Raiders’ Jon Gruden on Elite Pass Rusher: ‘I Wish We Had’ Him

jon gruden

Getty Las Vegas Raiders HC Jon Gruden.

Since the Las Vegas Raiders made the controversial decision to trade Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears, the team hasn’t come close to replacing him. They used the number four overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to draft defensive end Clelin Ferrell. He’s still early in his career but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be a dominant pass rusher.

Maxx Crosby has shown flashes last year and this year but he doesn’t pressure the quarterback often, despite having decent sack numbers. This week, the Raiders will be able to take a look at one of the top pass rushers in the NFL in Myles Garrett. The Cleveland Brown Pro Bowler currently leads the league with nine sacks. That’s the kind of pass rusher that Raiders head coach Jon Gruden longs for and he wasn’t shy about it.

“We have a thing we call it a ‘factor grade,’ not just the sacks,” Gruden said recently. “Everybody counts sacks. That is like the only thing they count anymore is sacks. This guy forces fumbles. He causes other sacks for other people. He’s good against the run. He bats passes down.

“His arms are up in the air. He forces inaccurate balls. He has a factor about him. His presence is felt a lot. He can play left end, right end or they can push him inside, and he is a factor wherever he plays. I wish we had Garrett, and I look forward to seeing him. I always look forward to competing with the best ones.”

Garrett is exactly the kind of player the Raiders need. He’s a guy who can get after the quarterback without a ton of help. He’s going to give the team trouble on Sunday.

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Garrett Banged up for Raiders Game

Heading into the game versus the Raiders, Garrett is slightly banged up. He’s dealing with an ankle problem but the Browns don’t seem very concerned with his status.

“Just being cautious,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said, via “I’d expect that [he’ll practice later in the week], but we’ll gather more information and know more later in the week.”

Unless something changes, it appears Garrett will be active for the game.

Maxx Crosby Believes He Can Play Better

There’s been talk about the Raiders trading for a pass rusher but it doesn’t seem likely to happen, at this point. If they decide to stay put at the trade deadline, they need their current brass of pass rushers to step up. Maxx Crosby knows that he needs to start playing better.

“I think I can get better in every way. I think I’ve done some good things … you know, I feel like I just gotta be more consistent,” Crosby said Thursday. “I just gotta be more disruptive every down and that’s something I’ve been working on so I just gotta read my keys and play as hard as I possibly can and good things will happen.”

The Raiders only average 1.2 sacks a game, which is 30th in the NFL. Those numbers simply aren’t good enough. The team needs to start creating pressure. For some reason, they were able to do it against the Kansas City Chiefs but have failed against every other team. If they can get the defense figured out, the Raiders are a playoff team.

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