Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has voiced the team’s need for a better pass-rush on defense. It appears he has decided to double down on his desire to pressure quarterbacks.
It is no secret that the Raiders have struggled to get to quarterbacks thus far in the 2018 NFL season. According to Ann Killion of San Francisco Chronicle, he attributes Oakland’s poor start to their inability to rush the passer:
“It starts with pressuring the quarterback; we’ve got to get more pressure on the quarterback,” Gruden said of his team’s defense and its lack of forced turnovers. “We’ve got to force him to make some bad decisions.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Gruden’s comments. Needless to say, it is difficult to win in today’s NFL without getting to the quarterback. This is why most teams have been willing to pay a premium for elite pass-rushers. Unfortunately, the Raiders were not one of them.
The Raiders already had arguably the best pass-rusher in the NFL in Khalil Mack. However, Gruden decided to trade him away rather than make him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. Now Oakland is the one paying for their mistake.
Gruden let it be known when the 2018 NFL season started that the Raiders needed to address their void on the edge. Unfortunately, their problems have just gotten worse by the week. They are currently tied with the New York Giants for last in the league with just six sacks. Meanwhile, Mack has become a one-man wrecking crew for the Chicago Bears. He has already registered five sacks, four forced fumbles, and an interception which he returned for a touchdown.