Jon Gruden Says 'It's Hard to Find a Great Pass-Rusher' in Raiders Presser

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2018

Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden answers questions during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Los Angeles won the game 33-13. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders have struggled with their pass rush in the first two games, totaling only two sacks during the 0-2 start. Head coach Jon Gruden ironically blamed the quality of personnel on the roster.

"It's hard to find a great pass-rusher," Gruden said Wednesday, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic.

The Raiders obviously already had a great one in Khalil Mack, but he was traded to the Chicago Bears before the start of the regular season after the two sides failed to agree on a new contract.

Mack had already proved himself in the past while earning three Pro Bowl selections and the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year award, but he has been as good as advertised since joining the Bears.

In two games, the linebacker has two sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown.

Still, the lack of success to start the year hasn't caused Gruden to second-guess his moves.

"It doesn't make me regret the trade," the coach said Monday, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.

The pressure is now on the remaining Raiders players to try to replace the production lost from dealing away Mack. Bruce Irvin, Frostee Rucker and Arden Key will all be tasked with creating more pressure on the opposing quarterback in order to help the team turn things around defensively.

Otherwise, Gruden will hope he can use the picks acquired in the trade to find the next great pass-rusher.

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