Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden raised some eyebrows with his comments following Sunday’s game. After a last-minute loss dropped his team to 0-2, Gruden said the Raiders needed “to get more pressure” on the quarterback.
That’s not a controversial comment with most teams, but the Raiders employed an excellent pass rusher by the name of Khalil Mack just a few weeks ago. Instead of giving Mack a substantial contract extension, the team traded him to the Chicago Bears days before the start of the season.
After the team’s second-straight loss, does Gruden have any regrets about that decision? He does not, according to the Mercury News.
“No, it doesn’t make me regret making the decision,” Gruden said at his weekly press conference the day after a 20-19 road loss to the Denver Broncos. “We made the trade. We made the trade. There’s going to be hindsight and all that stuff. We would have loved to have had him here, but he’s not here. I’m not going to rehash this.”
While having Mack around would be a significant boost to the Raiders’ defense. It’s not like the team gave him away for nothing. The Raiders received two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick for Mack.
Until Oakland makes those picks, the team is going to have to deal with some criticism every time their defense struggles or Mack has a great game. They will be constantly reminded that they had Mack and decided to get rid of him.
Drafting multiple studs with those extra picks will go a long way toward erasing some of that pain, but guys as talented as Khalil Mack don’t come around very often.
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