This week on the NFL Network, former NFL GM Mike Mayock was asked by Gruden if he had any advice for him. Mayock suggested that the Raiders, who went 7-9 in 2017, should concern themselves with improving their offensive line, while Gruden retorted that they should instead “look at the defensive side of the ball.” But, while Gruden has appropriately called for the Raiders to focus on the offense, he has also suggested that taking care of business on that side of the ball would give them a better chance at winning in 2018. However, this is the same Gruden who had the number one ranked defense in the NFL last season. So, while the Raiders could use another Pro Bowl player on the offensive

The NFL draft is a week away and that means that the Gruden and Mayock Show can finally turn into a full-blown disaster. Head coach Jon Gruden has been arguing with ESPN analyst Mike Mayock about the draft prospects of NFL scouts. The discussion escalated to a point where Gruden went on a tirade about the accuracy of the draft prospects of NFL scouts. Mayock was clearly exasperated by Gruden’s lack of knowledge on the subject, but since Gruden is a television analyst, he has a vested interest in never revealing that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

On Tuesday, Mayock and Gruden were on the same platform, and they shared a partnership. The very different views on how to build a football team were on full display. Gruden wanted to run the ball more, and Mayock wanted to pass it more. Mayock also wanted to protect the middle of the field, while Gruden wanted to cover the middle of the field.

Mike Mayock is a writer who lives in New York City, the general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders, is either daring or attempting to keep himself and head coach Jon Gruden out of Sin City next season.

For once, Mayock isn’t letting his dubious drafting and free agency decisions speak for itself. This time, he’s perfectly content to let his vocal chords do the job.

Jon Gruden, according to Mike Mayock, will lead the Raiders to the playoffs this season.

.@Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock: “We believe we will make an excellent squad. We’re not trying to avoid meeting expectations.” (He said that he and Jon Gruden are on the same page when it comes to legitimate postseason contention.)

September 1, 2021 — Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore)

Preseason is still a time for unrealistic expectations and foolishness. As Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins can attest, it’s only until the injuries strike that reality slaps you in the face with a frying pan.

Mayock is now among those who need a stinging cheekbone, based on remarks made by the third-year Raiders general manager while speaking to reporters. Mayock isn’t hiding from expectations, despite a 15-17 record and a -150 point difference over the past two years.

Mayock’s remarks were transcribed by ProFootballTalk, and they’re a doozy.

“I think both Jon and I would agree that we believe we need to be a playoff club this year. And I don’t believe there’s any question in my mind. And I realize that you’re all going to use it in your headlines. However, that is the expectation. We believe we’ve completed the infrastructural work required to put us in a position to succeed. We’ve got to get down to business.”

Mike Mayock

Mayock wasn’t completely right, however. His comments were not included in the headline. We did nothing except point out how ridiculous his remarks are and attempt to persuade you to interpret the narrative in that light.

Mayock is obviously attempting to fire both himself and Gruden.

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden (L) and general manager Mike Mayock in 2020.

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden (L) and general manager Mike Mayock in 2020. Mike Mayock (R) of the Las Vegas Raiders and his outspoken views may get him and Jon Gruden fired | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Now, let us preface what we’re about to say by saying that we mean no disrespect to Gruden or Mayock. As football brains and individuals, we have no problems with either of them.

Now that it’s out of the way, what’s on Mayock’s mind?

Why should anybody think the Raiders are even close to becoming a playoff club now that the NFL has expanded to seven playoff teams per conference? In recent years, the team has failed to capitalize on a number of top draft choices, going 3-7 in crucial December/January games over the past two seasons.

On the one hand, quarterback Derek Carr, running back Josh Jacobs, and tight end Darren Waller all return for the Raiders. However, in an AFC West division that includes Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, that offensive core won’t be able to keep Carr on his feet or play shut-down defense.

Mayock, on the other hand, is effectively guaranteeing a playoff berth to reporters. It’s as if he’s waving a huge neon sign urging Raiders owner Mark Davis to burn everything down. Then then, maybe that has always been the objective.

Gruden isn’t exactly secure, even with his 10-year contract, after finishing 19-29 in his first three seasons back with the team. If the Raiders have another losing season, it will be difficult for the team to justify keeping the head coach and general manager together for another year.

Carr is also a member of the Raiders’ club of players who talk far over their heads.

There must be something in the Las Vegas casino fountain water. That’s the only thing that could explain the Raiders’ current level of confidence.

Carr predicted the Raiders will win the Super Bowl and, preferably, beat Davante Adams and the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 56 earlier this summer on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast. In addition, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback hopes to bring Adams, a former Fresno State teammate, to Las Vegas in 2022.

At the very least, the Raiders are managing to stay delightfully naïve in the face of a worldwide epidemic. Perhaps we can all afford to learn from them and adopt a strategy that puts the glass at 150 percent capacity.

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