It’s been almost a year since the Raiders had to deal with the media firestorm that was the Antonio Brown drama. While he never played a game with the team, his impact can still be felt throughout the franchise. The team’s first-round pick this year was meant to replace the star wide receiver.
Though the controversy is well in the past, players on the teams have stayed pretty quiet about the whole situation. Other than what’s been reported, the Raiders haven’t been too eager to give details on what happened. Recently cornerback Dylan Mabin had a chance to give a little insight on how the team was handling the drama.
“It definitely was a little hectic at times,” Mabin said on The Bayfront Boys podcast. “I know my personal approach was, he can do and feel however he feels … I try to take care of what I can do to make the team better. Honestly, that was what a lot of other players’ mentality was and that was what coach Gruden said. He said, ‘we’re going to try and handle this situation gracefully … but if we focus on that, the season is going to go downhill so we just gotta try and move past it.'”
The Raiders were able to start the season off strong with a win despite all the drama and did have a decent start to the season. However, it became apparent late in the season that they needed more firepower and they faltered down the stretch. Having Brown on the team would’ve helped fix that issue.
Mabin Says Brown Is Best WR He’s Played Against
If you strip away all the problems he causes off the field, Brown is easily one of the most talented players in the NFL. Mabin hasn’t been in the league long, but he had a strong claim about his former teammate.
“I’ve guarded [Brown] in practice,” Mabin said. “He’s definitely the hardest receiver I’ve probably had to guard. He’s lighting quick and he’s faster than a lot of people give him credit for. I think the most impressive thing about him was his savviness.”
Brown’s fall from grace could go down as one of the biggest self-destructions in NFL history. He was on pace to finish as one of the five most statistically impressive wide receivers ever. If he never plays another game, he’ll go down as one of the NFL’s most famous cautionary tales.
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Mabin Praises Jon Gruden
Through his first two seasons back in the NFL, Jon Gruden has yet to have a winning record. He has the Raiders on an upward trajectory and he’s doing it with the love of his players.
“What a lot of people really don’t know is that he really loves his players and cares about us,” Mabin said. “He’ll go to the ends of the earth to protect us … He’ll yell and make sure we’re doing our stuff, but he’ll really go to the ends of the earth for us so I love playing for him.”
Gruden’s players trusting him will go a long way in getting the Raiders back to the playoffs. He had to work out some kinks in his first season back with the team, but it looks like he’s been able to figure things out.