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☹ Official 2020 Las Vegas Raiders thread ☹ (1 Viewer)

Hankmoody

Footballguy
So my pipe dream is Mariota plays well next two games and we flip him for a 2nd or 3rd in next draft. He's signed through next season and will be 28 next year.  
So my pipe dream is Mariota plays well next two games and we flip Carr and draft Fields.

 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
Is Gruden's job ever going to be a discussion at any time during the 10 years of his $100M contract? 

Is Mike Mayock maybe not the darling so many built him up to be on NFLN? Does he deserve any of the responsibility? Too soon? 

I'll hang up and listen, thanks!

 

Ed Wood

Footballguy
Late to the party as usual and most of the good thots are taken...as usual. 😉

My 2 cents:
• Mariota. What can you say. Performed well above the wildest expectations. Gruden better include him in some packages next year. Give D coordinators something additional to think about at minimum.
• Yep, Gruden really blew it inside the five in OT. Thot for sure we’d see the crossing route to Waller they ran against KC when no one was within 50 yards of him and Carr was running off the field before the pass reached him.
Edit to add: Jacobs doesn’t appear quite so automatic at GL lately. I get the feeling he’d be shut down if they weren’t still in the hunt.
• Thot the call on Kwiat was legit. Unfortunate and without intent but legit.
• Leavitt has no business being on an NFL roster. He was lost all night.
• Tough game for Mullen obviously. Still think he can do an adequate job and I think Arnette will be much better than that.
• Crosby was a no-show at about the worst possible time.

 

DocHolliday

Footballguy
Is Gruden's job ever going to be a discussion at any time during the 10 years of his $100M contract? 

Is Mike Mayock maybe not the darling so many built him up to be on NFLN? Does he deserve any of the responsibility? Too soon? 

I'll hang up and listen, thanks!
No.  Raider fans still think this team is bound for the playoffs!   I brought this up earlier in the week and it was not taken very kindly.   It was obvious before last nights game that this is a below average team but many fans accept it.   

Gruden will make a scrunchy face and make excuses.   He knows he’s under contract forever and the fans will buy it.  Maybe after next season the fans will realize that Gruden and Mayock are not the answer.   You cannot miss on most draft picks and win in the NFL.   

 

32 Counter Pass

Footballguy
Friendly remind to the degenerate gamblers following this thread, betting the over in Raiders games has been a virtual lock this year. I believe they are 12-2 to the over. Key it in with parlays and teasers. It is like printing money! Keep it up boys.🙂👍

 

32 Counter Pass

Footballguy
Jon Gruden’s stalled 18-28 Raiders run — where exactly is this headed?

By Tim Kawakami Dec 18, 2020 58 

Are the Raiders better or worse now than they were three years ago?

You might say that’s the appropriate $100 million question (give or take the actual details of Jon Gruden’s long-term deal) right now, 14 games into Gruden’s third season in his second tenure with the franchise. That’s a legitimate query given all that’s happened to the Raiders before and after Gruden’s arrival in January 2018, all that was promised, all that was planned and all that has never come to be.

For perspective, let’s flash back to the final days of Jack Del Rio’s tenure in December 2017, when the Raiders were gasping to a 6-10 record with minus-72 point differential. Let’s not get too nostalgic about the Del Rio era, though there was that 12-4 playoff run in 2016, because maybe, by late 2017, Del Rio had done about as much as he could with the Raiders.

But let’s also be realistic: Gruden’s three seasons with the Raiders haven’t been much of an improvement from the worst parts of Del Rio’s time and in some important ways Gruden’s time is only getting worse every week. And now he has two games to play out this season with Derek Carr’s groin injury making the quarterback 50-50 for next Saturday’s game against the Dolphins, according to Gruden.

This is not where the Raiders thought they’d be three years after that coronation/news conference to announce Gruden’s hiring in their old Alameda headquarters, to put it mildly.

OK, I will absolutely stipulate that Gruden’s splashy hiring by Mark Davis was a brilliant marketing move and fired up the Raiders’ far-flung fan base in ways that almost nothing else could’ve. The Raiders had to run out the time in Oakland before this year’s move to Las Vegas and they needed a big personality to get out front of all of that. Gruden fulfilled every part of the PR effort. Gruden was a pop-eyed promotional effort all by himself.

On the football field, though, what strides has this team really made in three seasons?

In 2015 under Del Rio in his first season, the Raiders were 7-9 with a minus-40 point differential.

In 2016 under Del Rio, they were 12-4 with a plus-31 point differential and in the playoffs.

In 2017 under Del Rio, they were 6-10 with a minus-72 point differential and Del Rio got fired.

In 2018 under Gruden, they were 4-12 with a minus-177 point differential.

In 2019 under Gruden, they were 7-9 with a minus-106 point differential.

So far in 2020 under Gruden, they are 7-7 with a minus-44 point differential with two games to go.

Summary: Del Rio inherited 3-13 team and went 25-23 in three seasons, with one playoff berth, before he was fired. Gruden inherited a 6-10 team and is 18-28 and is headed to a third consecutive finish out of the playoffs. And Gruden, we can safely say thanks to that 10-year contract, will not be getting fired.

But still, in any other contractual and emotional situation, Gruden absolutely would and should be on the hot seat right now, as Del Rio, Dennis Allen, Hue Jackson and so many other Raiders coaches were before him. Of course, the last Raiders coach to end his tenure without being fired is Gruden, who was traded by Al Davis to Tampa Bay after the 2001 season.

Let’s break it down one more specific way: In 2017, the year that got Del Rio fired, the Raiders offense ranked 17th in yards gained per game and 23rd in yards allowed. This season, the Raiders are ranked 11th in yards gained and 25th in yards allowed.

That is not exactly a quantum leap; Gruden has essentially wasted three years — including the final two of the Raiders’ Oakland existence — to achieve not much of anything, at least in the standings.

A side note: Mark Davis has said he likely wouldn’t have fired Del Rio unless he knew he was closing in on finally luring Gruden back to the Raiders, which puts Gruden’s performance since then in an even starker light. The Raiders didn’t have to hire him. But Davis was desperate to do it anyway, and gave him authority over all football decisions, which eventually led to general manager Reggie McKenzie’s firing after an awkward year with Gruden and then to the hiring of current GM Mike Mayock, whose relationship with the No. 1 man is less awkward.

Gruden has made a lot of decisions from January 2017 on and, again, this is a fair moment to take a look at a few of the big ones.

• When he took this job, he decided he could work with McKenzie, who had put together the roster. Result: Gruden seemed to want to get rid of all of the defensive personnel after about a month of looking at the unit, pushed McKenzie into some impulsive trades that didn’t do much and then fired McKenzie late in the 2018 season.

• He picked Paul Guenther to run his defense. Result: Guenther was fired after Sunday’s loss to Indianapolis, the culmination of repeated horrendous defensive play throughout the last three seasons.

• He got frustrated with the negotiations to sign Khalil Mack to an extension and directed McKenzie to trade the All-Pro pass rusher to Chicago on the eve of the 2018 season. Result: The Raiders’ entire 2018 season was thrown off the rails. The Raiders got two first-round picks, a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder (and had to give up a second-round pick, inexplicably).

• He turned Mack’s salary into the 2019 offseason signings of Trent Brown (for the highest salary ever for an offensive lineman), Tyrell Williams and Lamarcus Joyner, among other cash outlays. Result: I don’t know if Brown will be on the team next season, and he’s the best player of this group, by a lot. That’s a lot of money for not a lot of production and possibly even less beyond this season.

• He traded Amari Cooper to Dallas for a first-round pick in the middle of the 2018 season. Result: Gruden has made six first-round picks over three years. He ended up with Kolton Miller, Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, Josh Jacobs, Damon Arnette and Henry Ruggs III.

• He picked Mayock to be his personnel lieutenant in 2019. Result: The acquisitions have been more coherent, but there still have been an assortment of misses that have left the Raiders far too thin at too many important positions, especially on defense.

• He acquired Antonio Brown in 2019 and planned for him to have a featured role that season. Result: Oops!

• He’s stuck with Carr. Result: Carr hasn’t been great the last few weeks, but overall, he’s had his best season since 2016. Though every offseason it’s fair to say: We’ll see if the Carr/Gruden relationship continues.

• He added some very good players, led by Darren Waller and Richie Incognito, though Incognito has been hurt most of this season and might not be back in 2021.

Summary: The Raiders’ defense is about the same as it was in 2017, except it doesn’t have anybody as good as Mack. (Yes, I know the Bears haven’t exactly been Super Bowl contenders the last three seasons, but they have a foundation and it’s built around Mack, who is 29.) The Raiders’ offense is better than it was in 2018, but not by an immense margin, and the offensive line is very, very expensive and not so young. And for the second straight season, a team coached by Gruden has fallen apart exactly when it was in a position to make the playoffs.

The team isn’t talented enough. It often doesn’t seem to be coached very well. Gruden seems to get tentative at the worst moments. And there aren’t a lot of signs that Gruden and Mayock — the guys who paid a ton of money for Cory Littleton and Carl Nassib — can make the personnel calls to change much of anything. Plus, they don’t have those extra first-round picks anymore. Finally, a ton still rides on Carr’s development, and he’s 29, or on some other QB decision, and those are never easy.

Granted, this season is presenting unprecedented challenges. But you could say that about every team, of course, and some have had it worse than the Raiders. (For instance, the Chargers have been without Derwin James all season and didn’t have Joey Bosa for overtime and still beat the Raiders on Thursday. Also, Keenan Allen was clearly a shadow of his healthy self all game. Meanwhile, the league clearly believes the Raiders handled the coronavirus protocols as poorly as any team in the league.)

The Raiders aren’t going to fire Gruden. I don’t think they could find a better coach, anyway. He still lights up those billboards and fires up the season-ticket holders. But the Raiders are in Las Vegas now. They have their stadium. They’ve sold all those tickets, which hopefully can be used in 2021. They’ll be going into Gruden’s fourth year and in some ways they’ll be exactly where they were in January 2018, when he was supposed to be the perfect man to begin a revival that is three years behind schedule, and counting.

 
Ed Wood said:
• Yep, Gruden really blew it inside the five in OT. Thot for sure we’d see the crossing route to Waller they ran against KC when no one was within 50 yards of him and Carr was running off the field before the pass reached him.
• Tough game for Mullen obviously. 
A reason they wouldn't run that play is because they ran it against TEN. I think they should utilized Waller in general more inside the red zone, and certainly in OT when it was obvious early in the game that the O line wasn't dominating the run game -- they were opening holes, but not pushing the LOS. 

Thought Waller or even a leak-out back shoulder throw to Moreau would have been a good call.

Ministry of Pain said:
Is Gruden's job ever going to be a discussion at any time during the 10 years of his $100M contract? 

Is Mike Mayock maybe not the darling so many built him up to be on NFLN? Does he deserve any of the responsibility? Too soon? 
Why wouldn't it be?

Mayock isn't the coach. Phenomenal personnel eye, and maybe he and Davis could have pushed Gruden to move for a better DC sooner -- I don't know the dynamics of those relationship but seems they let Gruden take lead in staffing the coaching personnel. That approach may have to change. But I don't think that sullies Mayock's reputation (however you or NFLN see it) beyond the regular responsibility a GM has to take action to keep the team's trajectory upwards.

This is going to be a very interesting offseason. 

 

Stinkin Ref

IBL Representative
Puppies and rainbows after week 5 ...”own it baby”....we are bad ### this year..maybe even SB contenders, playoffs a virtual lock..look out for us.....

fast forward a few weeks...inner fighting.....even amongst dudes here....scapegoat DC.....refs hate us....questions about coaches and GM and HC.....

Is it just me or is it just another year for Raider fan.....just playin my role boys...

 
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Chadstroma

Footballguy
This is going to be a very interesting offseason. 
Agreed. 

First thing will be DC. Who will it be? I think that it will largely depend on how the defense either responds or does the same as it has been under Rod. I don't think this last game would be fair to judge Rod's influence on the team with the short week and extensive list of players out. But as he gets a full week in and gets some players back healthy- it will go a long way to either give him the nod or push them to look for someone else. The leading someone else right now seems to be Wade Phillips because well, he has a great track record as a DC, is available and publicly acknowledged his interest. I would say second after that would be if the Falcons decided to not hire Raheem Morris (a mistake on their part I would say) and he becomes available, I bet he would get the phone call. Beyond that... your guess is as good as mine or anyone else's. 

Players that decisions will need to be made on: 

Brown- can be cut with no salary hit. When playing, he is dominate (except watching the game, I didn't see that but after being on the bench pretty much the whole season some rust can be expected). The problem has been him being on the field. 

Littleton- he hasn't played anywhere near his contract. However, he isn't going anyway. The cap hit looks to be more than his actual contract if we cut him. Hopefully a new DC with scheme can get him to play at or near the level he was with the Rams when he was pretty much the best cover LB in the game. 

Joyner- another FA signing that didn't go as planned. I think he has been played out of position as is better as a FS as he was with the Rams and excelled. We have plalyed as a nickle back and he has struggled. Again, perhaps a change of DC will help him. However, his $11 million we owe him would turn into a $2.5 cap hit. Not too bad to move on if we want to. 

Nassib- once more a FA that hasn't done anything. I would really like to move on from him but his $9.5 salary turns into a $5.75 hit if we cut him. Not a ton of savings. 

Jackson- I think he bounced back from his struggles last year but we did look to unload his contract with a trade this last off-season. I don't think we cut him. Maybe a contract extension that is team friendly to turn his $9.6 into more manageable for a G. 

Incognito- The big thing for him is age. He is worth the $6.35 if he played like he did last year but how long can he keep playing at that high level as his age? If we separate there is no cap hit. 

Williams- I can't see him coming back. His $11.6 is a big chunk for being not on the field 3/4 of his time with us with no cap hit, he will be allowed to hit the free market. 

Key- hasn't done much and I think the clock on him is up. He doesn't cost much $1.1 and likewise, not a huge hit of $200K. Maybe they keep him around if they think he has made progress (which I haven't seen). 

Hankins- set to be a FA. Solid against the run but doesnt add much to pass rush. If had for about what we are paying him now then worth bringing back. I would not pay more (about $4.2)

There are a slew of guys we have brought in to try to get on the Dline. Vickers, Chris Smith, Beasley, McKinley and Irving. The last three having the biggest upside. Beasley has done it in the league leading with it not being too long ago that he lead the league in sacks with 15.5. Even getting 8 which he had in his last year with the Falcons would go a long way to help us generate much pressure but he showed nearly nothing with the Titans and I haven't seen much with us. McKinley may get some grace as well as Irving. Irving for being out of the game for so long and McKinley for injury issues. 

Interesting players slated to be free agents: Leonard Williams, Bud Dupree, and Shaquil Barrett. This will shift as it always does with players resigning and being cut. 

I mentioned my thoughts on the draft before. I think we the DC situation needs to get settled to really get a good idea of what direction we go and as always you can't just say "this position" and magically have the right guy at that position available when you draft. Obviously the big need is defensive play makers. In a void, I would say a disruptive DT would be the route to get more out of the entire defense. But we could pretty much grab the best defensive player available at any position and be the better for it. 

As sucky as this season is ending- one thing has been proven: Our offense can go toe to toe with any team in the league. Sure, we would want some of our young guns to develop and get better but even so, it is a top offense. If we get the defense up to even average then that will catapult us into a playoff team that the best teams in the league will be scared. We also need to get past the mental "here we go again" crap because of the many years of "going". 

I said to start this season, it was the first one that I really was honestly excited about. I didn't think we were a lock to be a playoff team but I expected us to be on the bubble. That is where we are. I don't think we are too far off from pushing past the bubble and being a strong playoff team/contender. 

 

Bruno2

Footballguy
Biggest issue, this team fades when other teams like Indy, Cleveland, Miami and Baltimore are surging towards playoff time. This has happened two years in a row now. It usually starts with an ugly win versus a bad team. Last year it was Cincy, this year the Jets. My opinion, its lack of depth and poor coaching. The most interesting thing next year will be this, can the organization get over the "hump" and make a playoff push instead of fading away....

 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Former Raiders linebacker Will Compton played for Paul Guenther last year and he believes his former team made a good decision when they fired Guenther.

According to Compton, who talked about his time with the Raiders on his Bussin’ With The Boys podcast, Guenther was a likable person, but was not a great teacher, not the best game-planner, and played the ‘blame game’ too many times when things weren’t going well.

These were Compton’s words on his former defensive coordinator...

On Guenther’s tendency to blame others…

“I will say it was interesting being there at times. When I was taking Tahir’s [Whitehead] job, you felt like they were throwing Tahir under the bus a little bit. And being a player that was in those meetings, during the game, understanding how the headset works and all that stuff, there would be blame pushed around that you just hate seeing because you don’t want to be playing the blame game in the middle of the year.”

On Guenther’s qualities as a coach…

“What you want to see in a coach is somebody who can coach, someone who can teach game plans, who can help players understand why you are building a scheme in the first place. You want to be able to inspire your athletes. You want to be relatable to guys. You want to be optimistic. You want to be somebody that you know when you go in is going to have a good attitude because you’re all going to figure it out together. You want a coach that when bad stuff happens that you see take blame. I don’t want to get into too much, but in my opinion [Paul Guenther] didn’t check a lot of those boxes.”

On Guenther’s preparation through the week…

“There would be times where the communication would be off kilter, there would be a jam in the middle of communicating throughout the week. There was a lot of stuff you didn’t understand why we did things. An entire game plan was open on game day, whether or not you worked on it in the week. I remember sitting there, I was on Facetime with my fiancé and I was gearing up to play, I want to say it was my first start and, again, I’m still trying to catch up to a lot of stuff and I’m sitting there going over our third down plan and I’m like we’ve got about 25-30 calls on just third down defense. Which is a lot for a defense because you only have so many plays you can run during the week. When you are game planning and practicing, you have about 30-ish plays that you run during practice. Fifteen of those you might be working on third down on Thursday. One day a week you are working on specifically third down, you tie it all together on Friday and Saturday you do a couple plays, but to get through a lot of the game planning it would be hard because you run a lot of the new calls and stuff and then when you get in the game, the entire book was open. It was like a Madden playbook… there was just a lot going on.”

On Guenther’s hot seat status a year ago…

“I will say he was on the hot seat a little bit last year. The defense ended up communicating and playing well at the end of the year… but we played well at the end of the year and I think it saved him a little bit because I do think he was on the hot seat last year.”

More than anything, Guenther’s defenses were consistently among the worst in the NFL. By plenty of metrics his defense was the worst in the league this year… and those metrics speak louder than any quote from a former player.

 
Groin is such a tricky injury and very easy to re-injure.

A healthy Carr gives us the best chance, without question, full stop.

But if he is going to be limited in his throwing ability/mobility, it may be wiser to just sit him instead of having him out there at 65% and it impacting balls.

 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
DocHolliday said:
I like Carr but it would have been nice to see what Mariota can do.    
I think we saw it... same as with the Titans but with more passionate running as the fire is lit.

Mariota has everything you could ask for in a QB except accuracy. He is just like Trubisky, which is why both got such excitement coming out of college and tease in the NFL. One throw can be a beautiful dime into a tight window and then a couple can be wide open easy throws missed by 5 yards. 

He is a high 50, low 60 percentage thrower and the longer the throw his chances of throws get even more eradicate. Which is odd considering one of the biggest gripes about Carr is now throwing down field enough (or it use to be). I wouldn't want Mariota pushing it downfield much because it is an INT being begged for.

 
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Chadstroma

Footballguy
https://raiderswire.usatoday.com/2020/12/23/former-raiders-lb-will-compton-says-dc-paul-guenther-game-plan-too-complicated-lacked-accountability/

This rings true to me. It could explain pretty much everything that we have seen and why Gruden liked Guenther as well. Seems he is more theoretical than pratical than comes to football. He might (I don't know) have tremendous football intelligence but just not very good at leading and coaching. 

It also explains why so often we would see so many different players out of position or "looking lost"... thet were lost or didn't know where to be because the gameplan was non-existent. 

Last weeks game would have been hard for Rod to make a big impact. I qm very interested to see how the D does tonight. I do expect a measure of improvement. 

 

RG623

Footballguy
Par for the course with this org for the last 20+ years. Can’t even look forward to the higher pick in the draft because they will screw that up too

 

Hankmoody

Footballguy
If you wrote that ending in a movie script your own agent would laugh you out of the room

 
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DocHolliday

Footballguy
Par for the course with this org for the last 20+ years. Can’t even look forward to the higher pick in the draft because they will screw that up too
Higher draft picks don’t matter when Gruden and Mayock are making the selections.   Gruden and Mayock cannot draft.  Look at all the misses.   Maybe the Raiders will reach for the fastest WR instead of a bunch ofWRs that can actually play the position.    We could use another CB that can’t cover. How about a safety that hits hard but is often injured and out of position.  

 Gruden will snarl and get another pass.   The fans love him.  I’m not sure winning really matters as much as talking about next year.   

 

Bruno2

Footballguy
Higher draft picks don’t matter when Gruden and Mayock are making the selections.   Gruden and Mayock cannot draft.  Look at all the misses.   Maybe the Raiders will reach for the fastest WR instead of a bunch ofWRs that can actually play the position.    We could use another CB that can’t cover. How about a safety that hits hard but is often injured and out of position.  

 Gruden will snarl and get another pass.   The fans love him.  I’m not sure winning really matters as much as talking about next year.   
Ironic how the team that just embarrassed them in their own stadium has turned around the organization quicker than the Raiders. And how have they become successful? Build through your defense.  Like I said before, good teams surge toward playoff the time. The pretenders just fade away.... Same end result different year.

 

DA RAIDERS

willy t flyers
Jon Gruden’s stalled 18-28 Raiders run — where exactly is this headed?

By Tim Kawakami Dec 18, 2020 58 

Are the Raiders better or worse now than they were three years ago?

You might say that’s the appropriate $100 million question (give or take the actual details of Jon Gruden’s long-term deal) right now, 14 games into Gruden’s third season in his second tenure with the franchise. That’s a legitimate query given all that’s happened to the Raiders before and after Gruden’s arrival in January 2018, all that was promised, all that was planned and all that has never come to be.

For perspective, let’s flash back to the final days of Jack Del Rio’s tenure in December 2017, when the Raiders were gasping to a 6-10 record with minus-72 point differential. Let’s not get too nostalgic about the Del Rio era, though there was that 12-4 playoff run in 2016, because maybe, by late 2017, Del Rio had done about as much as he could with the Raiders.

But let’s also be realistic: Gruden’s three seasons with the Raiders haven’t been much of an improvement from the worst parts of Del Rio’s time and in some important ways Gruden’s time is only getting worse every week. And now he has two games to play out this season with Derek Carr’s groin injury making the quarterback 50-50 for next Saturday’s game against the Dolphins, according to Gruden.

This is not where the Raiders thought they’d be three years after that coronation/news conference to announce Gruden’s hiring in their old Alameda headquarters, to put it mildly.

OK, I will absolutely stipulate that Gruden’s splashy hiring by Mark Davis was a brilliant marketing move and fired up the Raiders’ far-flung fan base in ways that almost nothing else could’ve. The Raiders had to run out the time in Oakland before this year’s move to Las Vegas and they needed a big personality to get out front of all of that. Gruden fulfilled every part of the PR effort. Gruden was a pop-eyed promotional effort all by himself.

On the football field, though, what strides has this team really made in three seasons?

In 2015 under Del Rio in his first season, the Raiders were 7-9 with a minus-40 point differential.

In 2016 under Del Rio, they were 12-4 with a plus-31 point differential and in the playoffs.

In 2017 under Del Rio, they were 6-10 with a minus-72 point differential and Del Rio got fired.

In 2018 under Gruden, they were 4-12 with a minus-177 point differential.

In 2019 under Gruden, they were 7-9 with a minus-106 point differential.

So far in 2020 under Gruden, they are 7-7 with a minus-44 point differential with two games to go.

Summary: Del Rio inherited 3-13 team and went 25-23 in three seasons, with one playoff berth, before he was fired. Gruden inherited a 6-10 team and is 18-28 and is headed to a third consecutive finish out of the playoffs. And Gruden, we can safely say thanks to that 10-year contract, will not be getting fired.

But still, in any other contractual and emotional situation, Gruden absolutely would and should be on the hot seat right now, as Del Rio, Dennis Allen, Hue Jackson and so many other Raiders coaches were before him. Of course, the last Raiders coach to end his tenure without being fired is Gruden, who was traded by Al Davis to Tampa Bay after the 2001 season.

Let’s break it down one more specific way: In 2017, the year that got Del Rio fired, the Raiders offense ranked 17th in yards gained per game and 23rd in yards allowed. This season, the Raiders are ranked 11th in yards gained and 25th in yards allowed.

That is not exactly a quantum leap; Gruden has essentially wasted three years — including the final two of the Raiders’ Oakland existence — to achieve not much of anything, at least in the standings.

A side note: Mark Davis has said he likely wouldn’t have fired Del Rio unless he knew he was closing in on finally luring Gruden back to the Raiders, which puts Gruden’s performance since then in an even starker light. The Raiders didn’t have to hire him. But Davis was desperate to do it anyway, and gave him authority over all football decisions, which eventually led to general manager Reggie McKenzie’s firing after an awkward year with Gruden and then to the hiring of current GM Mike Mayock, whose relationship with the No. 1 man is less awkward.

Gruden has made a lot of decisions from January 2017 on and, again, this is a fair moment to take a look at a few of the big ones.

• When he took this job, he decided he could work with McKenzie, who had put together the roster. Result: Gruden seemed to want to get rid of all of the defensive personnel after about a month of looking at the unit, pushed McKenzie into some impulsive trades that didn’t do much and then fired McKenzie late in the 2018 season.

• He picked Paul Guenther to run his defense. Result: Guenther was fired after Sunday’s loss to Indianapolis, the culmination of repeated horrendous defensive play throughout the last three seasons.

• He got frustrated with the negotiations to sign Khalil Mack to an extension and directed McKenzie to trade the All-Pro pass rusher to Chicago on the eve of the 2018 season. Result: The Raiders’ entire 2018 season was thrown off the rails. The Raiders got two first-round picks, a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder (and had to give up a second-round pick, inexplicably).

• He turned Mack’s salary into the 2019 offseason signings of Trent Brown (for the highest salary ever for an offensive lineman), Tyrell Williams and Lamarcus Joyner, among other cash outlays. Result: I don’t know if Brown will be on the team next season, and he’s the best player of this group, by a lot. That’s a lot of money for not a lot of production and possibly even less beyond this season.

• He traded Amari Cooper to Dallas for a first-round pick in the middle of the 2018 season. Result: Gruden has made six first-round picks over three years. He ended up with Kolton Miller, Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, Josh Jacobs, Damon Arnette and Henry Ruggs III.

• He picked Mayock to be his personnel lieutenant in 2019. Result: The acquisitions have been more coherent, but there still have been an assortment of misses that have left the Raiders far too thin at too many important positions, especially on defense.

• He acquired Antonio Brown in 2019 and planned for him to have a featured role that season. Result: Oops!

• He’s stuck with Carr. Result: Carr hasn’t been great the last few weeks, but overall, he’s had his best season since 2016. Though every offseason it’s fair to say: We’ll see if the Carr/Gruden relationship continues.

• He added some very good players, led by Darren Waller and Richie Incognito, though Incognito has been hurt most of this season and might not be back in 2021.

Summary: The Raiders’ defense is about the same as it was in 2017, except it doesn’t have anybody as good as Mack. (Yes, I know the Bears haven’t exactly been Super Bowl contenders the last three seasons, but they have a foundation and it’s built around Mack, who is 29.) The Raiders’ offense is better than it was in 2018, but not by an immense margin, and the offensive line is very, very expensive and not so young. And for the second straight season, a team coached by Gruden has fallen apart exactly when it was in a position to make the playoffs.

The team isn’t talented enough. It often doesn’t seem to be coached very well. Gruden seems to get tentative at the worst moments. And there aren’t a lot of signs that Gruden and Mayock — the guys who paid a ton of money for Cory Littleton and Carl Nassib — can make the personnel calls to change much of anything. Plus, they don’t have those extra first-round picks anymore. Finally, a ton still rides on Carr’s development, and he’s 29, or on some other QB decision, and those are never easy.

Granted, this season is presenting unprecedented challenges. But you could say that about every team, of course, and some have had it worse than the Raiders. (For instance, the Chargers have been without Derwin James all season and didn’t have Joey Bosa for overtime and still beat the Raiders on Thursday. Also, Keenan Allen was clearly a shadow of his healthy self all game. Meanwhile, the league clearly believes the Raiders handled the coronavirus protocols as poorly as any team in the league.)

The Raiders aren’t going to fire Gruden. I don’t think they could find a better coach, anyway. He still lights up those billboards and fires up the season-ticket holders. But the Raiders are in Las Vegas now. They have their stadium. They’ve sold all those tickets, which hopefully can be used in 2021. They’ll be going into Gruden’s fourth year and in some ways they’ll be exactly where they were in January 2018, when he was supposed to be the perfect man to begin a revival that is three years behind schedule, and counting.
I hate this dude. But he’s spot on.  #firegruden. 

 

Bruno2

Footballguy
Gruden should be fired. 

Mayock seems to be be pretty good. 
Why wouldn't you just go ahead and score the TD and try for the 2 pt conversion? You have no defense to speak of, at least make them drive the length of the field with 30 seconds or so to score a TD. 

 

DA RAIDERS

willy t flyers
Why wouldn't you just go ahead and score the TD and try for the 2 pt conversion? You have no defense to speak of, at least make them drive the length of the field with 30 seconds or so to score a TD. 
And there were 4-5 other TERRIBLY OBVIOUS, offensive calls, that made ZERO SENSE. 

 

Sarlakticacid

Footballguy
Why wouldn't you just go ahead and score the TD and try for the 2 pt conversion? You have no defense to speak of, at least make them drive the length of the field with 30 seconds or so to score a TD. 
I may be responsible for this:

gurley

chubb

jacobs

all on my team...

may be better off with 

Whitman 

Price

and

Haddad...

seriously though has any other players gone down to avoid a potential “game losing” TD this year?

 

Hankmoody

Footballguy
This is only about 20% on Gruden.  Unless you can take the clock to zero there's always going to be 2nd guessing in this situation.  With as bad as our D is it was going to be a coin flip anyway.  Personally I would have scored the TD on third down.  The extra 4 points would have been worth the 40 seconds because you can build a wall on the goal line and with our D there's maybe only a 55% chance they score there. 

The real tragedy is that the rookie corner wasn't properly coached up - who the F is he guarding 15 yards from the LOS that he lets the guy run past him?  You DO NOT let plays get behind you. 

 

Hankmoody

Footballguy
Gruden should be fired. 

Mayock seems to be be pretty good. 
Does he though?  We have no pass rush.  Ferrel was a reach and hasn't had an impact, Abram is massively overrated when you add his negative value from missed plays and assignments, and Mullen looks like trash.  Passing on Lamb for Ruggs looks like a huge failure.  Arnette was a huge reach and better pay off but looks more like Mullen than Asomugha at this point.  We've already dumped a 2020 3rd round pick (who has flashed lately with his new team).  Our FA signings have been mostly a miss - Agholor is useful but still disappears too much and Kwiatkowski is a nice effort guy but he's physically outmatched out there if one is honest with oneself but we haven't had a big impact guy yet.  Brown could be if someone can motivate him and get him on the field but so far we haven't gotten our money's worth on that one either.

I want him to be a success, we NEED him to be a success, but the preliminary results don't bear it out yet - especially in the last 5 weeks.

 

dschuler

Footballguy
I’ve been watching the Raiders closely all year. Derek Carr looks to be a slightly below average starting QB that is being maximized.  He doesn’t check the ball down on easy reads, struggles to make a play when the first read isn’t there, doesn’t have any wow talent, and consistently misses open reads and is often too hesitant.  It still looks like the past injury is in his head.  It’s no wonder now seeing Amari Coopers big break out last season after going to another team.  Mariota looked to be a better fit last week IMO and I would cut bait.  How many other Starting QBs in the AFC would Carr start over?  Not many, and the ones that Carr is better than are most likely drafting QBs this season. Move on. 

 

ICON211

Footballguy
I’ve been watching the Raiders closely all year. Derek Carr looks to be a slightly below average starting QB that is being maximized.  He doesn’t check the ball down on easy reads, struggles to make a play when the first read isn’t there, doesn’t have any wow talent, and consistently misses open reads and is often too hesitant.  It still looks like the past injury is in his head.  It’s no wonder now seeing Amari Coopers big break out last season after going to another team.  Mariota looked to be a better fit last week IMO and I would cut bait.  How many other Starting QBs in the AFC would Carr start over?  Not many, and the ones that Carr is better than are most likely drafting QBs this season. Move on. 
I'm sure this is going to be an unpopular opinion in here, but I would move on from Carr.  I think Mariota brings an element to the offense that Carr doesn't with his legs and he is the type of QB Gruden wants and can maximize.  I believe if there was an real offseason Mariota would have been given an opportunity to win the job.  Also, Carr's $25M could be used to upgrade the D which we all know is a disaster.  We'll see that happens, but I do not think it's a lock that Carr is the Raiders QB next year.

As far the next DC, Gruden better bring in a guy like Wade that he can just turn the defense over to.  You can not have Guenther as your DC unless your HC is a defensive coach.  Guenther can not be your DC unless your HC is basically in charge of the defense and is just using him as a sounding board.  Gruden is not going to be super involved with the defense and a guy like Wade could be given autonomy over that unit. 

 

DocHolliday

Footballguy
Does he though?  We have no pass rush.  Ferrel was a reach and hasn't had an impact, Abram is massively overrated when you add his negative value from missed plays and assignments, and Mullen looks like trash.  Passing on Lamb for Ruggs looks like a huge failure.  Arnette was a huge reach and better pay off but looks more like Mullen than Asomugha at this point.  We've already dumped a 2020 3rd round pick (who has flashed lately with his new team).  Our FA signings have been mostly a miss - Agholor is useful but still disappears too much and Kwiatkowski is a nice effort guy but he's physically outmatched out there if one is honest with oneself but we haven't had a big impact guy yet.  Brown could be if someone can motivate him and get him on the field but so far we haven't gotten our money's worth on that one either.

I want him to be a success, we NEED him to be a success, but the preliminary results don't bear it out yet - especially in the last 5 weeks.
Well said.   I hate being the Debby downer this season but I have seen enough.    The Raiders lack talent on both sides of the ball but the lack of talent on D is comically bad.   I have not seen such terrible players at all levels.  The D line can’t stop the run or pressure QBs.   The linebackers can’t stop the run or cover at all.    Fitz had Gesicki open every play last night.   The safeties cannot tackle and are always out of position.    The CBs cannot cover average WRs.   

Waller is the only great player on the team and makes Carr look better than he is.  He made a couple of catches last night, as usual, that probably he and only Kielce make.   I have complained about the WRs all season but it’s amazing to see a team have so little talent when the NFL is full of WR talent.    Agholor is a WR3 on most teams but he is the best WR on the team and it’s not close!   Raider fans better get used to it.   He will be the WR1 next season since Ruggs is a deep threat decoy and Edwards is a possession WR at best and looks lost.   I doubt either is on the team in a couple of years.  

When can Gruden and Mayock go away?   

 

Bruno2

Footballguy
I'm sure this is going to be an unpopular opinion in here, but I would move on from Carr.  I think Mariota brings an element to the offense that Carr doesn't with his legs and he is the type of QB Gruden wants and can maximize.  I believe if there was an real offseason Mariota would have been given an opportunity to win the job.  Also, Carr's $25M could be used to upgrade the D which we all know is a disaster.  We'll see that happens, but I do not think it's a lock that Carr is the Raiders QB next year.

As far the next DC, Gruden better bring in a guy like Wade that he can just turn the defense over to.  You can not have Guenther as your DC unless your HC is a defensive coach.  Guenther can not be your DC unless your HC is basically in charge of the defense and is just using him as a sounding board.  Gruden is not going to be super involved with the defense and a guy like Wade could be given autonomy over that unit. 
Carr is the least of this team's problems. But I do agree, they should trade him. Not because I think he's bad but because the poor guy deserves to play for a winning organization. Send him to New England so he knows what it feels like to play for a winning organization and a great coach. 

 

32 Counter Pass

Footballguy
This is only about 20% on Gruden.  Unless you can take the clock to zero there's always going to be 2nd guessing in this situation.  With as bad as our D is it was going to be a coin flip anyway.  Personally I would have scored the TD on third down.  The extra 4 points would have been worth the 40 seconds because you can build a wall on the goal line and with our D there's maybe only a 55% chance they score there. 

The real tragedy is that the rookie corner wasn't properly coached up - who the F is he guarding 15 yards from the LOS that he lets the guy run past him?  You DO NOT let plays get behind you. 
Reminder: https://twitter.com/StillRyanFive/status/1343180139727904769?s=20

In that context, this is 100% on Gruden. He has a long history of poor drafts. His strength was in game planning. That skill seems to be eroding as well based on his plays calls in the red zone the past few games.

 

Hankmoody

Footballguy
I’ve been watching the Raiders closely all year. Derek Carr looks to be a slightly below average starting QB that is being maximized.  He doesn’t check the ball down on easy reads, struggles to make a play when the first read isn’t there, doesn’t have any wow talent, and consistently misses open reads and is often too hesitant.  It still looks like the past injury is in his head.  It’s no wonder now seeing Amari Coopers big break out last season after going to another team.  Mariota looked to be a better fit last week IMO and I would cut bait.  How many other Starting QBs in the AFC would Carr start over?  Not many, and the ones that Carr is better than are most likely drafting QBs this season. Move on. 
Carr isn't at all below average.  He's well above average - borderline top 10 QB.  He runs a complex offense pretty darn well and doesn't make a whole ton of mistakes.  Put him on a team like BAL or TB or PIT and you'd be a Super Bowl contender all day long - someone with a good D, some good offensive weapons, or both.

Problem is he's not elite and we don't have any support around him.  He's no Mahomes so he's not going to change how the D has to play him and he can't maximize what weapons he does have - and those aren't even very good.  He feeds Waller well enough but any QB that can't should be run out of the league.  He makes some nice enough throws to guys that are wide open but he's not someone that's going to pick the team up and carry them when that's the only option. 

I would be fine with moving on if the opportunity presents - a bargain QB slides in draft like Jackson did or a mid-round pick that pans out ala DAK.

I also think we can win with him, just not with the current roster.  I think we have bigger problems than Carr, he's not actually losing us games.  We absolutely gotta get some pieces to actually help him win though.  We're still very young at a lot of critical support positions (CB, S, WR) so if those end up developing we aren't on fire yet.  Some of them have shown some flashes (and been murderously bad at times) so if we can get some development and consistency going that would work wonders.

 

Hankmoody

Footballguy
I'm sure this is going to be an unpopular opinion in here, but I would move on from Carr.  I think Mariota brings an element to the offense that Carr doesn't with his legs and he is the type of QB Gruden wants and can maximize.  I believe if there was an real offseason Mariota would have been given an opportunity to win the job.  Also, Carr's $25M could be used to upgrade the D which we all know is a disaster.  We'll see that happens, but I do not think it's a lock that Carr is the Raiders QB next year.

As far the next DC, Gruden better bring in a guy like Wade that he can just turn the defense over to.  You can not have Guenther as your DC unless your HC is a defensive coach.  Guenther can not be your DC unless your HC is basically in charge of the defense and is just using him as a sounding board.  Gruden is not going to be super involved with the defense and a guy like Wade could be given autonomy over that unit. 
If we're moving on from Carr it can't be for a donkey like Mariotta.  If it's gonna happen it's gotta be a big swing - go pay Dak, draft someone, trade for Darnold or Haskins or someone else whose book hasn't yet been written.  The last thing we need is a Mariotta or Dalton or someone else coming in here that's also not going to be able to carry a bad team.

 

Ed Wood

Footballguy

Sea Duck

Footballguy
Gruden should be fired. 

Mayock seems to be be pretty good. 
Why wouldn't you just go ahead and score the TD and try for the 2 pt conversion? You have no defense to speak of, at least make them drive the length of the field with 30 seconds or so to score a TD. 
Checking the win probability calculator...

Kick field goal: 85.4% chance of winning
Score TD with 1:45 remaining (plus 2 point conversion): 91.1%
Score TD with 1:45 remaining (failed 2 point conversion): 79.8%

So, basically it comes down to your confidence in converting a 2-point PAT.

 

Ed Wood

Footballguy
I'm sure this is going to be an unpopular opinion in here, but I would move on from Carr.  I think Mariota brings an element to the offense that Carr doesn't with his legs and he is the type of QB Gruden wants and can maximize.  I believe if there was an real offseason Mariota would have been given an opportunity to win the job.  Also, Carr's $25M could be used to upgrade the D which we all know is a disaster.  We'll see that happens, but I do not think it's a lock that Carr is the Raiders QB next year.

As far the next DC, Gruden better bring in a guy like Wade that he can just turn the defense over to.  You can not have Guenther as your DC unless your HC is a defensive coach.  Guenther can not be your DC unless your HC is basically in charge of the defense and is just using him as a sounding board.  Gruden is not going to be super involved with the defense and a guy like Wade could be given autonomy over that unit. 
Before this year, I would have agreed with you about moving on from Carr but he's been solid to spectacular for most of the season. I'm still not sure you can win the whole thing with him but they gotta get to the playoffs to find that out.

Indeed Mariota brings a unique element to the game Carr--and most--do not. You'd love to see Carr have Mariota's pocket presence, the ability to drift out of trouble and then when running have almost running back-like skills. But Carr at this point in his career is much more consistent than Mariota. As great as Mariota's play was against the Chargers he very easily could have had 3 picks. I stand by my statement from about a week ago they need some packages for Mariota next year.

As far as the D, Marinelli is not the answer...he's a stopgap measure at best. Phillips is not the answer--he's a temporary fix. He's 73. Heck, might as well hire **** LeBeau. He led some good defenses and he's only 83. What's 10 years?

On a couple other fronts, I agree Gruden's play calling has suffered this second go-around and his skills as a head coach aren't what they once were. The late-season collapses are alarming. But I think we need to go a little easier on his and Mayock's personnel decisions. They've only had 2 years together. People were raving about this pairing after the draft last year. So the knee jerk evaluation is an A-B in 2019 and a D-F in 2020. I'd even give em a little more leeway on free agency signings. Let these guys play under a real defensive coordinator and see how they fare.

Finally, ICON mentioned moving on from Carr might be an unpopular opinion, here's another: maybe they should deal Waller for a major upgrade on defense. He's probably their most valuable trade piece and it would suck to do it but I think they've got a very serviceable player in Moreau. He flashed a number of times in 2019 before his season-ending injury. He's regressed this year I believe only because it's hard to take Waller off the field. His play reminds me a little of Dave Casper, not to mention his number. Solid hands, decent enough speed it looks like. Haven't seen enough of him as a blocker to say anything about that. I love Waller and I doubt they'd find a suitable trade partner but as they say, "to get something ya gotta give something."

As to the talk that Gruden should be on the hot seat. In ordinary circumstances I'd say no doubt. He'd be gone after this year under some owners. Another subpar year next year he'd be gone under most owners. But Mark Davis, obviously, isn't most owners when it comes to Jon Gruden. Depending on your point of view, you're stuck with him for 7 more seasons.

 

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