The Oakland Raiders signed Jon Gruden to a 10-year deal this winter to be their head coach. They might already have a serious case of buyer’s remorse.
The Oakland Raiders went all in after falling down in 2017, staggering to a 6-10 mark. Despite giving head coach Jack Del Rio a four-year extension only a year prior, the Raiders fired him in the wake of their Week 17 defeat against the Los Angeles Chargers, already with a replacement in mind.
Days later, Jon Gruden was being announced at the Oakland Coliseum, with owner Mark Davis beaming alongside him. The media circus was there, but is the substance? Thus far, it has been more flash and sizzle than actual good work, something that should make fans in the East Bay a bit shaky in their shoes.
So why does this have an ominous look? Here are five reasons.
5. Gruden’s apparent plan will sink Derek Carr
Last offseason, the Raiders signed quarterback Derek Carr to a five-year extension worth $125 million, making him the highest-paid player in league history at the time. The idea was to built the franchise’s offense around Carr and Amari Cooper, with a stout offensive line to help keep him clean.
Now, what exactly is the plan? The Raiders have signed a bunch of mediocre veterans in Derek Carrier, Lee Smith, Keith Smith and Jordy Nelson. In a time when the league has decided to go young, fast and athletic, Gruden is apparently trying to play the game in a phone booth. There’s value in being able to push someone around, but with playmakers, the offense will inevitably bog down.
Oakland could have went after youthful athletes in Paul Richardson, Isaiah Crowell, Trey Burton and/or Donte Moncrief to help Carr live up to his contract. Instead, he has an offense that built to pound the ball and crawl up the field.