Before yesterday’s game, Ian Rapoport broke the news of division within Oakland. Rapoport specifically mentioned Gruden employing his own shadow staff of scouts, interns, and support. Within a league of controversy and wild front office behavior, this takes the cake. In no uncertain terms, Jon Gruden runs his management decisions counter to what the Raiders do. In itself, that sentence is incredible to type.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 23, 2018
Not For Long
When Oakland hired Jon Gruden, the false hope of working with Reggie McKenzie took hold. If you listened to soundbytes or read quotes, these two would operate in lockstep. Yet, the complete opposite occurred. First, Jon Gruden, in one fell swoop remodels the roster. Under those circumstances, most of what McKenzie accomplished seemingly vanished. From McKenzie’s free agents to draft picks began to leave the team. How does McKenzie stays under that strain. When teams would fall over themselves to sign McKenzie, why remain?
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Remember what the team looked like when McKenzie arrived. People forget how Hue Jackson mortgaged the future for Carson Palmer. On the other hand, how the salary cap situation bordered on the disastrous. Who fixed all of that? McKenzie demolished and rebuilt the roster. Granted, his drafting trends toward the weaker side. However, considering how he saved the franchise, credit needs to find him. In addition, Gruden did not set Tampa on fire after he arrived down there. In addition, he chased Rich McKay away. If Reggie McKenzie leaves, he will find a job immediately.
After three games and months of moves, the fanbase appeared split into two camps. First, many blindly believe in Gruden and will follow him to the ends of the Earth. Whether Gruden justifies that, remains to be seen. If you peruse social media, some will go out of their way to exempt Gruden from any criticism, from ignoring the erratic playcalling to botching free agency, a segment of the fanbase will ride for Jon Gruden. On the other hand, you find the fans that grew tired of the circus and simply want their chosen team to win. These people care nothing for the histrionics and media attention.
In reality, Jon Gruden continues to break new ground. After securing a hundred-million dollar contract, Gruden apparently runs the team within his own team. You would think a winless team would be the craziest occurrence in RaiderNation.