In his first press conference after head coach Jon Gruden resigned in disgrace after derogatory emails over years came to light, Raiders GM Mike Mayock insisted the team is still focused on the 2021 season as he took control over roster decisions.
“In regards to the Jon Gruden situation, we all respect his decisions, and we’re going to move ahead accordingly,” he said. “As far as the team is concerned, bottom line, we’re 3-2. It’s Week 6. A lot of these interim head coach deals over the years, it’s like Week 15 and guys are already packing their bags. That’s not the case here. All of our goals are ahead of us.”
Previously, Gruden had 51 percent control over the roster, and Mayock had 49 percent. Now, Mayock has 51 percent and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia – whom Mayock described as the “most natural leader of men that I’ve ever met” – will have 49.
“I don’t think there’s a vacuum of leadership. I want to be very clear on that,” Mayock said. “Rich Bisaccia is the best leader I’ve been around. We’re going to let this season play out.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis did not hold a press conference, though told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez: “I have no comment. Ask the NFL. They have all the answers.”
In regards to Gruden, Mayock stressed that the Raiders value diversity and leadership in the organization, harkening back to Tom Flores (who became the first Latino quarterback in the NFL with the Raiders, and the second Latino head coach), Art Shell (the first black coach of the modern era) and Amy Trask (the first female CEO).
However, he did stop short of leveling any outright criticism in Gruden’s direction, instead saying he feels for him and his family.
“I am sad, sad for the whole Gruden family. But at the end of the day we all held accountable for our actions and that’s the way we have to look at it,” Mayock said.
The Raiders take on the AFC West rival Broncos in Denver on Sunday afternoon.