In the first extensive public comments by a Las Vegas Raiders’ official since the ouster of head coach Jon Gruden on Monday night, general manager Mike Mayock made it clear that the focus is on moving forward for the rest of the regular season.
“We’re 3-2. One game out of the AFC lead,” Mayock said Wednesday in a press conference. “All of our goals are ahead of us. The focus has got to be on Denver ... We’ve worked too hard. We’re going forward. We’re moving forward ... We’re all in. Every single one of our goals is still out there.”
Mayock chose to focus on his players and interim coach Rich Bisaccia instead of talking about the circumstances of Gruden’s departure. He said he didn’t want to speak for Raiders’ owner Mark Davis. Yet, it doesn’t appear that Davis is going to say much either. In his only comments Wednesday, Davis told ESPN to “ask the NFL” about Gruden’s departure.
Early in his presser, Mayock said he wasn’t going to talk much about “the Jon Gruden stuff.” He did say he was sad for Gruden and his entire family, but added “we’re all accountable for our actions.”
Instead, Mayock spent most of his time focusing on this season and he made it clear he is completely behind Bisaccia. He said that in the past he has endorsed Bisaccia for several NFL and college head coaching jobs (this marks Bisaccia’s first time as a head coach).
“He is the greatest leader I’ve been around,” Mayock said of Bisaccia. “All the players and love and respect him ... I’m behind this son of a gun unequivocally.”
Mayock also said there was a team meeting earlier on Wednesday morning (the players were off Tuesday) and that Davis, himself and Bisaccia (in that order) addressed the team. Team captains also spoke in the meeting. Mayock added that everyone’s focus is the same as his: the season, beginning Sunday at the Denver Broncos.
He explained that he has spoken to several players — most notably several Black players and Carl Nassib — about Gruden’s offensive comments that were racially and homophobic insensitive. Nassib, the first and only gay active NFL, player requested a personal day on Wednesday to help clear his mind, Mayock said. It was granted.