The Oakland Raiders are still proving themselves to be a shell of their former selves. And it all starts with first-year head coach Jon Gruden.
While Gruden and general manager Reggie McKenzie pulled off a tremendous deal in acquiring a first-round pick from the Cowboys for struggling wide receiver Amari Cooper, the organization’s handling of said trade leaves a lot to be desired.
According to this report, Gruden refused to address the trade with his team during practice on Monday. Only after Cooper’s now-former teammates saw him exit the practice field did they find out he was traded. How? By checking social media.
Jon Gruden has yet to address WR Amari Cooper’s trade with team. Didn’t mention it during practice or in his address afterward. Expected to do so Wednesday morning at next team meeting. Some players saw Cooper be pulled off field. Didn’t know until checked phones in locker room.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 22, 2018
That’s not exactly the way you want to gain the trust of your players. Sure Gruden could be making a statement here. It’s something McKenzie himself did following the trade by indicating that no one on the roster is untouchable, franchise quarterback Derek Carr included.
Even then, there’s something to be said about team-building. It’s a basic function in today’s NFL. And it’s something Gruden himself has struggled with since taking over head coaching duties from Jack Del Rio less than a calendar year go.
This might matter very little to Gruden. He’s of the old-school mentality. He’s obviously more concerned about stockpiling draft picks and building for the future. Most of the players on the roster today won’t be a part of that long-term rebuild. In no way does this mean the optics are great here. They aren’t.