In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN after the Raiders’ 20-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, owner Mark Davis accepted blame for the team’s 1-8 start.
Davis also touched on topics such as the Khalil Mack trade, where he hopes his team will play in 2019, how years of draft misses have contributed to where they are now, his belief in coach Jon Gruden, and how general manager Reggie McKenzie might fit in the future.
The recent trade of Mack to the Bears for future picks made it clear they think a major rebuild is in order under Gruden, who clearly has more sway over decisions than General Manager Reggie McKenize.
When that stability might come is another question.
“It’s been all part of an evolution, but I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer to Jon as well that the talent is just not here at this time,” Davis said. “The drafts did not help supplement what we were doing in the free-agent market. If you look at our roster now, it’s a bunch of free-agent one-year guys that are mercenaries. And they’re great guys and they’re Raiders. Once a Raider, always a Raider, . . .but we just don’t have the overall talent of a 22-man roster. . . .
That’s a clear shot at McKenzie, whose good work was picked apart by the Mack deal. Only 11 of his 50 draft picks from 2012 to 2017 remain on the roster.
“We failed. I have failed. But at the same time, we wouldn’t have been in the great position we were in without Reggie McKenzie being here.”
Through all the changes since the late, great Al Davis died, the one constant has been Mark Davis, the man who handed Gruden a 10-year contract.