Without much of a pass rush, the Raiders couldn’t hold off a Denver Broncos comeback Sunday in falling to 0-2.
Meanwhile, former Raiders star defensive end Khalil Mack was again a dominating player for the Chicago Bears Monday night against the Seahawks, with a sack, five tackles and constant pressure.
Yet Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden — the architect of the trade of Mack to the Bears just before Week 1 of the regular season — says he doesn’t spend any time wishing Mack were still in his lineup and not Chicago’s.
“No, it doesn’t make me regret the trade,” Gruden told Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. “We made the trade. We made the trade. You know there’s going to be hindsight, 50-50, all that stuff, but we would have loved to have him here. I’m not going to keep rehashing this.”
Mack had held out of training camp in the hope of receiving a new, bigger contract before the start of the regular season. When the Raiders deemed Mack would be too expensive, they shipped him to the Bears for two first-round draft picks. Meanwhile, in the first two games, the Raiders’ pass rush has been anemic.
After two straight losses to open the season, Gruden now appears to know this season won’t be a march to the Super Bowl. There are plenty of questions on defense especially, and the offense has been dead one game and alive the next.
According to Dieter Kurtenbach of the Bay Area News Group, Gruden Monday said his team is “a work in progress” that has a long way to go.
“We’re going to keep building our football team,” Gruden said. “Whether that translates into one win or four wins or any wins, I’m not going to make any predictions.”
Certainly, getting any of those wins without Mack is going to be more difficult. But Gruden has set his course. Secure with a 10-year deal, he’s looking ahead, not back.
What he sees this week is a trip to Miami to take on the 2-0 Dolphins Sunday — with a pass rush that needs some help.
Kickoff is set for 10 a.m.