Editor's Note: The above video is from Oct. 17, 2016
The Raiders are pushing hard for a move to Las Vegas. That movement has gained serious momentum in recent months, especially after the Nevada state legislature approved roughly $750 million in public financing for a $1.9 billion stadium project.
The Raiders could leave Oakland for a second time – they left the East Bay for L.A. in 1982 – and head to Sin City.
Jon Gruden doesn’t want that. The former Raiders head coach said doesn’t like the sound of “Las Vegas Raiders.”
“I don’t like to hear that. I like the Oakland Raiders,” Gruden said in a conference call. “I’m a big believer in tradition, and I know there are issues that have to be resolved and I wish them the best, but I like hearing Oakland Raiders, personally.”
Gruden coached the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001, ushering in a quality period for the franchise. The Raiders traded him to Tampa Bay in 2002, but Gruden has always maintained a strong bond with Raiders fans. He had a 40-28 record as Raiders coach.
Gruden is a color analysts for ESPN's "Monday Night Football" broadcasts, and will be on the call next week when the Raiders play the Houston Texans in Mexico City.
We probably won't stop talking about the Khalil Mack trade for a while.
With every passing week, every passing game where the Raiders struggle to get to the quarterback and every passing game where Mack dominates for the Bears, it will keep coming up. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden will keep fielding questions. The media and fans will continue to be puzzled by every aspect of the trade.
More than two weeks after writing a column in which he said the Raiders made a huge mistake trading Mack, NBC Sports' Peter King had more harse words for Gruden.
"He's like Donald Trump with the wall or Donald Trump with the Russia investigation. He can't leave it alone and he's not convincing anybody," King said Thursday on The Dan Patrick Show. "Who possibly can be convinced that Khalil Mack didn't want to be on the Raiders? That was his first one. And now how hard it is to find a pass rusher. It's almost insult to the people who listen, really. I hear him say these things, and I like Jon, but everything is a justification for trading away a franchise pass rusher in his prime, a guy over the last two years in the NFL has impacted the passing game, via Pro Football Focus, more than any rusher in the NFL. You trade him in his prime, for two 1's. I wouldn't have traded him for four 1's."
King wasn't done.
"We've seen him play well enough. I'm not trying to be argumentative," King said. "I'm just saying that even if he had been pedestrian the first two weeks, I still would have said it's a dumb trade. I'll say it's a dumb trade for the next three years. I just think it's a dumb trade. I never understood it. I still can't to this day."
Safe to say King and Gruden won't be having dinner together anytime soon.
ALAMEDA – Khalil Mack was traded to Chicago nearly three weeks ago now, and the Raiders have moved beyond it. They’re focused solely on the present and future, trying to beat the Miami Dolphins after an 0-2 start.
Ripple effects of his departure, however, remain. Lack of a pass rush is the obvious one.
There’s another, more subtle change impacted the face of the franchise. Quarterback Derek Carr and Mack shared primary leadership roles in the locker room over the past few years. It’s a bit different now.
While the Raiders have defensive captains and veterans capable of guiding that unit, Carr is clearly the unquestioned leader among players. It’s a role Carr can handle – his leadership qualities are unquestioned – but the signal caller admits that aspect of his job has expanded with Mack in a different uniform.
I" think so. People will look to you,” Carr said on this week’s Raiders Insider Podcast. “They look to you all the time to make sure you’re doing certain things and you’re the one saying something. Obviously, I could let Khalil do some of that sometimes. That kind of changed for me.”
The shock of seeing Mack as a Monster of the Midway has taken some getting used to, especially with him creating havoc on nationally televised primetime games the last two weeks.
“It’s hard to watch him go out and strip-sack everybody,” Carr said. “He has done that so many times here, and it hurts your heart to see it, but at the same time, it doesn’t hurt anymore.
"I’m happy for him. If you’re a Raider fan, it’s hard to see him do that. But just be happy for the guy. He has strained his tail off to get to where he’s at. The fact he’s making plays for someone else, we don’t like it, but we can be happy for him because we all love him to death.”