Jon Gruden said Monday he wasn’t going to tolerate how his team performed in its Week 14 loss.
He turned his words into action Tuesday.
Gruden’s Raiders released three defensive veterans on the heels of Oakland’s 42-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans in a game that was tied at half and nowhere near that by the fourth quarter. Gone are linebacker Preston Brown, defensive tackle Terrell McClain and safety D.J. Swearinger, per the team’s announcement.
“It’s a necessary evil right now,” Gruden said Monday of what were then upcoming changes, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair. “We have to play better. We’re going to play better. There will be changes. What happened yesterday will not happen again.”
Brown’s career as a Raider ends with one tackle registered in one total game in Oakland. The linebacker signed with the Raiders after Cincinnati released him earlier this season.
Swearinger’s career as a Raider was also brief, lasting just four games after he was cut by the Arizona Cardinals one month into the 2019 campaign. He recorded six tackles in Sunday’s loss.
McClain did not play Sunday and was also an in-season pickup after he too was released by the Chiefs in September.
With a team full of young contributors and the playoffs almost out of reach, Gruden is jettisoning the veterans who he knows won’t be around past 2019 and giving the opportunities to other (potentially hungrier) players on his roster. He’s also sending a message that such performances like Sunday’s shellacking — in which his team gave up 552 yards of offense — will not be tolerated moving forward.
With one game left to play in Oakland before closing the season on the road, we’ll see if the moves produce a win for the Las Vegas-bound Raiders.