HENDERSON, Nev. — Jon Gruden is gone, the cascade of incendiary and offensive emails sealing his fate as he resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night, four seasons into a 10-year, $100 million contract.
The shocking development, five games into the 2021 season, leaves more questions than answers as the team, which started 3-0, is riding a two-game losing streak heading to Denver this weekend. Questions? We have answers … we think.
Why is Rich Bisaccia the interim coach instead of Gus Bradley or Tom Cable?
Technically, because Bisaccia was the associate head coach, he was next in line. Also, he’s one of the most respected special teams coaches in the league — if not the most — and commands the locker room like no other. His booming voice carries on the field in more ways than one. Bradley, meanwhile, needs to keep his focus on the defense. It has improved immensely in his first year as defensive coordinator, so why mess with what has been a good thing? Leave him be.
Cable has previous head coaching experience, with the Raiders no less, but has his hands full with a reimagined and constantly influx offensive line. Keep an eye on Greg Olson, though, as he was more QB coach than true offensive coordinator under Gruden but should now be the main playcaller.
Who should be on the short list of head coaching candidates?
For more reasons than one, Mark Davis should have Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy on speed dial. Not only would the Raiders be able to pilfer an offensive coordinator from a division rival, but such a hire would also be a signal that the Raiders are serious about their long-standing commitment to diversity. Especially in the wake of Gruden’s emails, which had racial, anti-gay and misogynistic tones.
Also, keep an eye on Stanford coach David Shaw, a former Raiders staffer from 1998 to 2001 under Gruden. Of course, if the Raiders go on a run under Bisaccia’s watch, or the offense rights itself with Olson calling the plays, they should also warrant consideration. Davis likes tradition and history when it comes to the only franchise he knows.
Booger McFarland shares his thoughts on the reports Jon Gruden is out as the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach.
How much does Gruden’s departure set back the franchise?
How about, a lot? He did sign a 10-year deal when he was hired, after all. Gruden was hired after what Davis called a “seven-year dance” and, until the past week, had the most job security in the NFL. The move to Las Vegas, while consummated before Gruden agreed to return, was aligned with his return to the sidelines.
Gruden’s visage dominated billboards around town as Allegiant Stadium was being built to better tempt potential season-ticket holders. The stadium sits on the corner of Al Davis Way and Dean Martin Drive, but the franchise is at a crossroads. And because Gruden resigned, you have to wonder if the Raiders are on the hook for the remaining $60-plus million left on his deal.
How does this affect quarterback Derek Carr, who was off to the best start of his career through three games?
Upon his return to the Raiders in 2018, Gruden changed his manic coaching style a tad to suit Carr’s more sensitive sensibilities, and Carr has responded in kind, improving every year under Gruden’s tutelage. But an oft-volatile but productive relationship like Gruden had with Rich Gannon at the turn of the century? Not even close.
Carr had a tough time when wide receiver Antonio Brown blew up the Raiders in 2019, so it will be interesting to see how he responds with Gruden gone. He does have a longer relationship, though, with Olson, who was his OC with the Raiders as a rookie in 2014. The shock of Gruden’s abrupt departure will either spur him to become even more of a leader and face of the franchise with more freedom on the field, or Carr — who is reportedly not interested in contract extension talks during the season — will simply play out the string. And with Gruden, his biggest defender in the building, gone, how much longer will Carr be a Raider?
Does Mike Mayock take control of player personnel?
Who else would it be? Look, Mayock is the general manager, hired with the approval of Gruden, but Mayock also acknowledged Gruden had the final decision on roster moves. This unlocks Mayock, who was most definitely on the hot seat (fair or unfair) after so many seeming early draft misses thus far — Clelin Ferrell, taken at No. 4 overall in 2019, played 11 defensive snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears. Mayock will make or break his own legacy going forward, and Davis might not have the stomach to completely overhaul the front office. Again.
New England Patriots throw just three passes, dominate on the ground in win over Buffalo Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Taking the ball out of rookie quarterback Mac Jones‘ hands in wind gusts over 40 miles per hour, and relying on their running game, the New England Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills 14-10 at Highmark Stadium on Monday night to enter their bye week as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Overall, Jones was just 2-of-3 for 19 yards, while the Patriots ran for 222 yards on 46 carries.
The three passing attempts are the fewest ever in Patriots history, while the two completions match their fewest, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The three pass attempts were the fewest by any team since the Bills attempted just two in Week 3 of the 1974 season (vs. the New York Jets).
The Patriots’ fewest pass attempts in a game was previously five, which came in the 1982 “Snow Plow” game against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Massachusetts – a game played in a driving snowstorm that was scoreless in the fourth quarter when stadium worker Mark Henderson drove a tractor on to the field to clear a spot for the only field goal of the game.
The Patriots improve to 9-4, with the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs all 8-4. The Bills, meanwhile, drop to 7-5 and their margin for error to win the AFC East has been thinned.
Jones threw just one pass in the first half — when the Patriots led 11-7 at the break — and completed it for 12 yards. The pass sailed high in the wind and tight end Jonnu Smith pulled it down.
That was the fewest first-half pass attempts by a team since at least 1978, which is as far back as data is available, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The previous record was two, which happened three times, most recently by the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14 of 2017 — also in Buffalo, in snowy conditions.
Overall, Jones’ only other completion was a screen pass in the fourth quarter.
The only other games in Patriots history in which they completed just two passes came in December of 1982, and November of 1969 — both against the Miami Dolphins.
Their one passing first down tied for the second fewest in franchise history, and was their fewest since Dec. 4, 1983. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the last team in the NFL that won a game with one or fewer passing first downs, doing so in 2010 with Dennis Dixon as their quarterback.
Potential No. 1 pick Kayvon Thibodeaux to declare for NFL draft, skip Oregon Ducks’ bowl game
Thibodeaux will not play in the Ducks’ bowl game, a matchup against No. 16 Oklahoma in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, and instead will start preparing for the draft, sources said.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Thibodeaux rated No. 1 overall in his latest Big Board. Fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has him as the No. 2-rated prospect in this year’s draft class.
The 6-foot-5 Thibodeaux was the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2019 and a first-team All-Pac-12 selection last year after arriving at Oregon as the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2019. He played 10 games this season — an ankle injury slowed him up early — and finished with seven sacks and 49 total tackles.
Thibodeaux was also at the forefront of players’ ability to capitalize on their name, image and likeness. He signed a handful of deals, including one with Ebay, another with United Airlines and a six-figure memorabilia deal. He also released an NFT in partnership with Nike founder Phil Knight and sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield that sold for $100 per unit. In September, he launched his own cryptocurrency called $JREAM.
Thibodeaux’s early exit came on the same day Mario Cristobal left Oregon to take the head-coaching position at Miami.
Information from ESPN’s Paolo Uggetti was used in this report.
New York Giants QB Daniel Jones (neck) unlikely to play vs. Los Angeles Chargers, sources say
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After further visits with team doctors and specialists to have his neck injury evaluated, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is unlikely to play Sunday vs. the Los Angeles Chargers, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jones missed Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins. He was injured the previous week in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants (4-8) remain hopeful he won’t miss much more time and will return this season.
Mike Glennon started in Jones’ place on Sunday, but was diagnosed with a concussion after the contest. That puts newly acquired quarterback Jake Fromm potentially in line to start against the Chargers. It only adds to questions about whether Jones has done enough in his first three professional seasons to convince the Giants — and potentially a new general manager — that he is a true franchise quarterback they should build around.
Fromm, a University of Georgia standout, was signed off the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad last week. He has never played in an NFL game and could be making his first start 11 days after joining the team.
“It’s the beauty of the NFL. It’s next man up. Jake is getting his opportunity,” said Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas, who was also his teammate at Georgia. “I’m excited for him to get his chance. But like I said, next man up, and we’re doing everything to help him.”
The Giants also have former Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke on their practice squad. He seems to have been immediately jumped by Fromm on the depth chart.
Judge said that Fromm would be next in line this week at practice with Jones and Glennon sidelined. The Giants might still add additional contingencies.
“We’re talking internally about a lot of options personnel-wise to see what we can do and build in depth for a multitude of reasons,” coach Joe Judge said.
Judge said after the game in Miami that Glennon would remain the starter if healthy while Jones remained sidelined. But Glennon’s status is in doubt and might not be decided until late this week.
He’s currently in the concussion protocol.
“The optimistic view would be to have [Glennon] ready for the game on Sunday,” Judge said during a Monday afternoon conference call from Arizona, where the Giants are practicing this week.
New York is also dealing with COVID-19 issues. Offensive lineman Wes Martin and quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski tested positive on Monday, per Judge.
Martin was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday afternoon. Schuplinski was involved in meetings virtually throughout the day as the Giants try to get Fromm coached up quickly for a potential start.
Having Fromm start would provide some limitations.
“For a guy who has only been in your system for a couple days, you have to go ahead and select more of a menu what he can operate with in a game,” Judge said. “That is not always based on what he’s capable of with his ability, it’s just based on being new in a scheme and system and what he’s comfortable going out there and playing aggressively and making the right decisions within.”
Fromm has crammed hard since joining the Giants. He stayed after practice on Friday last week and did extra work with Jones there to provide input.
The fifth-round pick by the Buffalo Bills last year has made a positive first impression.
“He’s an intelligent guy. He’s demonstrated that already,” Judge said. “He has very good poise out there and he has a very good presence. Once thing that is very impressive about this guy is you talk to former teammates of his, like we did before he got in here, most of those Georgia guys, and every single one lit up and said we’d absolutely love to have that guy on the team.”
The bar won’t be especially high. The Giants failed to score a touchdown on Sunday in Miami. They have one touchdown in the two games since offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was fired.
Glennon went 23-of-44 for 187 yards with an interception against the Dolphins.
Jones has completed 64.3% of his passes for 2,428 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.
Edinson Cavani 'could leave Man Utd in January' following Ralf Rangnick appointment
Time for an NBA-style signing deadline? Why MLB’s free-agent frenzy should be an annual event
Jude Bellingham escapes ban but slapped with five-figure fine after 'match-fixing' remark
Boxing fans speculate gruelling Tyson Fury training exercise behind Tommy Fury broken rib
Shan Masood to reunite with Mickey Arthur at Derbyshire
Liverpool 'interested' in Paulo Dybala transfer as contract talks go quiet
Tommy Fury family tree – who is the reality TV star related to?
David Seaman tells Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang how to save Arsenal career after Everton loss
Recent Match Report – Pakistan vs Bangladesh 2nd Test 2021/22
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has problems with four players after Everton defeat
NFL4 days ago
Don’t call ’em trick plays
NFL5 days ago
NFL to air first public service announcement on responsible betting during Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints game
MLB5 days ago
What we do in the shadows
NFL7 days ago
NFL Power Rankings Week 13
MLB5 days ago
Everything you need to know about MLB’s lockout
Soccer3 days ago
Jurgen Klopp's simple five-word message to Divock Origi before last-gasp Liverpool winner
MLB3 days ago
Daisuke Matsuzaka ends 23-year career, surprised by Ichiro Suzuki in ceremony
Soccer7 days ago
Chelsea's £3m rebuff risks Thomas Tuchel anguish ahead of January transfer window