Dave Ziegler is striving to build upon 'harmonious' atmosphere within the organization

General Manager Dave Ziegler finds himself in good spirits, for several reasons.

The first-year general manager has had a riveting two weeks, with the Silver and Black team picking up two overtime victories in hostile road atmospheres. Even through the ups and downs of the season, Ziegler is appreciative of Raider Nation's patience and support they've given. In an interview Thursday with JT the Brick, Ziegler said that his ultimate goal is bringing the success he had with Josh McDaniels in New England to the desert.

However, he's well aware that it takes time.

"Obviously, we haven't won as many games as we would have like to have won to this point," Ziegler said. "But the Raiders fanbase and the support we receive, and their dedication to the team, and their passion for the team – it's a lot of fun. It motivates you to want to win for that group even more. ... Part of the motivation is to win for [Owner] Mark [Davis] and to win for this fanbase, and that's what's going to be rewarding about our run here – is being able to do that.

"It's not for me and it's not for Josh. We want to win, but we want to win for Mark and we want to win for Raider Nation. And that's the goal."

Ziegler has been ecstatic watching the individual success from the players, as well. One that quickly came to his mind is edge rusher Maxx Crosby. The Pro Bowler, who has the ability "to take over games," leads the league in tackles for loss (17), tackles for a defensive lineman (67) and ranks fourth in sacks (10.5).

"I think he should be Defensive Player of the Year," Ziegler said of Crosby. "Obviously, I'm biased, but behind the scenes ... he's a cornerstone and a foundational brick to this whole process and this whole team building piece. It's because of the work ethic, the unselfishness, the drive to get better every day, the humbleness to look at one's self and say, 'I need to get better in these three areas and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get better and improve.'

"That's why you've seen the growth in Maxx Crosby as the player. And he's grown on the personal side too in his tenure here since he's been in the league."

With six games left on the season, Ziegler keeps his hand on the pulse of both the present and the future of the team. He and his staff have kept active throughout the season of signing and trading for players that have bolstered the roster, while evaluating collegiate talent around the county as well.

While everyone in this league wants to win now, he's learned that consistency and continuity fuels success in the long run.

"There's a few things you have to have in place to build a championship caliber program that has some sustained success," Ziegler said. "Forget what happens on the field, the one thing you have to have that I saw in New England and a lot of other places. ... there's an harmonious relationship between the head coach and the GM, and the scouting and the coaching staff. If you don't have that relationship, it's going to be hard to win.

"I've seen a lot of growth here in the building in terms of that relationship between coaching and scouting. And me and Josh have had it, and now it's starting to spread roots through not just coaching and scouting, but through support staff. We have an outstanding support staff here, but you have to create buy-in, and you have to get on the same page and you have to create a relationship there."

Head inside Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center to view the best photos from Friday's practice.

Advertising