49ers (1992).

"It went well. It went well," McKenzie said as he addressed the Houston media today. "First of all, I thought the facilities are great. Mr. McNair, what else can you say about him? It was great meeting him. I think his reputation preceded him and he did nothing to discredit that at all. He's a great man."

Here is how McKenzie responded to other questions during his press conference:

On his message to the Texans: "My message was that I'm the man for the job and I can lead this team. I can work with all the powers that be and try to put a championship team together, and if the route we want to go is to win, I'm their guy."

On what he said to back up his message: "Well, when Ron Wolf hired me back in 1994, it took us three years to win the Super Bowl, and I saw how it was done first-hand. I saw how the draft was put together; I saw what kind of acquisitions you need to make during the offseason; the players that are on your team, how you keep your good players, when to let go of the players that need to be released. It's a lot that goes on in the day-to-day process of an NFL team, and I feel that I am more than qualified to be the general manager of the Houston Texans."

On how Mike Sherman helped him prepare for the interview: "I don't know all of what he has told the people here, but I think my track record pretty much speaks for itself, and coach Sherman was part of that track record. We worked together for five years and we had a good working relationship together."

On where he sees the state of the organization: "I look at it as a team that's moving up. I think the acquisitions during this offseason, the draft—I loved the draft that they had this year—and coach Kubiak is from a winning program. He knows how to get it done as a coach. I look forward to working with him."

On the importance of being at practice today: "Always. I love watching the guys work. That's how you get a feel for your team. It was important for me to be out there to see how the coaches coach; see how the players, how they transition from station to station; see how they work. It was good; all I've been seeing is green and gold for all this time, so it was kind of good seeing a different color."

On if he has interviewed for other general manager positions: "This is my first interview at this level."

On how he felt he handled it: "I can only give my own perspective, and from my point of view, I think I did great. You're going to have to speak with Mr. McNair and coach Kubiak and some of the other guys to see what their point of view is, but I think they'd tell you it went very well."

On if he has any idea about the Texans' timetable for making a decision: "Not at this point, no."

On the importance of making a decision soon so that the new GM can begin evaluating the players: "As far as I'm concerned, the sooner the better. I want to jump right in; I don't want to wait. If I can know in 15 minutes, that's fine with me."

On what it means that the Texans are interviewing African-American candidates for the position: "From the standpoint of outsiders looking in — younger scouts, some of my co-workers — I take it as a challenge. But first and foremost, I know that I can do the job regardless of the color, and it's great to see that the team is looking at me as the guy who can do the job."

On if he can convince the coaches to take a player that they may not want if he believes in the player: "Yes, I do think I could do that, but in saying that, we always — with the Packers — we figure out what exactly type of player you want. What type of receiver do you want? What type of quarterback do you need to fit your system? We want everything to fit the right way. Now, it is my philosophy that you can never go wrong with bigger, faster and stronger. Now, when you're talking about you want this type of running back, I'm going to take the bigger, faster and stronger one and I'm going to try and sell that. When you're talking about equal or like ability, you want to go with the bigger, faster and stronger guy. It may be simply put, but that's the way you look at it. So, yes, I think I can sell my viewpoint, but I also can and will listen and be very receptive to any other viewpoint, because when it's all said and done, you want to get the best player. Whether it's the starter, backup, or practice squad, you want to get the best player and build your team for the future."

On not ‘getting bogged down in the little stuff': "I'm not the type of guy who lets the little things bother me. When you talk about, for instance a certain player who may not fit—in my mind—a certain scheme, but maybe the coaches may think another way, it's my job to try to reason with that coach and say, ‘This is why' and give him like scenarios and why I think the way I think. I don't get bogged down into a whole bunch of arguments. I'm not that type of guy."

On what about the team is most attractive to him: "Well, just the city; I've heard nothing but great things about the city. I've heard but nothing but wonderful things about this organization. As an organization, I've heard excellent things, and that's one of the reasons I'm coming down here, really. If I'd heard nothing but negative things being talked about from ownership and the stadium and the support, I highly doubt I would be standing here today."

On why this is the time for him to pursue a general manager position: "I prayed about it, and in conversations with my wife, this is the time and the situation kind of let me know, ‘I need to take a look at this.'"

On where he stood on the Mario Williams vs. Reggie Bush debate: "Mario Williams. Even from day one when a lot of the mock drafts were saying that Mario Williams was going to be at No. 5 to Green Bay, half the mock drafts were saying that Green Bay was going to have Mario Williams before all his pro days and everybody figured out that this guy is an unbelievable football player. But that lasted all of a couple of days, thinking that we were going to have a chance to get Mario. If he would've landed at the No. 5 pick, I'd still be dancing in the streets of Green Bay. He's the one guy that we think that could turn a defense around. He's a young guy and he's got a lot to learn, but I think that's the type of player that you're willing to learn with."

Press conference transcript provided by the Houston Texans.


Packer Report Top Stories