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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Reggie McKenzie - Packers Director Of Personnel Being Interviewed For Texans GM Job - Houston Chronicle

The unwritten story here is that both McKenzie and Rick Smith of the Denver Broncos are black, which is a sign that we're entering an era where African American front office execs are being considered for higher positions because they're well-acquainted with the head coach. In this case, both McKenzie and Smith played with and worked with new Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak

GM candidate McKenzie familiar to Texans brass
Personnel man, Sherman teamed with the Packers

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006 - Houston Chronicle

When Reggie McKenzie arrives in Houston for his interview, the introductions won't take long.

The longtime director of pro personnel for the Green Bay Packers is scheduled to visit the Texans to discuss the general manager vacancy on Wednesday. Before he arrives, coach Gary Kubiak hopes to sit down with Mike Sherman, now the Texans' assistant head coach/offense, to get a report on the latest candidate.

Kubiak is familiar with McKenzie, but it goes back to their days as players in the NFL. Sherman worked closely with McKenzie, 43, just last season when Sherman was the Packers' head coach.

"They did such a great job in Green Bay, and (McKenzie) was such a big part of that," Kubiak said. "We know each other, and I respect him very, very much and the job he's done. Mike's the one that knows him very well on the business standpoints, so I'll catch up on that."

Sherman said he hasn't spoken to McKenzie since the interview was scheduled but wasn't surprised the Texans are pursuing McKenzie for the job.

"Here or somewhere else, yes, I think he's at a point in his career where that is certainly his next step," Sherman said.

Rising fast

McKenzie joined the Packers after a seven-year career as a linebacker with the Los Angeles Raiders (1985-88), Arizona Cardinals (89-90) and San Francisco 49ers (1992). McKenzie and Kubiak first met as players when Kubiak was the backup quarterback for the Denver Broncos from 1983 to 1991.
While Kubiak went into coaching after his playing career ended, McKenzie headed almost immediately to the front office. He was named the Packers' pro personnel assistant in 1994 and was promoted to director of pro personnel just three years later.

In 2000, Sherman was named the Packers' head coach and started working closely with McKenzie.

"I relied on him an awful lot," said Sherman, who spent six years as the Packers' head coach and three as their general manager. "He was a guy who always had a good pulse on our team, as well as other teams in the league.

"He's a diligent worker. You could ask him about any player in the league, and he'd know the player inside and out because he was constantly looking at tape. I don't think I've ever walked in his office and he didn't have tape on watching teams around the league and studying players. That's obviously what his job is, but to do it as often as he did was a credit to his work ethic."

Sherman and McKenzie had a tremendous amount of success in Green Bay, compiling winning records in five seasons. The Packers won the NFC North division titles in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

"I think he's an excellent evaluator of players," Sherman said. "Not just on the talent side, but on the character side as well. He's just a good judge of people and of football players."

Texans owner Bob McNair traveled Monday to the owners' meetings in Denver and will return to his office Wednesday. The Texans are still lining up other candidates in the search for Charley Casserly's replacement.

Rick Smith still in running

The top two candidates are McKenzie and Rick Smith, the Denver Broncos' assistant general manager, who interviewed for the job last week. McNair has made it clear that the person hired must be able to work well with Kubiak, a criteria Sherman said he can clearly understand.
"It seems like that's a focus of this to make sure we have everybody on the same page, seeking the same things," Sherman said. "I think that's a big part of the process, having somebody you can communicate with on a daily basis as a head coach that knows what you want in your defense and your offense."



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