It seems that each time Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks about Khalil Mack in any form or fashion, it just makes things worse. The proof of that again came on Monday, when Gruden answered a question from reporters. Without being pointed directly at the Mack deal, Oakland’s coach still brought it up.
The Raiders are 0-3 currently and have blown fourth-quarter leads in each of the past two games. Their struggles in the final frame have been well-documented, and it’s hard to argue that the Mack trade has anything to do with that specific topic.
Gruden’s Previous Comments on Mack, Raiders
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Gruden sound off on the Mack trade, and in some capacity, it seems as though he’s throwing the front office under the bus a bit. After the trade happened originally and it came to light the Raiders had sent a second-round pick to the Chicago Bears, the coach was quick to point out that it wasn’t his call, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed.
Gruden also previously stated that Mack “obviously” didn’t want to play for the Raiders during an interview with ESPN. There seems to be some sort of disconnect between Gruden and the front office, including general manager Reggie McKenzie potentially.
Ahead of the Week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport revealed there was a “divide” in the organization.
But the manner in which he evaluates personnel — and the people who have his ear — has led to a disconnect in a Raiders building filled with people still trying to adjust to a new way of life.
According to sources, Gruden essentially has his own staff that helps him judge talent and make decisions — most notably confidant and Director of Football Research Dave Razzano — along with a slew of interns and assistants.
Gruden had his own draft board and has his own pro board, separate from those used by others in the organization.
Following the game, the Raiders coach addressed the media and made an eye-opening comment about “stories behind the scenes,” per The Athletic’s John Middlekauff. It’s tough to gauge exactly what’s going on in Oakland currently, but there seems to be some issue the public doesn’t know about.