The Oakland Raiders dropped their Week 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams 33-13 after a solid start. In turn, this meant head coach Jon Gruden’s return to the sidelines begins with a 0-1 record at the hands of one of his former assistants in Sean McVay.
Following the loss, Gruden spoke with the media Tuesday afternoon and touched on a wide range of topics. We’re going to take a look at a few things that stood out from his comments as well as how the impact the team moving forward.
Analysts questioned quite a few of Gruden’s decisions both prior to and during the game, which is where the press conference began.
Gruden on Decision to Make Tank Carradine Inactive
Carradine was originally slated to start in Khalil Mack’s position following the trade. But the Raiders went a completely different direction by making the offseason signing inactive for the opener.
Marshawn Lynch Apparently Dealing With an Illness
Marshawn Lynch hit the ground running with a superb first-quarter touchdown in which he carried multiple defenders across the goal line. Unfortunately, it seems an illness slowed him down from there, as he finished with 41 yards on 11 carries.
But That’s Not What Led to Jalen Richard’s Workload
Richard excelled as a pass-catcher, totaling nine receptions for 55 yards and added 24 rushing yards on five carries for good measure. He seems like a strong option to spell Lynch, and act as a change-of-pace back.
On Derek Carr’s Struggles in Week 1
While Carr threw for 303 yards, his three interceptions were brutal and a few came at terrible moments. The Rams have a strong secondary, but Carr needs to improve his play moving forward for the Raiders to have a legitimate chance at being a playoff team.
Lack of Production From Amari Cooper
Cooper brought in just 1-of-3 targets for nine yards, showing he not only didn’t do much but wasn’t all that involved either. There’s no way to know exactly what Gruden meant by the above comments, stating that it’s “easier said than done” to get Cooper involved, but they better figure out a way.
Gruden Seems Happy With Starting Tackles
Gruden on Playing Safety Karl Joseph Just Even Snaps
It was widely expected the young safety would start for the Raiders, but instead, he found himself watching from the sidelines for the bulk of the game. This made for another somewhat confusing decision on Monday night.
Defensive Line Suffers Two Key Injuries
With defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes still rehabbing from a torn ACL at the end of the 2017 season, this could result in the team having a small issue at the position. Both Justin Ellis and rookie P.J. Hall are expected to have fairly large roles this season.
NFL’s Highest-Paid Long Snapper Suffers Torn ACL
Gruden Impressed With CB Gareon Conley’s Play
Solid Showings From Jared Cook and Jalen Richard
We spoke briefly on Richard above, but Cook was the Raiders’ star in this game. He hauled in nine passes for 180 yards and drew a team-high 12 targets. Cook ran over defenders and showed power which adds some excitement for his role this season.