Low hanging fruit is blasting Gruden’s short-term Raiders failure, but it’s his long game that’s in play and he’s staying true to it.
What the Oakland Raiders are experiencing is a microwaved NFL version of “The Process.” Unfortunately, head coach Jon Gruden failed to let his players know that they were on a temporarily sinking ship. But you have to make tough decisions when it’s all on you.
— Complex (@Complex) October 24, 2018
There are two sides to every story. If everyone just chills on the “Gruden is an idiot” narrative for a minute and digs into their historical treasure chest, they just might give him and Raiders owner Mark Davis the benefit of the doubt.
It seems as if they’re following the script of the Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson era in Dallas when the Cowboys leveraged the Herschel Walker trade to propel them towards becoming a ’90s dynasty.
In all, the Cowboys received 13 players or picks in return for Walker, and those picks materialized into foundation pieces for a well-constructed and complete championship team. The emergence of Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and Michael Irvin led the turnaround. Dallas went from 1-15 in 1989 to 7-9 in 1990 before making the playoffs in 1991 thanks to an 11-5 record. They won at least 10 games each season from 1991-96, winning three Super Bowls in that span.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) August 6, 2017
What if Gruden’s football mind didn’t go to mush? What if the Raiders are paying him all of this money because he’s the right guy to improve a dying football culture?
Gruden wants to reshape the roster, instill his culture and eliminate any opposition to him accomplishing that. The two big trades leave Oakland with five first-round picks over the next two years. He has been ridiculed for many of the moves, but he has some draft capital to work with in future years.
The media and players don’t like the fact that he doesn’t feel like divulging too much of the plan, but the Super Bowl-winning coach has made it clear that he’s in control of the ship. You can criticize him, but he has a job to do.
The early results of Gruden’s return to coaching have done nothing to silence the critics who looked at the ownership as if they were vacationing in Colorado a bit too much when they gave the keys to Raider Nation to a guy who left the sidelines for the TV booth a decade ago.
The Raiders are struggling at 1-5, so those skeptics are destroying Gruden. The losing, combined with Gruden’s dictatorial approach and his willingness to trade away top players, has the NFL world in a frenzy. But jumping to any conclusions about the success or failure of his tenure after six games is premature and silly.
People get excited about instant results, but building a franchise that is a perennial contender starts from the top down. Gruden was brought back to lead the Raiders franchise back to prominence and be the face of their new stadium and historical move to Las Vegas in 2020. The fact that he is not doing it in a way that brings overnight success, or that people on the periphery don’t agree with, doesn’t really matter.
Of course, the players aren’t going to like it, but how many of them are going to be there when and if the Raiders get back to the mountaintop?
ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter questions whether the 5 first-round draft picks are worth it for Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders, and whether Gruden can adjust to the modern game after taking a 10-year break from coaching.
One Oakland player described Amari Cooper’s sudden, unexplained departure this week as “…a knockout punch.”
Fans are concerned that the locker room morale is lost.
Fast forward a few years and Raiders fans will be kissing Gruden ’s ass if he wins a Super Bowl. The NFL landscape changes quickly. The AFC’s top quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, and Matt Ryan are winding down their careers. New blood will claim the top spots and Gruden wants to be in the mix for that title when the shoe drops.
He doesn’t seem to be that high on quarterback Derek Carr either.
Jon Gruden Responds To Those Derek Carr Trade Rumors: ‘I Don’t See Us Making Any More Trades’ https://t.co/s7OPMt5FyF
The possibility of packaging Carr in a blockbuster deal for a couple of No. 2’s is legit. The New York Giants, headed towards another Top 3 pick, could use Carr for the next few years.
Low hanging fruit is blasting Gruden’s short-term failure, but it’s his long game that’s in play and he’s staying true to it, regardless of what the critics say.
Until he just totally destroys the franchise, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt.