Jon Gruden does not feel pressure ahead amid lofty expectations
Jon Gruden’s Las Vegas Raiders have not made the playoffs in 2016. Recently, they have come close to ending the drought and they expect to end this in 2021. Gruden himself does not feel the pressure even if they are facing some lofty expectations for the 2021 campaign.
Ever since Gruden took over the Raiders squad in 2018, he has led the team to a record of 19 wins and 29 losses. They were the Oakland Raiders during that time but ever since their move to Las Vegas, their momentum has begun to pick up. They have made so many improvements for an NFL Playoffs spot.
It is a tough time for the Raiders because they have to compete in a competitive AFC West division. Their defensive strength has been tested over the past year. Since that is the key factor to their success, Gruden wants to lead this team to the playoffs using defence as their best asset.
Breaking away from the pressure
Most people will say that the Raiders are under immense pressure to fulfil their destiny of making the playoffs. Of course, people will talk about the team performing above their level but you can expect the coaching staff to step up when they’re needed. Gruden and his staff want to succeed but they’re not letting the pressure overpower them.
He said, ‘I don’t really feel pressure. Mark Davis is going to let me know if it’s good enough or not. And I know what’s good and what isn’t. I’m 58-years-old now, and I’m not working any less than I did when I was 38. So I’m doing the best I can. I’m proud of the results we have gotten, but also realistic. I know what’s at stake. But I’m not going to worry about it’.
It will be interesting to see how the Raiders will compete in the 2021 season. They have made some big trades over the years that have weakened their chances of competing at the top level. The fans want more success for the squad and the rebuild has worked out in different ways for the team. They need to trust the people in charge to build a good team that can play well under Gruden’s system.
What happens on the field is what matters
People always talk about free-agent signings, trades and many more before the season even starts. While those are legit gripes, the coaches and players always believe that what happens on the field is the biggest factor in football.
Gruden himself has preached this sentiment. He said, ‘Whoever wants to be involved in acquiring the player, the big thing is when we do get the players here, let’s get the quarterback to play great. No matter what else we do, let’s get the quarterback to play the best he can play. If the quarterback’s playing good, you have a chance every week. That’s what I know’.
Speaking of quarterbacks, Derek Carr has been excellent under Gruden. Their offence is always strong but their defence still needs some work. They have improved over the past year but that should be consistent if they want to succeed. They also need to ensure that they are a top-tier defence because a mediocre system will not get them far.
The Raiders have solid potential and they need to trust Gruden’s tactics more because he is a solid coach who knows how to lead a team to the big stage of the playoffs.
Words: Cholo Martin