Raiders coach Jon Gruden denies there’s any tension with GM Reggie McKenzie
In the first several months of his second tenure with the Oakland Raiders, there has been plenty attention on the relationship that head coach Jon Gruden has had with general manager Reggie McKenzie.
This has only persisted with the team making the surprising move to trade star defensive end Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears instead of inking him to the lucrative extension that he has more than put himself in the position to garner. With that in mind, Gruden has voiced that there is no budding tension between him and McKenzie in any manner, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area.
“They’re trying to divide us,” Gruden said. “People are trying to divide us – ‘I wanted (Mack) gone, he wanted him here.’ We made a decision as an organization. Mark Davis, Tom Delaney, we all got the information and we made a decision, together. And I’ll just say what (Reggie) said – I read what he said yesterday – it’s a decision that we all came to.”
Gruden may be quite confident publicly that there is nothing brewing with him and McKenzie, but the fact that the team has made numerous moves in the offseason. This has seen the other notable moves aside from Mack with the decision to move on from wide receiver Martavis Bryant just a few months after he was acquired in this year’s draft. It was a risky move that didn’t pan out as Bryant struggled to pick up the offense while he is facing another suspension from the league.
Meanwhile, the team has also moved on from wide receiver Ryan Switzer to the Pittsburgh Steelers, which has only compounded the impression that both sides are still working through things over the last few months. There were also reports that Gruden wanted to shift things up in the front office shortly after his arrival that may have rubbed McKenzie the wrong way.
Nonetheless, only time will tell if this pairing can work out for the betterment of the franchise this upcoming season and well beyond that.