Gruden: Raiders needed a pass-rusher other than Mack and Irvin

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The Raiders were willing to take a chance on pass-rusher Arden Key in the third round, since the reward was worth the risk of a third-round pick.

And they’re hoping he’s ready to play a role this year, to take some of the pressure off veteran pass-rushers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.

According to Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle, those two accounted for 18.5 of the team’s 31 sacks, but plays 89.5 percent and 84.7 percent of the defensive snaps, respectively.

“When Khalil got tired last year, who’s the third rusher?” Gruden asked. “When Bruce got tired, who’s the third rusher?

“You’ve got to have at least three guys that can get after the quarterback because you win games with your fourth-quarter pass rush. You work 57 minutes to get a lead, and your fourth-quarter pass rush has to close the door down. So, we think Key can be one of those guys at the end of games.”

Key’s fall to the third round has been well documented, after a stint in rehab in college, and the weight gain last year that kept him from looking like the same player. But he said he’s back to 246 pounds, and is ready to prove himself.

“Oh, I’m back,” Key said. “I’m back. I’m back to my 2016 season. I got down, lost the weight. Been getting in shape and things of that sort. And now it’s time to put the pads on and show it. . . .

“No, just stay on the straight path. Talent was not the reason why none of this happened. Off-the-field issues. We set a plan. I trust them and they trust me. So we’re just going to keep on moving with the plan.”

And if that plan holds up, he’ll be working with — and spelling — two of the league’s top pass-rushers on a regular basis.

34 responses to “Gruden: Raiders needed a pass-rusher other than Mack and Irvin

  1. With all the fire power the Raiders are adding to their offense, they’ll need more than just pass rushers to close out games in the fourth quarter. Teams will get so far behind early, they’ll start throwing in the second quarter. And Arden Key is stronger than he looks. He can hold his ground against the run too. This kid was projected as the #1 overall pick a year or two ago. He’s a beast. The Raiders got their closer.

  2. Raiders got 2 steals in the draft!! I love it!! Gruden learned from the great Al Davis who won 3 Super Bowls in his prime and his teams had the most wins in the NFL from 1960-2002. Taking a risk on great players. Raiders are back! let the haters keep on hating…..

  3. charliecharger says:
    May 7, 2018 at 7:48 am
    With all the fire power the Raiders are adding to their offense, they’ll need more than just pass rushers to close out games in the fourth quarter. Teams will get so far behind early, they’ll start throwing in the second quarter. And Arden Key is stronger than he looks. He can hold his ground against the run too. This kid was projected as the #1 overall pick a year or two ago. He’s a beast. The Raiders got their closer.

    ——–

    I remember these same predictions regarding how the Raiders would “handle” the Patriots last season in Mexico City. How did that turn out?

    Same bombast from Raiders’ fans in the pre-season…..same result in the end

  4. This young man is a football freak quick as lightning and tuff as nails. I watched him play cause as we all know SEC ball is tuff ball. His off the field issues will be put in check. He is a ball hawk bad A Player. Welcome 2 the Nation

  5. Every year we hear how the raiders picks are all the steal of the draft. How every free agent is the one that will put them over the top. And yet every year they finish 8-8.

  6. “Same bombast…” rings true, BUT

    seems like a different vibe this year with new coaching staff. Truth is, last year’s OAK was overpaid and complacent and simply expected advancing up the playoff ladder.

    JDR & Co. gone, vet’s must now produce or hit the bricks.

  7. nhpats players whern’t the issue it was a coaching fubar. When the General and the OC can’t get along and the DC play’s are known before they are called what do you expect? Chucky has a staff in place that will bring Commitment to Excellence back.

  8. if you have the problem with the incentive of making it to the nfl and earning big bucs whats going to happen once you have it

  9. Carr after 4 years 103 TDs 44 ints..Tommy Boy after 4 years 93 TDs 52 ints… Carr ever gets a defense and WRs that can hold onto the ball, he’ll be a HOFer

  10. I listen to The Raiders Daily, the host of the show said Raiders/Gruden are going to take a swing at some VETS. This reminds me a lot of what Gruden did with Raiders back in 2000. It worked, they would of had 3 rings if NFL REFS didn’t sabotage playoff games

  11. What fantasy are you living in that you think the Raiders would have had three rings if not for the refs?

    I swear Raider and Knicks fans are the most delusional fan bases in all of sports.

  12. Rate This
    MacGuffin says:
    May 7, 2018 at 9:30 am
    Carr after 4 years 103 TDs 44 ints..Tommy Boy after 4 years 93 TDs 52 ints… Carr ever gets a defense and WRs that can hold onto the ball, he’ll be a HOFer

    ———-

    Carr after 4 years – 0 playoff wins

    Brady after 4 years – 10 playoff wins….3 SB wins

    See the difference?

  13. Amazing. Every new Raider player is a beast that’s going to the HOF. This happens every year. So like, why can’t the Raiders win? #cricketts

  14. MacGuffin says:
    May 7, 2018 at 9:30 am
    Carr after 4 years 103 TDs 44 ints..Tommy Boy after 4 years 93 TDs 52 ints… Carr ever gets a defense and WRs that can hold onto the ball, he’ll be a HOFer
    ——–

    Wow. I can’t believe I’m defending the patriots, but after Brady’s first 4 years he had 2 super bowl titles. And not much help on offense with skill position players. And I don’t get why so many fans(not just raider fans) are always predicting that they have the “steal of the draft” before training camps even start lol.

  15. Brady after 4 years – 10 playoff wins….3 SB wins
    *************************************************
    Not to difficult when you know what the other team is doing because you’ve illegally taped them.

  16. At andreboy:

    1) Siragusa bellyflopped on Gannon derailing SB.
    Blatant, was not called.

    2) Tuck Rule

    3) Callahan doesn’t change the plays, Tampa Bay smokes Raiders.

    If things fell just a little differently, the Silver and Black are holding 3 more rings.

    It’s called Raider Math, get with it.

    RAIDER NATION

  17. The defense is far better then they played. Horrible coaching under Norton.
    I think it is a breakout year for their defense.
    When the CB’s are 15 yards off the WR’s on 3rd and 3 each game that is bad coaching.

  18. nhpats says:
    May 7, 2018 at 10:19 am
    Rate This
    MacGuffin says:
    May 7, 2018 at 9:30 am
    Carr after 4 years 103 TDs 44 ints..Tommy Boy after 4 years 93 TDs 52 ints… Carr ever gets a defense and WRs that can hold onto the ball, he’ll be a HOFer

    ———-

    Carr after 4 years – 0 playoff wins

    Brady after 4 years – 10 playoff wins….3 SB wins

    See the difference

    Super Bowls are TEAM wins, Brady would have none without Vinatieri bailing him out

  19. There is just so much bias against RN, not sure why and I’m not crying in my milk I could care less it’s been this way for a long time now & we have adjusted. When reporters say our picks won’t fare well that’s bc they don’t like us….. WHO CARES… MOVE ON !!! Let Gruden give us Our SWAG back and let’s go kick some ass.

  20. To the posters above, is it really fair to compare anyone with the standard of Tom the GOAT Brady? The answer is no.

    Additionally, Carr has a chance to be a really good QB. He’s young – as I have said several times on this site, why do people want to rush to declare a guy is a stud or a bust within a few seasons. You have to give it time, actually watch, QBs in particular aren’t the same guys in Year 4 than they are in Year 8. Its called development.

    If I were a Raiders fan based on what I’ve seen of Carr (which is every snap for this film geek) I would be pretty happy. He’s a young QB on the rise. Let it play out a couple more seasons before you judge him.

  21. nhpats says:

    May 7, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Rate This
    MacGuffin says:
    May 7, 2018 at 9:30 am
    Carr after 4 years 103 TDs 44 ints..Tommy Boy after 4 years 93 TDs 52 ints… Carr ever gets a defense and WRs that can hold onto the ball, he’ll be a HOFer

    ———-

    Carr after 4 years – 0 playoff wins

    Brady after 4 years – 10 playoff wins….3 SB wins

    See the difference?

    ________________________________________________________

    yes it’s called cheating

  22. Khalil Mack is so dominant that he draws multiple teams to contain him. So virtually anyone on the other side will look better because of that – Irvin is a prime example of a player who would otherwise be average. And I think Arden Key will also benefit from Mack’s presence.

  23. Raiders fans quietly might be the some of the biggest whiners in the entire NFL..No fans are as bad as Colts fans but the Jets and Raider fans will sure give them a run for their money!

  24. Why are these low life Raider haters trolling this site? Get lost! Last year is last year and so what if the team had a set back because of poor coaching, bad OC and DC and a starting quarterback with two broken bones in his back, running a predictable offense. This is a new day. We never hear from you moronic types when things are going well.

  25. lainc8254 says:

    May 8, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Why are these low life Raider haters trolling this site? Get lost! Last year is last year and so what if the team had a set back because of poor coaching, bad OC and DC and a starting quarterback with two broken bones in his back, running a predictable offense. This is a new day. We never hear from you moronic types when things are going well.
    _______________________________________________________________________________
    Tell the Toronto troll with the 35 usernames to stop trolling Bills sites, then maybe people will go away.

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