We can now safely say that Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden wasn’t interested in letting Khalil Mack ride off into the sunset without getting his feelings aired out. Ahead of the team’s Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, Gruden spoke about Mack and dropped the hammer pretty hard.
Via the NFL on ESPN:
“Obviously, Khalil Mack didn’t want to play here. That’s what’s being missed here. He was under contract, Lisa, you know he was under contract. He never showed up for an OTA, he never showed up for training camp and it was obvious he wasn’t going to show up for the season, so don’t forget that. We have to get ready to play, and I want players that want to be here, that want to help us put this thing back in high gear.” Gruden stated.
Gruden pulled no punches with those comments, and they came shortly after Mack’s superb debut with the Chicago Bears, where he was traded to just over a week ago. Mack filled up the box score, totaling three tackles, one sack, one interception returned for a touchdown and one fumble recovery during the 24-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard from Gruden about Mack, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed the Raiders coach had some parting words for the pass-rusher. What he said then, though, wasn’t nearly as intense.
The 2016 Defensive Player of the Year may be long gone, but it seems Gruden isn’t exactly thrilled with the negativity that came down on him after the Raiders traded Mack. Hopefully, the team can hit the ground running, as that’ll go a long way toward helping fans get over losing their best player.