Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has a 10-year deal worth as much as $100 million, so there’s never been any question since he arrived last year that he’s running the football team.
So, when the Raiders hired a new general manager last week, former NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock – to replace the fired Reggie McKenzie – nobody believed Mayock would be above Gruden on the organizational flow chart. But, that wasn’t specifically spelled out publicly by Mayock, until yesterday.
That’s when Mayock made it clear Gruden is the Big Guy.
“In all honesty, Jon’s got final say, if it ever comes to that, and I’ve got zero problems with that,” Mayock told ESPN from Monday night’s college football championship game at Levi’s Stadium where he was scouting. “Now, having said that, I think we’re going to come to a consensus and I like a little yelling, a little screaming, a little fighting for what player you believe in. But at the end of the day, I guarantee you, Jon Gruden and I are going to know what a Raider looks like and smells like. I don’t think we’re going to have any issues.”
Mayock, in fact, has known Gruden for years and has no questions about the type of person he’ll be dealing with.
“When you deal with Jon Gruden, and I learned this a long time ago, he’s looking you right in the eye, he’s challenging you,” Mayock told reporters recently. “Everything’s a question or a challenge. You’d better be ready for it. With Jon, you have to be ready, you have to be prepared. He’s so quick mentally on the football side. …”
Certainly, Mayock and Gruden will have plenty to discuss and yell about, with free agency (March 11), the NFL combine (Feb. 26) and the draft (April 25) coming up.