Davis On Raiders' Roster: It's Gruden's "To Fix"

After firing Reggie McKenzie on Monday, the Raiders will sink or swim with Jon Gruden

Tiki and Tierney
December 10, 2018 - 9:11 pm

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The Oakland Raiders fired general manager Reggie McKenzie on Monday. McKenzie, 55, had served as GM since 2012 and was under contract through 2021. He brought the franchise Khalil Mack Amari Cooper, among other stars, but it appears he and Jon Gruden did not see eye-on-eye on personnel.

“Without having the full understanding, I would say he deserved better from the organization,” Fox Sports NFL analyst Charles Davis said of McKenzie on Tiki and Tierney. “We’ve been talking about this since Jon took the job. And you guys know Jon is one of my best friends in the world, so this is a difficult spot. Once he went in as the head coach and got the 10-year deal, Jon’s always been one who has been involved in personnel. When you hire Jon Gruden, you’re not just hiring a football coach – unless you’re putting it in writing, ‘Jon, you only coach football. We’ll handle the rest of it.’ I doubt he would sign that deal. Jon wants to be involved in all those aspects – and he has been.”

Gruden traded Mack and Cooper to the Bears and Cowboys, respectively. Chicago (9-4) has won six of seven and leads the NFC North, while Dallas (8-5) has won five straight and leads the NFC East.

The Raiders (3-10), well, they have the worst record in football.

“It’s his,” Davis said of Gruden. “It’s his to own, and it’s his to fix. You’ve given away some pretty good talent along the way, you’ve accumulated draft picks – this is better for Reggie, frankly. In a lot of ways for me it’s like Mike McCarthy: this is going to happen; pick your time on when it’s going to happen.”

Davis does not believe McKenzie will be out of a job very long.

“Reggie’s got a chance elsewhere,” Davis said. “Remember: he stripped that team down the first time, got them to the playoffs, they regressed last year due to a lot of injures – I thought they’d bounce back a lot quicker. I got fooled on that one.”

While Davis is friends with Gruden, he was also teammates with McKenzie at Tennessee. Monday was not an easy day for Davis.

“It was a tough one,” he said. “When Jon took the job, I was like ‘Uh-oh.’”