Irving: Raiders Were “Missing a Little Leadership” This Year

Newly re-signed defensive lineman David Irving spoke with The Athletic this week and while his return from injuries and a potentially major health scare headlined the story, Irving also made an interesting comment on the state of the locker room.

Specifically, Irving said the Raiders were missing “a little leadership” in the locker room this year.

“I am comfortable here,” Irving told The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “Not only that, man, but I see a team here with a bunch of good, young players that have been missing a little leadership.”

“And I know that that’s going to be me, and everything is lining up perfectly for it to be that way. I see this as my team and my defense and I am going to put in the work, and I am going to back that sh-t up.”

Over the last two years, the Raiders have made five first-round picks and to this point only Josh Jacobs has lived up to expectations – and even his play dropped off a bit from 2019 to 2020. For as much as the Raiders hope to add impact players over the next few months, what they really need is to see their young players begin to step up. Or at the very least, maybe have a few of their former first-round picks not be the weakest links on the roster.

twitter: @raidersbeat


20 thoughts on “Irving: Raiders Were “Missing a Little Leadership” This Year

  1. With Gruden at the helm, it’s no surprise that we draft poorly and make incompetent front office decisions. Expect at least 7 more years of this.

    1. I say that the same way Brady’s character trickles down to the whole team; Carr the folder(not a fighter) in the moment’s character does the same. We did great at first and the folded as per the prior year. When sh*t gets dirty Carr doesn’t buck and say F.U. and refuse to go down. He folds bc he can’t pretend in those moments. He’s such a thinker that he loses his sense of feel. He’s a panicker: That’s his character.
      In moments he can’t mentally control his balls don’t hang out low. It may be Gruden has him too mental but to me he’s always seemed that way.
      And accuracy as only completion percentage? Hey stat nerds there’s a lil thing called ball placement!
      Also, we have a bunch of goody character guys but we need some badass alpha dawgs that are mean and nasty and dominant and give a F just enough to be smart enough not to get disqualified. That’s what this team is missing: fighters that refuse to lose in each moment. Mean nasty winners that have a lil idgaf and a whole lot of F.U. I’m winning in them.

    2. Sad that you see it that way. We have a coach that bleeds Silver and Black and yet you complain about him. He built a team that was screwed twice out of the playoffs and in the third year got to the Superbowl and lost to him. He will build it back again.

    3. I’m starting to feel the same vibe about ego maniac Gruden, I like him , but he should focus on game planning and building a cohesive unit among the guys . Let Mayock draft and find competent coaches that may not be his friend.

  2. This draft needs to be a targeted draft. Defensive line interior, coverage linebacker, safety and cover corner. O-line depth, thumper running back. No divas. Team needs tough, hard nosed players. Use the Bucs defensive template and fill in the missing pieces. Bradley needs to be the biggest input in draft if Raiders are focused on winning a Super Bowl sooner than later.

  3. Irving is correct because there was no mentors on the team from the FA busts that we had. Agholor was mentoring Riggs and we will see a better Ruggs especially if Agholor returns. There’s zero leadership in yhe safety room which is why Abrams ran amuck. None of the LBs are leaders so that leaves a huge void as the QB of the defense. And to top it off with the past D coordinator shaking on the sideline. The talent is there, the leadership is not, I.e. coach on the field.

  4. Ervin is absolutely correct, more than a little leadership,a lot. Couldn’t expect it from pauly want a cracker, Gruden also failed the D. With that being said, fill in as many gaps as possible, better players, coaches, schemes, preparation for situational football. We need some more high IQ players. Raider Nation !!

  5. Gruden is definitely not perfect i hate the way he plays not to lose. which i think cost us
    a few games last year. But i’m excited about 2021.
    The offense is in line to average close to 30 points per game, if we can do anything on defense there’s going to be Raider fans coming out of the woodwork.

  6. Mayock has been part of this, too. Here’s the problem: Gruden and Mayock try to show everyone they’re the smartest guys in the room and end up getting cute with their selections. In the first round, teams should take young, prototype players who both measured well athletically, provided good tape which shows the ability to meet all the position’s requirements, and who produced in college at an elite level.

    Lacking any of these attributes means you are taking a risk. Now sometimes in the NFL you have to take a risk, but in the first round these sorts of risks should be minimized. Not meeting these requirements is the definition of a reach, because the more a player doesn’t meet the requirements of:
    1. Age (because a 23 year old should be better than a 21 year old)
    2. Prototype physical measurements for the position
    3. Inherent athletic ability as measured by combine results
    4. Ability to demonstrate effective play of the intended position, especially in big games against strong opponents
    5. Elite level production across games and preferably seasons

    the more risky the pick is. The Raiders demonstrated this perfectly with their first round selections last year:

    Ruggs was young (21), was perhaps a little short of prototype for the position (6.0), but put up big combine numbers, and had a number of wow! plays on tape. But he had never put up big receiving numbers in college where he was clearly the #3 receiver at Alabama. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t put up big receiving numbers in the NFL yet, either. If his production doesn’t trend dramatically up, he won’t be around for long.

    Arnette was, most glaringly, old, as he turned 24 in September of his rookie season. His size was good for a CB, but he only ran the 40 at the combine where his time (4.56) was good but not spectacular. He had consistent, if not great production in college, but wasn’t considered the best CB on his team (Okudah) and benefited from some great pass rushers at Ohio State which kept opposing QBs uncomfortable. The NFL prospect listing had him as a good backup who could become a starter. Now we probably would consider that an optimistic scenario, though he may start because the Raiders don’t have anyone else.

  7. An Argument For All of You Derek Carr Loving Raiders Fans:

    NFL General Managers Sound Off on Raiders Derek Carr

    Originally posted on FanNation Raider Maven

    By Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. | Last updated 2/24/21

    HENDERSON, NV – The face of any NFL franchise is the quarterback. He is celebrated in good times and criticized in the down times. That’s the nature of the position.

    Such is the plight of Derek Carr, who quarterbacked the Las Vegas Raiders into playoff contention the first half of the 2020 season with a 6-3 start only to see those hopes dissolve with a 2-5 finish.

    Raider Maven has been a supporter of Derek Carr, so we reached out to multiple team management members and found three who agreed to share their thoughts anonymously about the Las Vegas quarterback.

    “I have been in this business a long time,” the first NFL general manager said. “That is why I can understand the criticism thrown at Derek Carr — but it doesn’t make it right. Derek Carr wins ball games, he doesn’t lose them for Jon (Gruden) and I don’t think there is any doubt he is a Top 10-caliber quarterback.”

    Carr finished 10th in the NFL in passing this season with a career-best 101.4 efficiency rating. He passed for 4,103 yards with 27 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. He threw three touchdowns apiece against Kansas City and New Orleans this season in engineering upsets over both Super Bowl contenders.

    “Derek is guilty of being a good quarterback on a team with a bad defense,” the second NFL general manager said. “Give him a decent defense and the Raiders are an entirely different team.”

    But Carr doesn’t play defense – and that’s where the criticism should be focused on the Raiders.

    Only seven teams allowed more yards than Las Vegas last season and only two allowed more points. Carr led an offense that finished 10th in the NFL in scoring with 434 points, an average of 27.1 points per game. But the Raiders were allowing 29.8 points per game.

    “Let’s not pretend he has had great players surrounding him,” the third NFL general manager said. “I remember the talk of him being an MVP when he had players around him. He has those weapons on offense now, but that defense is not good.”

    Rick Gosselin, who has covered the NFL for 49 years and has been a Hall of Fame voter based in Dallas for 25 years, compared Carr to another vastly-underrated NFL quarterback.

    “I think Derek is the Phil Simms of his era,” Gosselin told Raider Maven. “He has all of the tools that made Phil a terrific quarterback, but he doesn’t have Phil’s defense.”

    So Raider Maven asked the three general managers about the Carr-Simms comparison.

    “Rick nailed it,” the first GM said. “I agree with that comparison. The biggest difference is that Bill (Parcells) built an elite defense around Phil and the Raiders haven’t.”

    The second general manager took it a step further.

    “I think Derek is a superior QB with his decision making than Phil…but without the defense,” he said. “Phil had the privilege of a defense that when he was able to take some risks, they could bail him out. Derek’s defense doesn’t bail him out at all, that is why he can’t take as many (chances) unless it is late in the game.”

    It’s clear – you can’t assess Derek Carr without defense coming up in the conversation.

    “I like comparing Derek to Phil,” the third GM said, “but having had a good view of Phil, I think Derek may be a better quarterback. Both guys were loved by their teammates and solid off the field. Neither guy cost their team’s ball games, but Phil slept good at night because of that amazing defense.

    “I’m not sure if I was Derek if I could sleep knowing I had to make no mistakes and over-perform in order to win.”

    Football is a team game. While Derek Carr is a quality quarterback, respected by the men he competes against, he can’t be expected to have Phil Simms results with this defense.

    Raider fans now clamoring for Deshaun Watson forget that in the same predicament as Carr in 2020 – good-not-great weapons around him on offense and a woeful defense – he managed to win only four games with the Texans last season.

    The problem with the Raiders is defense, not quarterback. That needs to be the focal point this offseason for general manager Mike Mayock. Fix the defense and Carr will look even better taking the snaps for the Raiders.

  8. Tyrell Williams is a reminder of Raiders’ lack of free agency success stories under Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock
    Raiders haven’t scored big with recent big money, free-agent signings

    By Bill Williamson@BWilliamsonNFL Feb 25, 2021, 4:18pm PST

    As fans get excited for another year of free agency, the Las Vegas Raiders gave a reminder of their woes on the open market in the past three years when they released wide receiver Tyrell Williams on Wednesday.

    The expected move ended a short, disappointing stay for a player the Raiders signed to a strong contract.

    It is yet another free agent deal that hasn’t worked since Jon Gruden took over in 2018. He added Mike Mayock as general manager in 2019, but the free agent success hasn’t improved with both men working together.

    Josh Dubow of the Associated Press has an illustration of the big money contracts the Raiders have given out the past three years.

    Lamarcus Joyner hasn’t made an impact in two years. Tahir Whitehead was cut last year and Marcus Mariota may be cut this year.

    Trent Brown is a good player but the right tackle might get cut because he has missed 16 of 32 games since signing. Cory Littleton had a poor first season with the team in 2020 and Nick Kwiatkoski was just average. Carl Nassib was a disappointment last year.

    The Raiders need Littleton and Kwiatkoski to rebound big to salvage something out of this group.


    Finding young, cost-effective players could be key to Raiders’ free agent strategy
    The Raiders will likely look for bargains this year in free agency, but if they do spend big, it is paramount that the big-ticket additions work out. They can’t afford to swing and miss anymore in free agency.

    Now, Mark Davis, can we get rid of the over his head “coach” and the other tv talent analyst?

Comments are closed.