“Scapegoats Already Lined Up” If Raiders Have Another Disappointing Season

Jon Gruden is entering the fourth year of a 10 year, $100 million deal, but without such a huge financial commitment from the Raiders it would certainly feel like a pivotal year for him as a head coach.

Gruden is still looking for his first winning season since returning to the Raiders and ordinarily year four would be well beyond the expected timeframe for a new coach to sneak into the playoffs. But if Gruden doesn’t get the Raiders into the playoffs in 2021, team insider Vic Tafur says Gruden still won’t be the fall guy.

“I think I said this in the podcast. If Gruden’s seat ever gets warm, he just chucks it out the window and gets another one. There are a couple of scapegoats already lined up for next season if the Raiders don’t improve on 8-8,” Tafur wrote this week in The Athletic.

A couple of scapegoats already lined up, you say?

Considering Gruden has final say over every football decision in the building, you have to wonder who he could rightfully blame if 2021 doesn’t meet expectations.

Maybe GM Mike Mayock could find himself on the hot seat at some point, but his only two drafts still have a lot of potential. Mayock’s picks (particularly on defense) haven’t developed particularly well, though many would say coaching has been a big part of that failed formula. Those defensive coaches are mostly gone now and Gruden can’t just overhaul his defensive coaches every other year.

So who else is left to blame?

Inquiring minds would love to know.

twitter: @raidersbeat


25 thoughts on ““Scapegoats Already Lined Up” If Raiders Have Another Disappointing Season

  1. Gruden runs the show and has all the power. Mark Davis needs to wake up and realize Gruden was a mistake. Hire a coach to coach and let Mayock do his job!

  2. It didn’t take long for the raiderbeatdown to get back to their normal ways, at least you actually have an insider for this breaking news. Gruden’s contact must always be the first thing you bring up, although he is at fault for bringing in a friend to coach the defense. Paul Guenther is a train wreck of a coach that Gruden stayed with for to long. You talk like Gruden changed defensive coaches every other year. If Gruden got rid of Gunther after year one you’d be saying how he never gives the coach enough time to put in his system and players.
    And to get back to this big breaking news on this scapegoat, get ready for it. …..IT IS? ”Inquiring Minds Would Love To Know ”
    The insiders big information is I Don’t Know and this is what you base a report on.

    1. I agree about Chucky and I use to believe in Carr but after this many years of not doing anything for us not even making it to the Superbowl once for us we need a new and better number one quarter back and marito is not the answer I’m not impressed with him either they like him because he’s cheap , excuse excuse we need a real number one quarter back that can throw deep throw and Aron Rodgers , deashoun Watson , Tom Brady , Josh Allen, Kyle Murrey , maybe at least pick up a first round pick quarter back for our draft this year we don’t ever pick a first round pick quarter back anymore come on do something besides excuses please think Superbowl

  3. If they got rid of Madden and Stabler for not winning the “Games that mattered” we wouldn’t have the Raider greats we have today, if they bashed and crucified every player that didn’t exactly work out we wouldn’t have “Once a Raider Always a Raider” you need to have faith and look beyond the fantasy “STATS”. We already tried the Coaching and Quarterback carousel and it didn’t get us anywhere but last in the Division. We need stability and a Raider Vision and we got that with Gruden.

    1. We’ve gotten better each year. I wasn’t happy with letting Rodney Hudson go, but I’m with you, John has at the very minimum moved us closer to stability. And don’t forget we beat the Chiefs last year, should have been twice. Let’s just see what happens.

    2. 7 years this QB has won just 9 more games than the Previous 7 year…

  4. No matter what side or whose side anyone is on, with respect to this topic, I’m sure that any and everyone who has any love for the Raiders would agree that, with respect to their win / loss record, SOMETHING has to change, and in a hurry.

  5. Can any fan be happy. The results speak for themselves. In the league today, on any other franchise, Jon would probably be gone. Definitely if this season is a loser. I’ve questioned his play calling during the season as predictable and conservative. His refusal to openly stand behind his QB undermines Team motivation and cohesion. And this off seasons demolition of the O line?! So no matter how you look at it John Gruden has not lived up to the hype and his record speaks for itself.

  6. We just did not have the horses to run PGs defense and it was a very complex defense as well. I think maybe last year we had a shot but the truncated camp with on OTAs and mini-camps killed any chance to run that scheme with any success its too early to knock Mayock for the last two drafts this year we should begin to see if these guys are viable pro players everyone is an armchair GM and all you have to do is look at Kolton Miller that is what progression looks like it often takes a few years for guys to start to plus starters. It does not help that we have an offense that is also difficult for WR to pick up and last year was a rough deal all around as long as we have the correct guys to run the new DC system and draft well we should be fine this year we were not far we blew a couple of games that kept us out of the playoffs the number one thing we need to do is get the o-line right ball control can help an iffy defense out a lot.

  7. My assessment of this Raiders offseason thus far;

    Critical Errors: Trading a proven all world center, Rodney Hudson. Period.

    Severe Errors: Not signing a proven Safety and a proven Cornerback. The Defense was and is the problem.

    Major Errors: Not resigning Nelson Agholor who obviously had chemistry with Derek Carr. He will be missed.

    Stupid Errors: Not addressing the Nose Tackle issue, defensive pressure on the quarterback starts there, and not adding a Middle Linebacker, Nicholas Morrow not withstanding.

  8. This may sound futuristic and revolutionary… But why don’t the players take the blame for a change? I know that’s a complete change of attack than blaming Gruden’s 10 year deal so you will have to use different openers going forward…

    If Ferrell, Mullins and Abrams don’t put it all together in year 3 it will be their fault and not Gruden.

  9. yes i think gruden schould atleat be above 500 this year but outside of belichick andy reed is the best coach in nfl do you think the bills miami tennessee pitsburgh cleveland indianapolis could beat kansas city out of the div title the answer is no so cut a little slack an as for a free agent pick up free safty bashard breeland is young wouldnt cost that much an known kcs mahomes

  10. I’d say it’s Carr. Too many field goals which could have been TD’s if it were a Mahomes, Rodgers, Brees, etc. Humpty Dumpty Carr ……………….nope just throw it away, hopefully Mariota can take over

  11. If the offense sucks, the scapegoat will be Carr even if the offensive line is terrible because it wasn’t rebuilt after three starters were let go / traded. If the defense sucks it will be Mayock because of some poor draft choices / free agent signings. But let’s be honest: Gruden won’t be fired because Mark Davis can’t afford to fire him.

  12. Gruden has failed and succeeded. He has succeeded because he is an Offensive Guru. And we have a very good offense. Despite the OLine shakeup, as constituted, I think the O is better than last year. Key personnel, have an additional year in the system, mainly Carr. And the addition of Drake supports my reasoning. Where Gruden has failed is the on the defensive side of the ball. But we know defense is not his strength. So his failure is he did not get the right personnel and coaching, while rebuilding that side of the ball. Based on the Free Agent signings of the past two years, he certainly tried, but with no success. Now he has Gus Bradley and additional Free Agents. Lets hope his breakdown and rebuild on defense is just as successful as it has been on offense, this coming season. I just don’t want to go toe-to-toe with the Chiefs. Proof he is succeeding on Offense. I want to beat them, like they stole something. And it is going to take a solid defense to pull that off.

  13. A report on a reporter’s comment. The depth of journalism here staggers the mind.

  14. We are the only team who beat the Chiefs in 2020. And almost did it twice. We were three plays from being 11 and five. We are in a division with the reigning Super Bowl champions and returning team. Yeah reporters act like coaches are just supposed to always win. You try winning in the NFL. Defense needs a turnaround no joke. New O line has questions, but saved a ton of cap & looks to be pretty solid still. No one has been looking to have a scapegoat. Gruden is always first to blame himself. But he does get another six or seven years. We are six months away from football anyway. If this is reporting, my farts are news.

  15. Just today, I read an article asking if the Raiders should add Mitchell Schwartz to their roster. Many people voted yes, I voted no. There is only one question to ask about whether they should or not and that is; With all of the help that the Kansas City Chiefs need in protecting Patrick Mahones, why did Andy Reed let him go?

    1. I agree William G. Why would we spend a bunch of dough on an over the prime injured veteran. It would make our o-line revamp pointless. We did this makeover because it was a good draft class of offensive linemen . There is at least 10 starting tackles in the first 3 rounds and plenty of solid interior options that can be developed on cheap contracts freeing up money to keep building the D this year and the next. The way mayock worked it we won’t need to sign another big offensive line contract for at least 2 years

  16. One Man’s Opinion

    Mediocrity, purgatory, equals draft strategy.
    By angloraider on Apr 5, 2021,

    It’s been a tough off-season for every team, the pandemic has meant that the cap has gone down significantly from where it was projected to be when F.A’s were being signed 2 years ago. Back then a good estimate was the cap now being at about $210m, however because of these extraordinary times we find ourselves at $182.5m. This has meant that the majority of teams have had to be ruthless with how they have dealt with any contract that was even borderline to being over-valued.

    Some teams, such as the Rams and the Saints have had to make changes beyond what they possibly could have imagined to get under the cap, others like the Eagles will play with an almost unprecedented amount of dead money. But a consequence to all this, is that a lot of teams will have got overall weaker, whilst even those with cap space have seemed to splash monies on players that perhaps are not worth what they are paid, and even more so in the current market.

    I wrote a piece about a strategy which the Raiders may have adopted to get ahead of the curve, (‘salary cap gamble’) where contracts could be back-loaded to allow the Raiders to get in talent and spread the cost to where the cap increases in the next two years. However, the Raiders only chose this method the once with Kenyan Drake’s deal, and just over a two-year period.

    So where do the Raiders find themselves, after F.A, but before the draft? Well, in short we find ourselves in a place of mediocrity. We have had 2 years of 7-9 & 8-8, and this doesn’t allow us to celebrate, even modestly, getting to the play-offs, and doesn’t allow us the be in position to take a blue-chip player in the draft. In brief the Raiders are in purgotary, bobbing about in the water neither near the safety of land or the passing ship, manned by the big boy’s.

    It’s not an easy place to be, particularly with the cap as it is. How do you make significant moves to wrestle the equation back in your favour? The Pats seem to think that buying every player imagineable and over-paying in the first 2 days of F.A is the answer, but then immediately state they used to laugh at teams who adopted that strategy, which says it all. The 49ers have gone to extraordinary lengths to right their listing ship, they’ve basically given away their next two drafts in the hope of landing an upgraded signal-caller, who’ll hit the ground running.

    But, what these two teams have in common is, that they have decided to take matters into their own hands, they have both rolled the dice, they are not prepared to sit on their hands contentedly and hope their situation improves beyond the rest of the pack. Now we can argue as long as we like over the strategies of these teams and whether success is likely to come their way, but the fact is they have tried to do something. And what is unusual, is that the two teams who have pulled these moves off are not teams where HC’s are looking over their shoulders, these two have good job security, and are both sound of mind.

    I look at the moves the Raiders have made in F.A, and contrary to a lot of commentators, I see a good amount of logic in how we have gone about our business, and I would not at all agree that the quality of the team has regressed. But having said all that, I’m not sure the team has improved either, or if it has, it has not improved enough to give us the look of a team that will surely make the play-offs. We have signed one potential difference maker on defense in the shape of Yannick Ngakoue, but the question is can he do it all on his own? Sure plenty of other bodies have come in on the Dline, but without exception, all of them have so much to prove.

    We have made massive changes to our Oline, and in my opinion they are not designed to improve the line, but to make the Oline much more cost effective. I’m certain this is the right move, but it maybe a move that will take 2 years to bear fruit. For the simple fact, the changes greatly helped us to get under the cap, but the cap savings will only give us the benefit once the cap moves back up, so we will have to wait before we can use the saved monies, which is of course in line with most other teams.

    So what can the Raiders do to get out of this mediocrity? Well in my opinion the first thing to do is acknowlege that we are in draft purgatory compared to what the teams obvious needs are. By this I mean that our two obvious needs are FS and RT, and I believe we are not best placed to get maximum value for either of these positions at our current #17. If we take firstly the FS position, again my opinion, it would be a reach to take Moerhig, who’s value is at the back end of the 1st Rd or top of the 2nd, and the same for Grant who is approximately half a Rd behind.

    Secondly at RT, we have to accept that Sewell will be long gone. After that the main guys in our area are Slater and Vera-Tucker, but both are projected to be Guards in the Pro’s. This leaves us with numerous guys who are very similiar in talent level, which include Mayfield, Darrisaw, Carmen, Cosmi, Eichenberg, Jenkins and others. So again in my opinion there is absolutely no point in spending your #17 pick on a RT if one or more of these guys are available when we pick in Rd2.

    So what to do? For me, I would adopt a very different strategy, and a bold one. Not as bold as the 49ers, who have gone all in by foregoing 2 drafts, but will be compensated with having a QB on a rookie contract, but a strategy which allows the Raiders to make the biggest difference possible in the area which is most needed. We know from the past, that having one diiference maker on defense can be accounted for by any OC. We had Khalil Mack, an incredible player, a league DPOY, yet still our defense was ranked lowly. We have acquired Yannick Ngakoue, an excellent addition, but honestly, what will he give us that Mack couldn’t on this under-performing defense? The fact is, we need another difference maker far more than we need a FS or an RT, we need someone to complement Ngakoue, someone else the opponents OC has to account for as much. And if we can acquire this player, think how much that would mean to the likes of Ferrell and Crosby, even Abram? In short we need to trade up and get Parsons, he is the guy who will change this defense, not single-handedly but by his presence and his versatility, lining up off the ball and having to be doubly accounted for. Suddenly the opponents are having to think about picking their poison.

    But it’s not just a question of making this one move, its how we run the rest of our draft to account for the fact we have still holes at FS and RT. The good news is that it seems definite that the 5 QB’s are all going in the top 10, other players who will be amongst them include Sewell, Chase, Smith, Pitts, Surtain, and Slater. This means that Parsons will almost certainly available at #11 when Dallas are on the clock. Dallas need Oline and secondary players to name but two postions, but above all they need picks, because their roster is so top heavy with $15-$20m players and beyond, they need as many players on rookie deals as possible. It will cost us our 2nd Rd pick to get up to #11, but if we do it we have our 2nd difference-maker on defense.

    Then of course we still have two holes at FS and RT. My philosophy is simple, we use one of our 3rd Rd picks and a 4th, maybe a 6th too, depending on how high we go to trade back up into the 2nd to get our RT, one of the aformentioned, hopefully Eichenberg. And, with our remaining 3rd pick we take either Grant or Cisco to play FS.

    So in conclusion, it would be obvious to think, why don’t we trade back to get the best value for what we need and more swings of the bat to get them. But what we really need is a difference maker, a game-changer on defense more than actually filling our obvious holes at FS and RT. We got Ngakoue at what looks like a reasonable price compared to what the other edge players got in F.A, but we know that to get the most out of this purchase we need to have offenses thinking about where are our threats coming from, because at the moment with just Ngakoue that’s not happening. The acquisition of Parsons in the 1st means that Ngakoue is very likely to be twice as effective.

    Sometimes an opportunity arises where you must speculate to acculmulate, and this is ours. This is what can give Bradley’s defense the leg up it needs to become, at the very least average, which should be enough to get us in the Play-offs and to be in a position where we can take the biggest advantage of what will be the rapidly increasing salary cap.

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