The Oakland Raiders have hired NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock as their general manager, the team announced Monday.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden called Mayock a “passionate personnel man” on Sunday following his team’s season-ending 35-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“He loves it,” Gruden said. “He has done it for a long time. I know he has had opportunities to get back into the NFL as a general manager. We will see what happens. We will see how the dust settles.”
Mayock has no experience in an NFL front office but will work with Gruden on upgrading a scouting and personnel department that struggled to find impact players in recent years. Mayock replaces Reggie McKenzie, whom the Raiders fired on Dec. 10.
He had drawn interest from teams with general manager openings in recent years, including the Washington Redskins before the 2017 season.
The Raiders, who finished 4-12, have the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, as well as the first-round picks belonging to the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
Information from ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez and The Associated Press was used in this report.
METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said he was just having “good playoff fun” with some fans in Minnesota on Sunday when he turned toward the crowd and made the Vikings’ signature “Skol” clap gesture toward them.
Unfortunately for Payton, the Vikings wound up getting the last clap, as it were, when receiver Stefon Diggs broke loose for a stunning 61-yard game-winning touchdown on the final play of Minnesota’s 29-24 victory.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, former Vikings linebacker and current KFAN radio analyst Ben Leber was the first one to report seeing Payton making the taunting gesture after New Orleans had taken a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds remaining.
At least one fan shared photos on Twitter (though the fan said he did not take the photos himself).
When Payton was asked about making the gesture Tuesday, he said, “Oh there was a few … just a group of fans. It was good playoff fun.”
Payton’s animation and emotion on the sideline should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the coach throughout his 12 years in New Orleans. Players and assistants have described him as “crazy” on game days. And earlier this year he apologized for making a choke gesture toward Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman.
The Atlanta Falcons are the NFL’s ultimate good news/bad news team entering the 2017 season.
Good news: You are the defending NFC champions.
Bad news: You are coming off the worst Super Bowl loss ever.
Good news: You deployed one of the greatest offenses in NFL history in 2017.
Bad news: The architect of that offense is someone else’s head coach.
Good news: Your new billion-dollar stadium has a state-of-the-art retractable roof.
Bad news: There’s no timetable for when the damn thing will actually open.
To all that, we add this: Mercedes-Benz Stadium has an on-site Chick-fil-A — arguably the most popular fast food restaurant of the 21st century. This is obviously good news!
Now duck, here comes that other shoe again. It won’t be open during most Falcons games.
The famed chicken sandwich chain does not open its doors on Sundays — a long-standing mandate by late Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, who believed the week’s seventh day was reserved for rest and worship.
Those ideals clash with the NFL schedule, of course. The Falcons play all but one of their home games on a Sunday this season. The only chance for fans of the Dirty Birds to chow down on bird will come during their team’s Dec. 7 tilt against the Saints.
Chick-fil-A will be operational at “The Benz” for a slew of college football and Major League Soccer games this year. For fans of those things, that’s pretty much exclusively good news.