The Las Vegas Raiders‘ 3-0 start feels like it was a long time ago. The team has dropped two straight games in ugly losses to the Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears. To start the season, the Raiders offense looked solid but the wheels have fallen off. The team has only scored 23 combined points over the last two games after scoring over 25 in each of the first three.
Head coach Jon Gruden is the man in charge of the offense. The Raiders defense hasn’t been elite but it’s been giving the offense enough opportunities to win games. However, the offensive line is a disaster, and Gruden’s playcalling remains questionable. The coach has had over three years to turn the franchise around but they don’t look much better from when he took over. Many fans are ready for the Raiders to move on.
The phrase “fire Gruden” trended on Twitter after the 20-9 loss to the Bears.
Gruden is already in hot water after a leaked email from 2011 was posted by The Wall Street Journal where he referred to the executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith as having lips the size of “Michellin tires.” Some fans see this controversy as another reason the Raiders need to let the coach go.
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Gruden Addresses Email Controversy
Even with the Raiders playing football on Sunday, the biggest topic for the team is surrounding the email controversy. Gruden has already addressed the issue but followed up with an apology.
“I don’t have an ounce of racism in me,” Gruden said after the loss. “I’m a guy who takes pride in leading people together, and I’ll continue to do that for the rest of my life. Again, I apologize to D Smith and anybody out there that I have offended.”
Regardless of what Gruden’s future looks like, he’s going to have to do a lot of work to dig himself out of this hole. The Raiders losing an ugly game to an average Bears team will do him no favors.
Will Raiders Consider Firing Gruden?
When Raiders owner Mark Davis gave Gruden a 10-year contract, he handed the keys to the franchise to him. Davis has given the coach all the freedom he could possibly need to build a team that he wants. So far, the returns have been poor. At this pace, the Raiders could miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Almost any other NFL coach would get fired in the scenario.
Davis is patient but he’s still human. He spent a lot of money moving the team to Las Vegas and building a shiny new stadium. Gruden isn’t likely to get fired during the season. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that the team hasn’t discussed the coach’s job status amid the email controversy. If Gruden weathers this storm, then he’ll finish the season with the Raiders. However, a season that ends without a playoff berth could be what puts Davis over the top and he’ll decide to make a change.