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Jon Gruden Puts Big Pressure on Yannick Ngakoue

Adam Taylor McKillop
Jon Gruden's recent quotes put big pressure on new Raiders' edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
Jon Gruden's recent quotes put big pressure on new Raiders' edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. / Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders suffered one of the league's worst pass rushes in 2020. Coming off a disappointing 8-8 campaign, the Raiders looked to build on a pass rush that ranked with the fourth-fewest sacks in the NFL.

This has been a theme for the Raiders ever since the Khalil Mack trade, and Las Vegas addressed the issue this offseason by bringing in free-agent edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. The organization is fired up by this addition and head coach Jon Gruden didn't shy away from adding some pressure to Ngakoue's plate.

Yannick Ngakoue Raiders

In one of those famous quotes only reserved for a coach like Gruden, he explained "the quarterback can’t make a pizza standing back there." Gruden went on to place a lot of this load on Ngakoue - "we have to get after the quarterback. So it all starts with Ngakoue."

Well, Ngakoue might be the perfect player up to the task. In 5 NFL seasons, the former Jacksonville Jaguar has recorded 45.5 sacks. That's an average of over 9 sacks per season, which is impressive. Ten sacks seems to be the figure that cracks the top-10 in individual sack leaders each NFL season.

Ngakoue will likely line up opposite of third-year Raider Maxx Crosby on the defensive line. Last year, Crosby led the Raiders with 7.0 sacks. Linebacker Nicholas Morrow finished second on the team in sacks, but only recorded 3.0 last season.

Right now, the Raiders are hopeful that a better pass rush will result in more wins from a year ago. This defense, which gave up the 8th-most yards in the NFL last year (389.1 per game), plays into the Raiders' longshot odds to win the AFC West (+1800), according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.