582. Mike Mayock on Challenges of Evaluating With No Preseason
And now move the sticks with Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks. What's up? Everybody DJ Bucky back here move the sticks buck how you doing. Good. We're getting close like seasons around the corner we're seeing all these moves. Cut Weekend is coming. So everyone is getting down I think is beginning to really feel like the season's about the off and I'm excited about yeah it's great man we are. Knocking on the door of the regular season and it finally starting to feel like normal. But, now you're gonNA have kind of that final roster cutdown, which is something we see each and every year coleman the waiver wire. See if you can upgrade the back end of your roster, a lot of teams will be doing that without the convenience of having seen these guys in the in the pre season. This is a topic actually going to touch on with our guest today Mike Mayock, general manager, the Las Vegas. Raiders going to join US get a chance to talk to Mike about some of the unique challenges that you face this year and in this period of time. Trying to trying to build your roster, but it does doesn't it feel like what the start of the season is crazy as everything's been over the last six months in the world that? kind of normal right now, like we're kinda getting that build up. For first game. A do think it feels normal. What was weird DJ, without like having preseason games and so so many other things like my body clock is just thrown out of whack to think that is Labor Day weekend coming up I had no sense of all this weekend because we haven't gone through the normal things that we normally would go through and we go through all these preseason games we were talking about college football. We see some college football kind of bubbling up and filtering out, and because of that we we just are off and so it would be great to get back into our normal routine with the NFL season in games and just kind of. Getting. Back to yeah and I think I'm allowed to announce us we are going to. Crank out our three podcasts a week like we've done during the fall in the past. So that's coming in and included in that is going to be our takeaway podcasts, which we will do Monday morning. After we've had a chance to watch the tape, we'll bring in our buddy. Lewis going to join us on that. So we can give you our takeaways from the. From the weekend and then and we'll get you to more podcasts throughout the week. So we also video show that's coming. So lots of six content coming your way you lost lousy mood sticks out so it should be fun. It should be exciting Let me and I'm excited just to see football I'm excited to see it. I got excited last weekend just watching the college game so I can't I can't even. Begin to fathom what I'm feel like. These NFL Games next we can I WANNA tease by the way, a I actually talked to you showed you the what the picture looks like. We've got to have some move. The six t shirts are going to be available for people that people been asked about that for a long time. So we finally got together with one of our buddies who's put together shirt for us able to get one of those it ended up turned out pretty good. So excited about that, but I want to get your thoughts. But before we get to mayock about a couple things that took place recently with running back, we had one a big time extension for the bengals. Joe Mixon, we had one who was cut and then has since already been signed and Leonard Fournette going staying in the state of Florida going from the Jags to the bucks just to your thoughts on those two moves. Yes. Was Interested in the the Joe Mixing Live for net conversation is one that is probably unique in terms of when you go look at these guys like to run bax headed in opposite directions but when you look at their numbers to nearly identical. Joe Mason has twenty nine, hundred rushing yards Leonard. Fournette has a little over twenty five hundred both, F two thousand Euro seasons, and and when when you look at them, they were candidate engines of their respective offices at their place. I think the difference is when I look at dinner for net like going all the way back Dj and I think is important for evaluators to do this. So, much of what can trap US and get us in trouble is falling in love with the name and really not closely scrutinizing the game. It was really easy to fall in love with Leonard. fournette very early at Lsu, because his sophomore season was spectacular nine, thousand, nine, hundred yards, twenty, two touchdowns when you turned on the tape, you saw him just running through everybody. He was everything that you wanted to see as an old school down here running back. However injuries lower body injuries either get up really believed like they've kind of taken their toll into running back in the national football league is still one that is very solid. One that can be a starter. But when you take someone at number four, overall you looking for specialness you looking for like someone who has the secret sauce and I can say he was very good last year I don't care what the number eleven hundred. Yards rushing seventy six catches out of the backfield litter for knit improved on areas that people have talked about. But you still didn't get the special quality that you look for whereas when I look at Joe Mixing Joe Mixing to me is a prototypical three. Now running back to everybody wants he's big he's fast he's physical his elusive he runs with power. He catches the ball out of the Backfield to me he is the prototypical. Be One that you wanted today's game and I just think that it's interesting to see these guys because the number was say that they're very similar but what you to tape I. Think there are some differences into play. I've got a little formula here and I'm Gonna I'M GONNA. I'm giving this to you because I wanna see this in buddies notebook by the way every week checkout notebook, NFL dot com slash bucky Brooks it's the most comprehensive. It's the best thing that you can take to get you kind of a full full image of what's going on. In the football world so this is free of charge book. If we look at running backs in these two prisons. Okay. Let's start with as runners. I as a play caller I, get you this much. Now what are you get me? Okay. So I get you get me I get you four yards with the design of the play. You get me what you do after the yards. I gave you so that to me and again once we I lay this out in the run game. In the past game, we can start running running backs through this through this formula. So I get you you get me that's Formula One. Formula Two in the past game. Are you the last option or are you the first option So are is everything taken away and okay I can dump it off to Leonard Fournette, and he's GonNa give me my six yards because everything else has been taken away or my designing offense to put winner for out in the route, and that is my first option because that's what you do with Alvin Kamara that's what you do at. Christian McCaffrey that's what you do a job Nixon. That's not to me Leonard Fournette. So when I look at what happened four net, he's getting yards that we're giving him. He's not giving me a lot of extra based off of what he does on his own and then when the passing game yeah. He's a functional last option. He's not a first option. I'm not designing place Leonard Fournette, the passing game. No I think that is a great point and is one of those things that A. Couple years ago we entered. We interviewed to Real Davis Hall of fame running back from the Denver. broncos. We talked about that system and we were talking about the Shanahan system and he said look the Shannon hand system is great. I'm certainly a beneficiary but the difference between good and great NS system. The good as it gets you four is what you get after that point and when I look. At dinner for net, there's nothing that I see. Consistently we make someone miss he runs over somebody. He turns a four year game into a tenure again when I look at Joe Mixing all tape Joe Mixing routinely does that because he didn't play behind a great office a lot but his ability into whole stuff star quickness to elude evade sometimes overpower people it's shows up down. After down after down, and then what you said into passing game I think can't be understated. It is one thing to be the first option where you're cleaned aside and play ball because I know my running back and be your nickelback, your linebacker. It is another thing to make all your place of check downs. Linda for net is a check down option JOE MIXING IS A. Play maker in the passing game that is the difference, and that is something that goes beyond naked eye and beyond just studying the stats just think it's fascinating to me just because if you just take any running back and kind of put him through that formula, it cuts through WHO's blocking for it cuts through kind of who the play color is. They're just those guys. In the quarterback position, we've kind of we've nailed that down in terms of trucks and trailers. There's the trucks that pull the offense and there's a trailers to get pulled by the offense. You could still win with those. You can win with running backs you can win with the last option running back in the passing game. But man sure a lot more fun a lot easier to win when you've got first option running backs in the passing game he does and I will say this because if you are a last option passing game guy, you need to be someone that gets more as a runner so dirty. Derrick, Henry, that's why Eric is the event. If if I'm going to pay cool I noted Dirk is not going to give me anything in the passing game would then he needs to be a plus player in the running game, and so I'm willing to concede a we're not gonna be able to throw to him, but he is such a good runner that McKay being one. Dimensional because we have to be one-dimensional when he's in the Backfield Yep and that's exactly what I was thinking of when I was thinking about the difference between Leonard Fournette who got cut their Ken who got paid and the differences in that I call him as runners dare can get you a lot more than the plays designed and he just does and look I know some people are Gonna I've seen Leonard Fournette, pop an eighty yard run here there. Yeah. Those are those are outliers. He's had a couple of those big runs, but it's not it's ability to turn those threes and fours into tens and twelve and fifteen I haven't really seen that throughout his career. Because the game is really played in fifteen to twenty yard bucks, Dj like the guys that are able to chew of those templates, your runs, those especially ones because consistently they're able to help us move the chains and you're right we count on the office of line in the perimeter block is to be able to ensure that running back and get three to four years. After that, it's on, you re purposely people unblocked a Leonard to quarterback is your regal go dig out the safety is you want one on the corner we expect you to be able to knock down or to defeat a cornerback when you have opportunities if you're not unable to do those things. I mean, like you're not a special player and that's the difference special players able to do that and when you draft somebody number four overall I expect you do that because that's why we're taking otherwise one just followed the tree and and take another late round guy to plug him in because redraft the top five to be someone that is a difference maker, a high end player, the last visual I'll give you. The passing game portion of this as look there's you're going to go to lunch with a friend. You've got the guy who you call first that's you WanNa go with you have a nice time. He might even pick up the check at least we're going to go Dutch, and then by the time he does he can't go. Then you kind of work your way down you might get the fourth option. We're still going to go have lunch. You'll probably have a good time what my first choice. That's kind of the way. Look these running backs in the passing game. Yeah that's the way you look at it and I think the interesting thing and looking at the Tampa Bay buccaneers because Bruce. Arians has said it the store in job is Rojas Ron Jones job he he's going to be to start Shama McCoy there, and then you have litter for net. How does all of that Mesh together? How do you keep all of those guys engaged in happy and doing what it is that you want to do and when I go back and Look at Bruce Areas Office I haven't really seen him play much with the Dow. He'll sledgehammer running back. David Johnson who thrived under him was a guy that could do it in the past. gave us more of a first option player. So it's an interesting mix up to see how this goes and if areas and Brian lift which have the ability to package certain things to allow Tom. Brady and Linda for knit to be on the field and be successful in an office. That has synergy what you need Leonard Fournette to do. If you're the bucks as you need to go out there and get leads, and then he can be kind of your four minute back just just finish games out grind out the yards, eat the clock and let's get the heck out of here I mean to me that's that's going to be his most valuable role there for that group. Yeah. He has to be the legare blunt that Tom Brady played with in new. England a lot in ace two tight ends. ARE WE GONNA wind up in our goal line sets and we're GONNA kind run the game out because Tom Brady is very good. I'll play action. It is a way that they were able to manufacture production for him in New England We'll just see if Leonard Fournette is right fit and if the buccaneers have the office of line to be able to do what it is that it may be envisioning when it comes on. See I'm interested to see how that will come together. I'm just excited about I. Don't know about you. I'm so sick of previewing I can't wait to review. Let's watch some games. Let's watch some tape sue WHO's playing well, and then actually have some concrete analysis instead of we think this might happen. This could happen like let's actually see these guys on the grass and get a chance to talk about and it's right around the corner man? I'm about with speculation I'm ready to to do some real evaluation data is. What is it a little less compensation little ranch that's where we're headed. That's where we're headed I want anymore. All right. Let's get to our conversation. We had with Mike Mayock the general manager of the LAS. Vegas. Raiders out a phenomenal job in his first draft. Excited to see his second draft class on the field this year to see how they come together led by Henry Rugs. But it was a great chance to catch up with Mike and really kind of go through the challenges of of. Running team during a pandemic where you don't have OTAS and off season and preseason games, all those different things it was great to catch up with him. So here's conversation with with the raiders. General Manager Mike Mayock. Bike first of all, how you doing. We're hanging in there. It's different kind of world and I'm very appreciative to number one have job and number two to say my my family's healthy. So I think you have to start right care. Yeah. We look at what's going on Mike. I this is there's no. There's no training manual for for what you've been through as a young general manager when you looking at going through pandemic and the now what's going on in the country and what's going on in the sports world I'm just curious who who you've You've drawn farmer who relied on trying to trying to figure this thing out. There's a couple of things, DJ number one, the message basically from after the combine when we're told to go home. was as much as. Most people in the football world don't like change. We've done certain things for honor ears in football. But the message I had to my scouts in continue to have is embrace change. Let's figure it out. We'll even know for our scouts are going to be allowed on the road this fall at this point in I in every single day, we talk about it's uncomfortable, but you got to embrace it and you gotta figure out ways to get your job done, and there are no excuses in as long as all thirty two teams are. Under the same sets of rules we're full we're fine with it. Let's go. You know that's all that really matters to me is the competitive equity and the other thing is in other some guys around the league that I trust lank and maybe we're not playing them this year and we get on Wigan on the call and just talk what are you doing how you doing it? Is there a better way to to figure this thing out? A little bit of that network also. You might because is such a different training camp and preseason agreeing drink gamp no preseason games. How are you guys trying to determine who? The best fifty three, fifty, five guys on the team when you really not able to see them game like situations and Buck I think that's probably the best question. In today's environment in you know when you start talking about the generic conversation of what do preseason games really mean for NFL teams and you know you need four and what we're feeling right now and what all the people around the league that I'm talking with are feeling right now is it's not just about the rookies in the College Asians about some of those first and second year guys that you've tried to develop within your building that haven't had the benefit now of an off season and you're hoping about the take a step forward and he can't watch him cover a kick off or a punt. And I've got this thing in my head I always call the go Nogo Syndrome. Some guys go guys when you covered off, there's a certain point where. Inside you're either going. Going, yes or guy, and we want go guys and it's harder to figure out. Go guys. Unless you're willing to replicate that outra practice field and I think one of the things that codes Gruden has been great with over the last week is just the conversation with me about what do you need to see? Who Do you need to see Alcan? We put them in situation so we can evaluate them better and I think John and the coaching staff have been awesome. Just trying to orchestrate situation so we can evaluate. I'm curious Mike Talk about evaluate your own team. This is the time of year, normally evaluate the back end of other roster. So what is the process like this year when you don't have access to see them live game action outside of what may pop up on social media or what is he made post? It. You really got to trust your your scouts evaluations in reports, and what happens is that more than ever the Collagen the pro side or melted together during this training camp you know usually bring the college guys get extra is during games. Let them right across check report. At this point. We've what we're trying to do is filter in all of our programs on guys that have been in the league. College Grays on guys that haven't been in the league and how you stack up what you're really talking about is the bottom end of your roster, but we all know how important that is. So we're spending an awful lot of time trying to get the right stack right filter were forcing our college pro guys the to Meld together on zoom calls and I'm real happy with the way we're stacking things up and. You. Know you get to the five three and who knows what's going to happen but you better have. A confirmation in your head of if somebody comes available, we're GonNa take you don't Mike I I love talking to you because I know you son of a high school coach and I just wonder if some of Your Dad's expertise in terms of building a team from his high school days because you don't have all the luxuries and you have to figure it out and be adaptable. I wonder if some of those lessons that you learn from him have helped, you adjust to being able to put together a team doing the pandemic, which is unlike anything we've ever seen. That's a cool question in. I M, my father son and. You know I've played quarterback and safety in honor and everything else for him for four years in two things. I would take away from my dad I think to this day one is we were a small school. Okay and every almost everybody played both ways in we didn't have time. To get guys in freshman program in a JV program by junior year like big school mentality you know they're ready to go if a kid could play as a freshman or sophomore my dad was throwing his right in there. Let's go in. That's kind of way I feel about young guys in this league don't WanNa roll them. You don't want to put them in bad situations, but I want to trust that we did a good job scouting them in I wanna fromm in situations where we get a chance for them to. Compete early, and that's important today salary cap world. You've got to continue to churn roster and bring young guys in your trust. You know that's number one and the second thing is just what my dad has told me since I was about twenty five years old trust your I got a good i. you know you follow me around everywhere every minute of every day while you were growing up, you've watched high school you've watched college watch NFL at the end of the day if you're gonNA make a mistake making your mistake. In I think that's really good advice. When you talk about throwing young guys on the field, you got a couple young receivers. You just drafted the house excited about when you got him and it seems by all accounts that they're they're doing really well, what what have you seen this far from from rugs in Edwards on on the practice field. Dj It's kind of a two edged sword here. Okay. On one side were knock on wood. We feel like we are who they hoped. We hoped they would be. Flying around Nick Sabin. Told me point blank you don't you're not gonNA have a kid work harder. He comes to practice every day with a walk on mentality and he's tough. He's been at gonorrhea jammer. We've seen all that. We embrace that with words really good hands. Better Outrun people understand tough as nails throw the Alabama table and if you WANNA question anybody's toughness. But what I'm trying to tell them end all our local press and everybody else's is you know what they haven't gotten off press wants a game. They they haven't done anything yet. We're. We're going to sit there and anoint them. And we're GONNA make them work for everything we're cautiously optimistic but at the end of the day, all the rookies in my mind haven't done anything yet and we gotta to be real careful about Pat Boone on on Bob saying. You know it's funny because when you talk about those wide receivers, your quarterback Derek Carr has been really a few minutes phrase. But when I look at the quarterback position understand the value you have we've had these conversations about the informs you have to really good quarterbacks in that room and even though Derek the starter you've invested in terms of developing markets. Mario. Why was it so important for you guys to really have multiple quarterbacks that can play in this league and why are you so committed to developing both guys? I think if you want to be a good football team, there's an argument to we made that you're only as good as your backup quarterback. You're one snap away in you're putting everybody at risk if there's a drastic reduction in talent. Putting the whole franchise at risk. So we are believers endure are we've we think dirks taken another step with John? This year I love what he did with her in the off season. He had anywhere from fifteen to forty guys working out with them. Almost every day we had a big group of guys in Vegas and I think. What's important to me as a kind of confirmed who Derek is on our team that all these guys are flying in from around the country to work out together and I'm talking about offense and defense dirk was orchestrating seven on seven in. In the off season immature carris in that breeds a a certain confidence in Camaraderie that you guys are both familiar with. and. So I feel like Dirks taking that next step and I wanted to see. In we also felt like John and I had a of with Marcus Mariota because what we did when we were both in television, we had him ranked in all the reps and time we spent with him. So we kind of felt like he brings a little bit different style to the table. You know he's a little bit more of a guy can use his legs. Around you can run different zone read stuff with them. So you can do different things with with Marcus. So we kind of feel like not only we're getting quality guy come in and play dark it's hurt but he also brings a different dimension to our offense. Selfish Question Mike How's my Guy Jonathan Abram doing? I. Think he's chomping at the bit as you would expect. And I think that he he needs to become a really good football player for us this year and we're counting on. You know my most championship teams are built on, win the division I. Then worry about the other stuff when you built your team do you feel like you're close to build a team that can compete and contend with entertainment a division? Well I mean that's a veiled reference to the world. Champ. They're pretty good. You know we all us? No they're pretty darn good and we we recognize that and I. I'm not giving out any secrets when when I tell you. Our goal was to get faster and more athletic on both sides of the ball over the last couple of years and I think we have now whether or not we've closed any gaps on anybody. What I everybody in our building were seven nine. Four last year. We should be chirping about anything else of getting better winning every frigging snap win win winning every meeting get a tiny bit better. Make it a force multiplier by the end of the season and you know back when we go down a player old team in Carolina will find Alabama were about ourselves on September thirteenth but I don't know anything beyond that. Mike is the last question. I'll let you run the most important question How many how many buffets have you hidden Vegas since you've moved back? Whenever you tell me their. Question I. Be Honest with you I know how to get from my rental to the facility. Back The answer is zero and more importantly. You you're out of there in time to get to your teatime Daniel because it sound well, your work ethic is gone into. Well well, the unfortunately, it's my golf game that's gone in the pooper that that's that's the problem is I got to get out there today I'm Repertoire Guy Charles Davis today with with the Tennessee ball's t shirt. But I don't want that on the Gulf growth because I want to get laughed at case anybody watches football so. You need to put a collar on that if. You. Don't know the golf courses that I play that Mike. Hey man it's. It's great to catch up looking forward to seeing you this fall when when the raiders come out to Los Angeles. We'll catch up soon appreciate you a stay healthy with your families and it's always great to catch up. Good. Luck guys. Mubarak is great to catch up with Mike. That's That's a tough job in a normal year. I can't imagine the stress that comes along with trying to navigate through this entire pandemic that we've been in the middle of an as well as what's going on in the world from social social justice standpoint. I mean that is a lot to handle as leader does a Lotta Hannah's leader, but you know what I feel like He. Finally settled into the job, he certainly feels like he has command over the job and he has a clear vision for how he wants to operate as a general manager and that has been laid out in his ability to give direction to a scouse, his ability to kind of make some of these picks. Obviously, he's having to do it in conjunction with working with Jon. GRUDEN. But I, feel like this team Canada has his his his his stamp of approval. Meaning the things that used to theorize and talk about when we all work together I kind of believe, I see with the raiders and so is good to see people really stick to their guns when it comes to visit for how football should be played when you begin to see their team reflective vision. That is when you see good things happen. Yeah. Again, you don't WanNa make somebody else's mistakes you WanNa make mistakes. So you have a vision what what You want to look go on execute that, and then whatever happens happens I think he's done that do want to remind everybody inspired by the ongoing conversations with players. NFL. has launched the NFL votes to empower improve our communities through exercising the right to vote join the NFL family by registering to vote today and make your voice heard this November visit nfl dot com slash votes to learn more also on reminds you that the hard knocks podcast hosted by our Buddy, Peter Schrager you can catch the final episode of hard knocks TV show that is Tuesday September eighth at ten PM Eastern on Hbo Shrugs, Wonderful Job. With that podcast, get some great guests on there to kind of recap what's going on with the charges in with the rams as well as some other football insight there from our buddy pete. So you can find that wherever you listen to podcasts. Any other thoughts here buck for this thing up numb in. Dj, we're just one step closer one step closer to the regular season kicking off I am excited and looking forward to next week the I did see on Apple podcast we are getting close to I think two thousand. Reviews or ranking rating something on there. There's a milestone out there so I want to thank everybody that's done that for us that's gone and left us a review or rating on Apple podcasts and Again, let us know some ideas. You might have what we can do to serve you guys better and let us know again who the best high school football. Player you've ever seen. We got some great names on their need to update that we'll do that next week we'll update that high school players but I want to thank everybody for that. All right. That's GONNA do for us. Thank you guys so much for hanging with us He's Bucky Brooks I'm Donald Jeremiah. See next time right here on move the sticks.