ALAMEDA — If anyone has ever said head coach bye week press conferences are boring, they should’ve waited to listen to Jon Gruden.

The more the Raiders lose the better Gruden is at the podium, and Tuesday that trend reached its peak.

If you’re just catching up before the Raiders’ bye week, here are the best five moments from Gruden’s session in Alameda.

On his meeting with GM Reggie McKenzie

It’s no secret who calls the shots in the Raiders’ Alameda headquarters.

Gruden has repeatedly called out McKenzie’s recent draft classes for not producing much and already started the purge of McKenzie picks (i.e. Jihad Ward, Obi Melifonwu, Mario Edwards Jr. and maybe now even Amari Cooper and Karl Joseph if reports of the Raiders shopping those two come to fruition).

Gruden even said he had no part in sending the Raiders’ 2020 second-round pick to the Bears in the Khalil Mack trade, and that wasn’t the first hint there’s a disconnect between head coach and general manager in Oakland.

Gruden, after saying he met with McKenzie on Monday, poked some fun at people who think he and McKenzie aren’t on the same page.

“Reggie and I had a long meeting yesterday. I know that’s a shock to some people,” Gruden said. “They don’t think we have any meetings. I’m telling you, we’re working hard to solidify this roster every day and improve ourselves and get the right people on the field. Those are decisions that we’re looking at. We’re going to continue to try to develop our young players. We’re going to stay on the gas pedal and go as hard as we can.”

‘What do you say to that, America?’

Gruden has received plenty heat in the media, including right here in this publication, about signing a plethora of 30-plus-year-olds this offseason.

The Raiders are the oldest team in the NFL, and despite releasing their oldest player in 35-year-old Derrick Johnson on Tuesday, still have 12 players 30 years or older on the roster.

He was asked Tuesday about the growth of his young defensive linemen, namely rookies Mo Hurst, Arden Key and P.J. Hall, after Hurst batted yet another pass against the Seahawks, Key recorded his first NFL sack and Hall logged another game under his belt since returning from an ankle sprain.

“I thought Hurst did a good job of recognizing the traps. I thought he got off blocks. I saw Key get his first sack. I thought P.J. Hall was finally flying around again like he was in training camp,” Gruden said. “I think they’ll continue to get better. I know they have to prove that. I’m excited about the rookie class.”

Then, because he couldn’t resist, Gruden brought up the often-used critique he relies too much on veterans.

“I’ve been accused my whole life of hating rookies and liking old players and now I’m playing 10 rookies,” Gruden said. “What do you say to that, America?”

(Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Gruden wonders if Rashaan Melvin is confused

Melvin played only seven defensive snaps against the Seahawks, as the former Raiders starting corner has now found himself in Gruden’s doghouse.

Here are two tweets Melvin fired off on Monday.

After Melvin played in a meaningless fourth preseason game against the Seahawks, Gruden said he played the then-starter because he had some technique-related things to work on. Asked Tuesday about Melvin’s public frustration, Gruden offered a fascinating take.

“I haven’t talked to him yet, no. I’m sure I will. I know Paul Guenther did. I heard there was a Twitter report out there,” Gruden said. “Melvin is on his seventh team, I think. He’s had different techniques. Maybe he’s confused. I don’t know. I’ll talk to him. But he has to play better. He’s in a competitive situation. Perhaps he’s frustrated, and I can’t blame him.”

Don’t tell Gruden the Raiders are tanking

At 1-5, the Raiders obviously aren’t a good football team. Maybe the worst in the NFL.

The popular phrase to throw around is “tanking” when a team is on such a precipitous slide, but don’t dare mention that word to Gruden. The head coach was asked what message he left his players with as they head to their respective parts of the country, and it sounds like he used some press clippings to fuel his team entering the time off.

“Well, I left them with a pretty clear message. I don’t want to really get any further into it with anybody else. I’ll say this, we aren’t tanking anything,” Gruden said. “I hear the hatred out there, some of the rumors that we are tanking it to get a first-round pick or a higher pick. We are not getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning to tank it. Ain’t nobody tanking it.

“I don’t know who wrote that or who said that or who thinks that, but that isn’t the case here. We are going to continue to work hard, continue to build our team and that was part of the message.”

Gruden voices displeasure with rookie special-teamers

If you watched Sunday’s game in London, you probably know the Raiders aren’t exactly set at kicker and punter.

Rookie kicker Matt McCrane has made only 5-of-9 field goals in his three games with the Raiders, including a miss from 48 yards early against Seattle. After Seahawks kicker and 18-year Raider Sebastian Janikowski made both of his field goals, all three of his extra points and all five of his kickoffs went for touchbacks, Gruden talked to the kicker who he declined to re-sign in free agency this offseason after the game.

“Our kicker, we need better kickoffs. We need to get some touchbacks. I talked to Janikowski after the game. The damn guy is still getting touchbacks,” Gruden said. “We need touchbacks. We’ve got to improve. We’re working hard at it and that’s all I can say.”

Rookie punter Johnny Townsend booted three punts on Sunday with an average of 30.7 yards, including a punt that went 27 yards and a punt that went 28. Townsend currently ranks tied for 24th in the league with a 43.1-yard average punt.

“I’m not happy with the way Johnny has punted,” Gruden said. “I’m not mad at Johnny but he’s got to flip the field for us. We start every drive at our 20. We need to knock some of these teams back to their own 6 and see how they like it. We’ve got to flip the field. We’ve got to win the field position battle, I’m tired of saying it. You get the football at your own 20, your own 12 every possession. It’s ridiculous. We’ve got to do a better job of not only creating field position, but I think Townsend can be a more explosive weapon for us.”

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