In his first year back in the NFL after 16 years, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has really made a splash; that type of splash you make when you’re trying to dry off and some kid jumps in the pool and gets you all wet again.
In other words, it’s not going well for the Raiders. They’ve started out 0-2, but that’s not the worst part of it for the beleaguered franchise. It’s what they’re seeing in Chicago that’s the worst part.
Gruden has made it clear he wants his men and it’s evident in the fact they gave up a generational talent in Khalil Mack for two, first-round draft picks who could end up being busts. Mack has already out-produced the entire Raiders defense in the first two games of the season and to make matters worse, both Bears games were on prime time TV for the world to laugh at the Raiders.
Here’s a look at the numbers through two games:
“It wasn’t my goal to trade Khalil when we got here,” Gruden said according to USA Today via The Associated Press. “One of the reasons I’m here is because of him. Unfortunately, we had a standoff with a contract, and we could not come to terms. The Bears made us an offer of two first-round draft choices and here we are today.”
In addition to calling the plays, Gruden’s job is to keep players like Mack happy He should have done anything he could do to keep Mack. He was much more important to the Raiders than any other player on the team. With the success of mid-talent-range quarterbacks around the league, they could have traded Derek Carr and came out better in the long run.
Instead, Gruden showed how hard-headed he could be and confirmed his reputation as a control freak. He’s already lost the locker room and they are two games into his first year. The Raiders’ locker room was not happy about the Mack news.
Bruce Irvin and Derek Carr took to twitter with Irvin saying, “No F***in way” and Carr saying, “no way.” Former Raiders great Charles Woodson also posted a crying meme, adding it was a facsimile of himself when he woke up and heard the news.
For Gruden’s sake, he’d better hope those two, first-round draft picks become franchise players, because if they don’t, he may have possibly traded one of the best players the Raiders have had in decades in the midst of his prime.
Gruden needs to win and needs to win soon. If not, he’ll completely lose the fan base and the locker room.