This is awkward, because the coach did have a better pass rusher — an elite one. He traded that pass rusher, Khalil Mack, away just as teams were trimming to 53 men for the start of the 2018 season.
That’s what has made Gruden’s analysis of his pass rush so cringeworthy in the last two weeks.
The ghost of Mack was probably standing next to Gruden in the press conference.
But that’s not the first time Gruden has drawn attention to the fact that the Raiders are lacking some of the skills which Mack boasted. And it’s not the first time he’s sounded stupid doing it. He was asked whether he regretted the trade after a rough Week 1.
“No, it doesn’t make me regret the trade. We made the trade. We made the trade. You know there’s going to be hindsight, 50-50, all that stuff, but we would have loved to have had him here. I’m not going to keep rehashing this.”
Usually, hindsight is 20-20.
In preparation for Week 2, Gruden said he’d “look at reasons why” his pass-rush was struggling. (See: Khalil Mack. Then again, maybe he can’t see Mack — Gruden has 50-50 vision.)
Gruden’s comical tactlessness seems to have no end. Again, last Sunday after Week 2, he admitted the Raiders have “gotta do something to get more pressure.”
Meanwhile, Oakland sits back and groans while Gruden wastes one of their final seasons with the Raiders in their city while the coach haplessly draws attention to deficiencies he created.