Since returning to the coaching sidelines, Las Vegas Raiders shot caller Jon Gruden can’t seem to catch a break from the national media.
First of all, let’s not make a martyr of Gruden, the man’s responsible for his own actions, right or wrong. When the team faced backlash for their actions in the middle of a pandemic, he took the heat. He’s the leader of this organization, so naturally, he’s going to take the bullet no matter what course he chooses. Whether it’s questionable draft selections, poor gameplay, and execution, or simply being careless with a facemask, Gruden receives the full wrath of the media. Perhaps, this comes with the territory of being the Raiders head coach with one of the largest coaching contracts. Recently, he’s been in the background, no longer on the forefront of everything publicly, and yet, he still can’t win.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk recently shed light on Gruden, and not in a good way. To be fair, Florio isn’t exactly a fan-favorite among the Raider Nation faithful. Quarterback Derek Carr certainly isn’t a fan, the signal-caller famously blocked the writer on Twitter. So naturally, many fans probably don’t care what Florio has to say. This is fair when you consider his history with the team. Be that as it may, he pointed out that that the head coach has been awfully quiet this offseason. Surely Raider Nation has noticed this as well, in fact, it seems that general manager Mike Mayock has been the team’s offseason ‘face’ this year.
Where do the Raiders stand in all this?
Perhaps, it’s a good thing that Gruden has remained in the background this offseason. Florio reminds everyone that the last time we all saw Gruden, he was trying to recruit a free agent on a live broadcast. Again, it was an error on his part but life goes on. Let’s not be naive and act like he didn’t do anything that organizations don’t do under the table.
The kicker in Florio’s report is his insinuation that Gruden is doing this as a ploy to set up Mayock as the proverbial ‘fall guy.’ According to the writer, by taking a public backseat, all of this year’s offseason moves will be pinned on Mayock if the team falters once again. That’s certainly something to think about no doubt. This is all speculation on Florio’s part, none of us know what Gruden has planned nor why he’s in the shadows at the moment. For now, the organization is focused on its offseason activities which began this weekend.
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*Top Photo: Getty Images/Ethan Miller