The new-look Raiders have adjusted in many ways their approach to the media. Transactions are now announced via press release, not through a subtle update to the transactions page on the team’s website, days after the transaction occurs. Also, players and coaches are available for interviews, more than ever before.
But glasnost has its limits. New G.M. Reggie McKenzie has no interest in embracing Hard Knocks.
“I like Raider business to stay Raider business, that’s all,” McKenzie said recently, according to Paul Gutierrez of CSNBayArea.com. “You want people to be comfortable, let their guard down and not have that group here. I think that would be a little different. Players and coaches act a little different when TV cameras are rolling.”
Gutierrez writes that HBO, which reportedly has offered the gig to the Falcons, would have been interested in the Raiders, and that the team would have been far more inclined to do it under former coach Hue Jackson.
“If you ask me, I say, ‘No,’” McKenzie said. “I wouldn’t want to have HBO here, but I’m sure some of the players [might], and I don’t know if coach [Dennis Allen] would want to have those guys here. Don’t ask me because my answer is, ‘Stay away.’”
Plenty of teams will always take that position, no matter how popular the assignment becomes. Still, the NFL and HBO will have a hard time following the Jets and Rex Ryan — and the only teams that would generate widespread interest in 2012 are the Jets, Saints, Broncos, Colts, and perhaps the Redskins.