Jon Gruden: Our defense wasn’t good last year, even with Khalil Mack

AP

Raiders coach Jon Gruden has said repeatedly that he wants to get a contract done that will end Khalil Mack‘s holdout and bring the star pass rusher to camp, but Gruden also noted that even with Mack, Oakland’s defense will have plenty of work to do.

Gruden said on NFL Network that the Raiders’ defense wasn’t good enough last year, even with Mack, who is widely regarded as one of the league’s best defensive players.

“We weren’t very good last year on defense with Khalil Mack,” Gruden said. “We didn’t have an interception, I think, all year. I don’t know if we intercepted a pass until Week 14. We’ve got to get a better pass rush, we’ve got to play better defense, period. And we hope Khalil gets here, but in the time being, we’ve got plenty of guys who need work.”

Gruden’s stats weren’t quite right, but he made a valid point: The Raiders’ first interception of the season didn’t come until the 11th game of 2017, and Oakland finished dead last in the NFL, with just five interceptions.

The Raiders’ defense was one of the worst in the NFL last year, and that was with Mack starting all 16 games. Getting Mack in camp isn’t the only thing the Raiders need to do to get better.

53 responses to “Jon Gruden: Our defense wasn’t good last year, even with Khalil Mack

  1. The Raiders lacked leadership last year, and Mack was supposedly one of the team leaders. His leadership skills are on full display right now, and he’s a no-show.

  2. The NFL should just close down the Raiders franchise and open a ‘new’ franchise in Vegas with an expansion draft. The raiders blow, and the they fix it just right (like the NHL did) they can take advantage of having a new, good team in Vegas.

  3. castropigsocks says:
    July 30, 2018 at 6:53 pm
    The Browns had more interceptions, and we all know how good that team was.

    —————

    The Browns had at least twice as many giveaways than 30 other teams which was their real problem. The Raiders generated one more turnover (INTs & Fumbles combined) than Cleveland.

    The Browns had 28 giveaways, Denver, the next closest team had 17, no other team had more than 14.

  4. I kinda think firing Jack Del Rio was a little dumb. He seems like a guy who has an excellent understanding of personnel development. I think if he was to go coach college, sayyyy the LSU Savages? He’d do very well there.

  5. Same old bottom feeding cellar dwellers. Gruden will actually make them worse, because he’s a terrible head coach.

  6. Always fun to hear Gruden just winging it out there, that’s the attention to detail I came to expect from his game broadcasts. Belichick probably would have gotten that Raiders INT stat right and he coaches a completely different team.

  7. Gruden is Gruden. But give Gruden a break.

    What is he supposed to say? Let’s reserve the smack talk for end of season.

    I’m hoping he is able to improve the team this year.

  8. slick50kc says:
    July 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm
    Same old bottom feeding cellar dwellers. Gruden will actually make them worse, because he’s a terrible head coach

    Andy Reid! Lol, slick, where were you when your Queefs blew that lead at home in the playoffs? You disappeared for weeks and weeks, can dish it out but can’t take it

  9. He was making a point that the rest of the defense was pretty bad last year and that there is a ton of work to do with the other 10 guys

  10. Raiders need a cash infusion badly. Time to raise the price of the Vegas PSLs. Collect immediately. The Raiders may not make it to Vegas…….

  11. a far tune from when he was commentating… x, y and z are the best i’ve seen at: fill in the blank.

  12. There are 11 guys on defense. Mack can only do so much. When he’s being doubled teamed, that should be an opening for one of the other 10 to get to the QB. The secondary was very weak.

  13. slick50kc says:
    July 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm
    Same old bottom feeding cellar dwellers. Gruden will actually make them worse, because he’s a terrible head coach.
    ———————
    So says the man from KC, whose team consistently chokes in the playoffs.

  14. Defense becomes less meaningful the deeper into the playoffs you get. Eventually you will meet TB12. Just gotta have a good enough defense to get you into the post season. Eagles proved you don’t need a defense to to stop Brady to win it all.

  15. The fact that the Raiders weren’t very good defensively had nothing to do with Khalil Mack. In fact without Mack, they would’ve probably set historical records for being the worst all-time defense.

    The Raiders defense wasn’t good because Mack didn’t any real starting-quality surrounding talent (that’s largely on McKenzie). And Ken Norton Jr. was vastly unqualified to be a DC.

    I’ll give Gruden kudos for bringing in Paul Guenther as DC. But if Mack holds out or is traded then the Raiders defense will be putrid even with a good DC like Guenther.

  16. Gruden’s seen legit defenses I mean he deserves near Von Miller money. Does he deserve more? NO, no city celebrates all pro awards no matter how many you win, they celebrate championships and Von Miller basically won the Broncos that title 3 years ago on that Denver team that had no QB when Denver was shuffling between Peyton and Brock. Did Khalil help lead Oakland two years ago when they lost Derek Carr????

  17. Gruden is only there to put butts in the seats in Oakland so MD can continue to fleece the Oakland fanbase. Once the team makes the move to Vegas, Chucky will be gone.

  18. I give Gruden 3 years and then he will be out of professional football. I’ll be very surprised if any of his teams win more than 6 games in any season, and 5-11 this year is where I see them. Lynch is over the hill, the defense is terrible. Carr is very good but he is not a top 8 QB in the NFL. Raiders had an exceptionally poor draft. They will be a laughing stock in Vegas next year for sure.

  19. How often are you gonna pass against last years D when you could run through it like Swiss cheese?!

    Find those stats. I bet teams passed less against the raiders cause they didn’t need to, had the lead and had 3rd and shiprt more often than not.

    Do I expect it to change? Only if they can stop the run and cover tight ends!

  20. Make him play out this year and then franchise him twice!

    I do want to see Mack under a qualified DC-Guenther

  21. slick50kc says:

    July 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Same old bottom feeding cellar dwellers. Gruden will actually make them worse, because he’s a terrible head coach.
    ————————
    Come on Slick. Mahomes will throw Favre like INTs all year. I smell KC or Denver in last.

  22. “ He was making a point that the rest of the defense was pretty bad last year and that there is a ton of work to do with the other 10 guys.”

    While subtley calling out Mack a bit as well. Alluding to him
    Being a “difference maker,” who didn’t make much of a difference.

    Gruden knows Mack’s value, but couldn’t resist shedding light on this and hopefully stoking Mack’s competitive flame.

  23. jjackwagon says:
    July 31, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Gruden is only there to put butts in the seats in Oakland so MD can continue to fleece the Oakland fanbase. Once the team makes the move to Vegas, Chucky will be gone.

    ================

    I agree, this is a P.T. Barnum style publicity stunt by Son-of-Al.

    But what Son-of-Al is too dense to realize is that if the team loses a lot under Gruden in Oakland and Gruden continues to decimate the roster then the product will NOT be marketable in Vegas (which has no history of team loyalty) and those PSLs and season tickets won’t be snatched up as he expects. In which case with the debt leverage he’s taken on with this move he may be faced with a cash-flow crisis in which case he’ll probably be forced to sell down the road.

  24. Players are quickly finding out that Gruden the Coach is no the same Gruden the Announcer who is happy go lucky, gushing about every player, never criticizing, and always praising. Most of these players were just toddlers when Gruden last coached.

  25. alleycat702 says:
    July 31, 2018 at 12:12 am
    slick50kc says:
    July 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm
    Same old bottom feeding cellar dwellers. Gruden will actually make them worse, because he’s a terrible head coach.
    ———————
    So says the man from KC, whose team consistently chokes in the playoffs.

    ————-

    But unlike the Raiders, they do actually make it to the playoffs….right?

  26. Shhhh Gruden, do not tell raiders fans that. They often like to live in denial..

    The other three teams in the division have good and great defenses. The raiders are going nowhere fast.

  27. Mack is a very good player but he has only had one superstar year (2015). His 2018 contract for $14 million seems to fit his play the last two years.
    2014 good player
    2015 Defensive MVP candidate
    2016 very good player
    2017 very good player

  28. Gruden is right and as a season ticket holder it was obvious from preseason that our defense was bad.team game team first

  29. Poor guy, In 2018, Mack will earn a base salary of $13,846,000, while carrying a cap hit of $13,846,000 and a dead cap value of $13,846,000.

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