Jon Gruden has been infamous for losing patience with the young Raiders’ players from the previous regime in his first two seasons back with the team.
Several high draft picks, including Amari Cooper, Gareon Conley, Obi Melifonwu and Eddie Vanderdoes, have been shipped out by Gruden for various reasons.
Now, it looks like one of Gruden’s own high drafts picks, P.J. Hall is on rocky ground and faces an uncertain future.
One of the more enlightening comments made by Gruden’s right-hand man, Mike Mayock, at the NFL combine last week was aimed at Hall, saying that “P.J.’s got a challenge ... Rob Marinelli doesn’t put up with anything but 100 percent hustle.”
A little alarm went off for third-year DT P.J. Hall today in Indy.— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) February 25, 2020
Here's Mayock: "P.J.’s got a challenge. We have a new defensive line coach coming in, and trust me, Rod Marinelli doesn’t put up with anything but 100 percent hustle. Nothing but.” #Raiders
Team personnel rarely make those types of comments. The fact that Mayock felt comfortable saying this publicly means the Raiders are likely close to being fed up with Hall.
No football coach can stand it when players don’t give their full effort, but Gruden is one of those coaches where it literally eats at his soul. He has no time for injuries that linger and players who loaf.
If Hall doesn’t make it to be being a Las Vegas Raider by Week 1, it will go down as a major whiff by Gruden.
The Raiders took Hall out of tiny Sam Houston State in the second round of the 2018 draft with the 57th overall pick. It was considered an immediate huge reach. Hall, himself, was floored. I was at the Raiders’ facility when he said on a conference call that he figured he would be a fifth-round pick.
Hall was a freaky athlete for his 6 foot, 305-pound frame. He was also a playmaker at the small-school level. However, it has yet to translate to the NFL for Hall, who will turn 25 next month. He started 12 games in 2019, but just didn’t make an impact. He has 26 tackles and 1.5 sacks. But it seemed like he was rarely making an impact.
If effort is an issue then Hall will have to pick it up and do it quickly.
The Raiders could be active at the position in both free agency and early in the draft, so there is no guarantee he will make the 53-man roster.
Perhaps Mayock’s comment was, indeed, a planned message to Hall. If so, he has six months to impress Marinelli, Gruden and the rest of the Raiders’ decision makers.