McKenzie sounds off on Te'o, Anderson reports

McKenzie sounds off on Te'o, Anderson reports
January 18, 2013, 9:30 am
Share This Post

Reggie McKenzie: "We liked him as a player. We’ll see." (AP)

The Manti Te'o Fake Dead Girlfriend Story has crossed over from sports and entertainment to mainstream news. It has leaked inside the walls at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was asked about Te'o's situation in a sit-down with seven reporters Thursday and McKenzie said he was not fully abreast of the entire story.

"But apparently it’s something huge," McKenzie said.

"That’s a lot of stuff that’s going on there. I’m sure because of the enormity of what’s going on, he’ll have to answer some questions. It depends on how it will come out."

The Raiders hold the No. 3 overall draft pick in April's NFL draft and while many saw the Notre Dame Heisman Trophy finalist as a potential fit at middle linebacker for Oakland, it is not a given the Raiders will keep the pick as they could try to trade down.

Still, McKenzie said Te'o's talent is there, despite his poor showing in the BCS title game against Alabama and McKenzie was asked if he considered Te'o a Top 10 pick before this incident came to light.

"Yeah, the guy, the player, whether he’s top 10 pick, top 15, top 20, I don’t know," McKenzie said. "We liked him as a player. We’ll see. All this media attention that’s gone to him in regards to this incident or whatever, it will be interesting to see what happens through it all."

[RELATED: Ratto -- Te'o takes a cue from Armstrong's confession

Then does a player getting involved in such headlines make you not want to get involved with him?

"No, it makes you go and get all the answers, cross your T's and dot your I's and make sure," McKenzie said. "With any player, you have to make sure what you’re getting from a character standpoint, other than his ability, his talents. Try to get to know the guy. So yes it will weigh in heavily."

McKenzie also was asked about the reports that had the Raiders possibly creating a new front office position such as a team president -- NFL senior vice president of football operations Ray Anderson has reportedly had "exploratory talks" with the Raiders -- and if McKenzie's job would essentially be unchanged in the wake of such a move.

"With this whole position, that’s a Mark Davis deal," McKenzie said, referring to the Raiders owner. "I don’t want to give any leeways of his line of thinking on that, even in regards to leading the NFL to our way of thinking. I don’t want to divulge any information in that regard. I’ll let Mark answer those questions."

Davis, though, had no comment to on the report last weekend.