GM has clear message for post-Jon Gruden Raiders
In the first extensive public comments by a Las Vegas Raiders’ official since the ouster of head coach Jon Gruden on Monday night, general manager Mike Mayock made it clear the focus is on moving forward for the rest of the regular season.
“We’re 3-2. One game out of the AFC lead,” Mayock said Wednesday in a press conference. “All of our goals are ahead of us. The focus has got to be on Denver … We’ve worked too hard. We’re going forward. We’re moving forward … We’re all in. Every single one of our goals is still out there.”
Mayock choose to focus on his players and interim coach Rich Bisaccia instead of talking about the circumstances of Gruden’s departure. He said he didn’t want to speak for Raiders’ owner Mark Davis. Yet, it doesn’t appear Davis is going to say much. In his only comments Wednesday, Davis told ESPN to “ask the NFL” about Gruden’s departure.
Early in his presser, Mayock said he wasn’t going to talk much about “the Jon Gruden stuff.” He did say he was sad for Gruden and his entire family. But he added “we’re all accountable for our actions.”
Instead, Mayock spent most of his time focusing on this season and he made it clear he is completely behind interim coach Rich Bisaccia. He said, in the past, he has endorsed Bisaccia for several NFL and college head-coaching jobs. This is his first time as a head coach.
“He is the greatest leader I’ve been around,” Mayock said of Bisaccia. “All the players and love and respect him … I’m behind this son of a gun unequivocally.”
Mayock said there was a team meeting Wednesday morning (the players were off Tuesday) and that Davis, himself and Bisaccia (in that order) addressed the team. Team captains also spoke in the meeting, Mayock said. He said the focus of the roster is the same as his — on the rest of the season, beginning Sunday at the Denver Broncos.
He said he spoke to several players about Gruden. He spoke to several African-American players and Carl Nassib about Gruden’s offensive comments that were racially and homophobic insensitive. Nassib — the first only gay active NFL – player requested a personal day Wednesday to help clear his mind, Mayock said. It was granted.