You could tell listening to press conferences from Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock, new interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and quarterback Derek Carr that emotions are heavy at team facilities following Jon Gruden's resignation as head coach on Monday night.
Gruden resigned Monday following the uncovering of emails where he used racist, homophobic, misogynist and derogatory language.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racist trope in a 2011 email to describe NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. Gruden was a commentator for ESPN at the time. A new New York Times report Monday night said there were more emails sent by Gruden where he used misogynistic and homophobic language.
The emails were uncovered as part of the investigation into the workplace misconduct reports with the Washington Football Team. The emails were sent to former WFT executive Bruce Allen, and others.
By Monday night, Gruden was no longer the head coach of the Raiders.
"A lot of emotions, obviously didn’t see all of this coming," Raiders QB Derek Carr said this afternoon in a press conference. "I don’t think any of us did, it just caught us all by surprise. There will be a day and a time for all those feelings, but from an emotional standpoint I’ve got a job to do and that’s never changed. No matter who the coach is no matter who’s on the team with me. I have a job to do and that is to lead these men. Especially now, they need a leader more than ever."
Carr was noticeably emotional when asked questions about Gruden and their years together. Carr said he was sad for Gruden and this situation, but made it clear the actions from Gruden that were reported were not acceptable.
Carr said he was studying on Monday night when his wife sent him the report of Gruden's email exchanges. He said by the time he got done reading it, it had been reported that Gruden was out as head coach.
"Y’all know me, I don’t condone that kind of talk, I don’t talk that way. My kids, sure as heck will never talk that way," Carr said. "It’s hard because I love the man (Gruden) so much. I have family members that have done things, I’ve done things, that I’m glad I’m still loved. I think more than anything (Gruden) needs people to help him. To love him. In whatever areas that we can. But at the same time, what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong."
General Manager Mike Mayock, a longtime close friend of Gruden's, spoke to the media this morning in Las Vegas, prior to Carr and Bisaccia's press conference.
Mayock said there was a team meeting Wednesday morning led by owner Mark Davis, who gave an overview of the timeline and the events that transpired leading to Gruden’s resignation to players and coaches, but Mayock did not divulge the contents of that timeline.
When asked about his friendship with Gruden, Mayock said he was sad for him and his family, but believed he needed to be held accountable.
“I do have emotion and I am sad," Mayock said. "And to be honest with you, I am sad for the whole Gruden family, not just Jon. But at the end of the day, we’re all accountable for our actions. That’s how we have to look at it.”
Mayock noted that Carl Nassib, the NFL's only current openly gay player, had requested a personal day on Wednesday. Some of the emails Gruden sent contained homophobic language, including derogatory comments about the drafting of a gay player, according to the New York Times report on Monday
“He just said he’s got a lot to process, there’s a lot that’s been going on the last few days and of course we support that request," Mayock said, regarding Nassib.
Special teams coach Rich Bisaccia was tapped as interim head coach of the Raiders.
“Rich Bisaccia is the best leader I’ve ever been around," Mayock said. "The players respect and love Rich Bisaccia. From that perspective, he and I are all in together on this. Any conversation about what we’re going to do after the season is premature...I’m gonna back this son of a gun unequivocally.”
Bisaccia is a longtime assistant and friend of Jon Gruden as well. He was emotional about the opportunity to be a head coach as well as Gruden's departure.
“It’s no secret we’ve been together a long time, we’ve been friends, I certainly have an affinity for Coach Gruden," Bisaccia said. "He’s changed my life, hired me back in 2002. (Monday) night wasn’t good for him, wasn’t good for us, since then I’m sure he’s got to go through and deal and face the consequences of whatever he has to do. I’m certainly still a friend of Coach Gruden, but we haven’t had an dialogue since that particular night. It was an emotional night for all of us."
The Raiders are 3-2 on the year and they travel to Denver to take on the 3-2 Broncos on Sunday.