Any breaking news about Jon Gruden must feel like whenever a notification block pops up in the middle of the screen while playing The Oregon Trail to Raiders fans, it’s almost never a good sign. The latest report about Gruden indicates that he is taking a POTUS-like approach to scouting talent by only listening to an inner circle that he trusts.
Per Ian Rapoport’s report:
According to sources, Gruden essentially has his own staff that helps him judge talent and make decisions — most notably confidant and Director of Football Research Dave Razzano — along with a slew of interns and assistants.
Gruden had his own draft board and has his own pro board, separate from those used by others in the organization.
To make things even worse, his Director of Football is more recently known for his Twitter takes than his past NFL work experience.
Previously a longtime and respected NFL scout, Razzano rose to prominence as a voice on Twitter with controversial takes that included Von Miller will be a bust and Jake Locker should go No. 1 in the draft. He was dubbed the “rogue scout,” but now has an office near Gruden’s.
A head coach wanting to do things his own way is one thing, but going behind the back of other hired scouts and staff because they are not one of “your guys” is when this situation truly becomes a mess. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that this is causing a divide in the Raiders organization. Those who were developed under GM Reggie McKenzie, but aren’t a Gruden confidant, were left out of the decisions like signing aging veterans, using draft picks for an outdated style of football and trading Khalil Mack.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for Oakland fans, however. The team is moving to Las Vegas soon so at least the stench of the franchise won’t be around for long.