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Monday, January 27, 2020

Articles tagged: Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden gets extremely defensive over Khalil Mack question

Jon Gruden

The Oakland Raiders have an extra first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft because of their trade that sent Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears, and fans are expecting Jon Gruden to use it wisely. Trading Mack has looked like a bad move after the way he dominated last season, but Gruden is tired of hearing about that.

While speaking with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, Gruden got very testy over a question about the Mack trade. He also made it seem like he had no choice but to deal the star pass-rusher.

The return for Mack was bountiful, as the Raiders got a first-round pick in each of the next two drafts in addition to some later-round selections. Still, it’s hard to hit on players in the draft, and Mack terrorized opponents in 2018 to the tune of 12.5 sacks and six forced fumbles. He’s the definition of a game-changer, and Oakland certainly could have used him.

It will probably be a few years before we can truly evaluate the Mack trade, but Raiders owner Mark Davis does not seem concerned about the blockbuster moves Gruden has made. The results will eventually speak for themselves, and Gruden is going to be scrutinized for the Mack trade for a long time if he doesn’t land at least one star player in the draft.

Jon Gruden expects Raiders to be active with trading draft picks

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden knows the Oakland Raiders have a lot of areas to improve on and is looking to be flexible over the offseason to address the holes.

Gruden joined JT the Brick on “The Game Plan” podcast on the Raiders Podcast Network to talk about the team’s offseason. In the interview, Gruden said he and GM Mike Mayock have been scouting free agents and preparing for the draft. One possibility Gruden mentioned for the draft was trading some of their multiple high picks, including the No. 4 overall selection.

“I think there’s a lot of potential for trades,” Gruden told JT, as transcribed by NBC Sports Bay Area. “That’s one of the things I’m really excited about (general manager) Mike Mayock and what he brings to the table. He has great resources around the NFL. He’s been in every building. He’s on the first-name basis with many because everybody knows Mike. I think he’s going to be on the phones quite a bit not only with (the Nos. 24 and 27 picks) but, who knows? We may move up from the No. 4 overall pick or we may move back from it. We’ll see how it all unfolds.”

Seeing the Raiders move up or down in the draft wouldn’t be a surprise. Not only do they have several picks available to make a move, but Gruden already showed a willingness to trade high picks as the team dealt their No. 10 pick last year to Arizona and moved down in the draft. How the Raiders perform in this draft will play a huge role in determining how well set up they are when they begin play in Las Vegas.

Jon Gruden wants Marshawn Lynch back with Raiders in 2019

Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch was limited to just six games this past season because of injury, and there has understandably been speculation that the 32-year-old could could decide to retire — for good this time. Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden says he is hoping that’s not the case.

While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Gruden said he is unsure if Lynch will play in 2019 but would welcome him back with the Raiders if he does.

Lynch rushed for 376 yards on 90 attempts, which were his lowest totals since he was still with the Buffalo Bills in 2010. He also grew up in Oakland and wanted to play for the Raiders for that reason, and it is not even clear where the team will be playing next season. That could play a role in Lynch’s decision.

If Lynch does return, he will likely be doing so at discounted rate. He took a pay cut before the 2018 season and ended up with a base salary of $4.5 million, and he will need to play for a lot less than that next year.

New Raiders GM Mike Mayock: Jon Gruden has final say over roster

Mike Mayock

Jon Gruden has been the de facto general manager of the Oakland Raiders since the team hired him as head coach last year, and he will maintain final say over roster decisions even with Mike Mayock now in the mix.

In an interview with ESPN’s Steve Levy at the college football title game Monday night, Mayock spoke about how excited he is to work with Gruden this offseason. When asked what the power dynamic will be like in terms of reporting to team owner Mark Davis, Mayock was surprisingly candid.

“In all honesty, Jon’s got final say, if it ever comes to that, and I’ve got zero problems with that,” he said. “”Now, having said that, I think we’re going to come to a consensus, and I like a little yelling, a little screaming, a little fighting for what players you believe in. But at the end of the day, I guarantee you, Jon Gruden and I are going to know what a Raider looks like and smells like. I don’t think we’re going to have any issues.”

The fact that Mayock has no prior front office experience probably appealed to the Raiders, as he will be less likely to come in and try to push Gruden around. Gruden wanted say over personnel matters when he agreed to return to Oakland, and working with Mayock will clearly give him plenty of that.

Oakland finished 4-12 this season and has three first-round picks to work with, and Mayock has been considered one of the better talent evaluators in the media for several years. He was previously believed to be a candidate for another GM job, but his strong relationship with Gruden definitely played a role in the Raiders hiring him.

Jon Gruden tried to claim DJ Swearinger after brother Jay cut him

DJ Swearinger

Former Washington defensive back DJ Swearinger was waived on Monday after he publicly criticized the team’s playcalling, but head coach Jay Gruden apparently did not warn his brother Jon about the safety’s antics. And if Jay did, it sounds like Jon ignored it.

Swearinger ended up with the Arizona Cardinals after being placed on waivers, and ESPN’s Field Yates reports that the Oakland Raiders were one of the teams that submitted a claim for him.

Swearinger has 11 interceptions in the past three seasons and has been a productive player, so it’s no surprise multiple teams were interested in him. However, given the circumstances under which he left Washington, it is noteworthy that Jay Gruden’s own brother wanted to add him to his roster.

In addition to blasting defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for not playing zone against Titans backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert on Saturday, Swearinger had been warned about criticizing teammates and coaches but continued to do so. Jon Gruden was apparently willing to take a chance on him because of his talent level, but the Cardinals had a higher waiver priority.

Jon Gruden gives vocal backing to Derek Carr as Raiders’ QB

Derek Carr

Is Derek Carr still the long-term answer at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders? If you trust Jon Gruden, the answer is yes.

Gruden was effusive in his praise for Carr on Monday, calling his production in spite of major issues around him “astonishing” and referring to him as a “great quarterback.”

In other words, if Gruden’s telling the truth, you probably shouldn’t count on the Raiders drafting or otherwise pursuing a quarterback this offseason. Of course, Gruden has said one thing before doing the opposite before, so it probably bears watching anyway.

Carr hasn’t been intercepted since Week 5 and has topped the 250-yard mark in three consecutive games. He actually has produced fairly well in spite of how bad the Raiders have been.

Jon Gruden trolls Stephen A. Smith while previewing Bengals

Jon Gruden

The wider NFL world took note of Stephen A. Smith’s disastrous Chiefs-Chargers preview and is gleefully piling on.

The latest to do so is Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who alluded to Smith’s messy analysis by mixing up a few names while previewing Oakland’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Chargers and their players were more than happy to pile on as well, and now it’s happening with Gruden as well. There’s probably a little knife-twisting here: Smith has been critical of Gruden in the past, and Gruden has been willing to fire back, so he probably enjoyed this opportunity.