Jon Gruden is back, and the Raiders could be better than ever

AP

No victories happen during press conferences. But what happens at a press conference can provide a glimpse of what can happen when it’s time to play the games.

In his first press conference as the new-old coach of the Oakland Raiders, Jon Gruden projected the energy and demeanor that could inspire a room full of grown men to get the most out of their abilities. Honed by nine years of broadcasting, Gruden may be an even better communicator than he was when he coached the Buccaneers and, before that, the Raiders.

“I never wanted to leave the Raiders,” Gruden said. “I never thought I’d be back, but here I am.”

Gruden said that he returned for four reasons: He loves football, the City of Oakland, the Raiders, and winning.

“No guarantees, no promises, but I want to win,” Gruden said, before pointing out that he hasn’t won a game since 2008 — but that he hasn’t lost one, either.

Gruden said he’s been talking to Raiders owner Mark Davis for the last six or seven years about the Raiders, and about “ways that we could improve the Raiders.”

He said that Davis called him “a few weeks ago” (and then he corrected himself to say “a couple of weeks ago”) to see if Gruden had any intentions of coaching.

“Yes I do,” Gruden said, adding that it all came together in a “mysterious” way — a description far more accurate and telling than he likely intended.

Gruden said his schedule hasn’t changed at all, including his just-ask-him-and-he’ll-tell-you habit of getting up before 4:00 a.m. The game has changed, however. Specifically, the rules regarding practices and offseason interactions have become much more restricted. Gruden openly lamented the inability of players and coaches to work together from January to April, and he’ll surely be frustrated about that as he tries to get to work with his new quarterback, Derek Carr.

Gruden spoke with passion about playing in Oakland, saying that he hopes to fill up the Black Hole with Raiders fans “at least seven or eight more times.”

“There is unfinished business as a coach,” Gruden said. “I was traded. I was fired. . . . For my [Raiders] career to end that night in New England, it still ticks me off.”

He’s referring to the last game the notorious Tuck Rule contest from early 2002. And he made it very clear early in the press conference that he’s not just ticked off about the fact that his last game as a Raiders coach came via a loss in the playoffs at New England. He’s ticked off about the now-defunct Tuck Rule.

“Brady fumbled that ball,” Gruden said.

Gruden didn’t fumble the ball during his introductory press conference. Whether he carries the ball as the coach of the Raiders for the second time remains to be seen. So far, there’s reason to believe that great days are coming.

125 responses to “Jon Gruden is back, and the Raiders could be better than ever

  1. Certainly couldn’t be much worse, can Gruden fix a fragile quarterback? I don’t think so.

  2. The 2001 Raiders were 10-3 and needed one more win to clinch a higher seed than New England. They lost at Denver and laid two eggs at home vs. non-playoff teams.

  3. I like this dude, but he is easily one of the most overrated and now overpaid coaches of all time..

  4. I know nothing is won at these dog and pony shows, and Gruden has always been a bit of a showman, but I liked what I saw. He looked intense, happy to be there and ready to go. I’m even buying, on some level, that the contract wasn’t the deciding factor. If it’s BS, I’m buying it for now.

  5. As bad as Mark Davis’ hair cut is, the grey Nike shoes and the suit which had sleeves 3 inches too short is even worse.

    If nothing else,it’s a character back in the game who’s going to be really good for sound bytes, and good for one or two meltdowns per year.

  6. They could also be worse than ever

    All we heard last offseason was how great the Raiders were and how they were gonna get to tge Super Bowl. I’ll wait till the play the games next season to see if theyre great on not.

  7. “Brady fumbled that ball,” Gruden said.

    Nope and that’s not really surprising coming from a guy who should know better but I get you’re playing to your base.

    Based on the hoopla since he took the job before they interviewed any minority candidates I’d expect nothing less than 19-0 from the raiders.

  8. Gruden will surround himself with coaches and personnel people who share his work ethic. He’s not going to expect everyone to work 20 hours per day, but he’ll find people who want to. That’s why Gruden was thanking his entire family for their support. They know they’re not going to see him much, but they gave him their blessing. Jon said you only live once, and he means it. Mark Davis is the perfect owner. He loves Gruden. This is a dream come true for both Davis and Gruden. Mark Davis has an opportunity to become a HOF owner. Just win baby!

  9. Gruden just needs to look back at that Brady fumble…it was the year of the 9/11 terrorists attack in NYC. Would the league rather have the Red, White, and Blue in the super bowl, or the evil empire. (not that it was fixed)

    Still the worse call in the history of the NFL, even worse than the Immaculate Deception.

    Go Raiders!!!!

  10. 8oneanddones says:
    January 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    The 2001 Raiders were 10-3 and needed one more win to clinch a higher seed than New England. They lost at Denver and laid two eggs at home vs. non-playoff teams.

    Don’t forget they *won* a super bowl on a phantom RTP call vs NE so Tuck Rule was payback I suppose.

  11. I don’t know if he’s going to be any good or not, but it’s going to be fun watching it unfold.

  12. If Brady had fumbled, there would have been no need to delete the rule that plainly described how it was not a fumble. Get it?

  13. I can’t believe the hype on Gruden. The game has changed and the players have changed in the last ten years. His old school BS is not going to go over well at all. After two years of complete chaos he will be dumped. Then again Begas loves circus acts and Gruden is most certainly going to make the raiders into a big circus by 2019

  14. yea that brady and belichick been “lucky” a lot. you don’t hear them ever once whining about the multiple horse shoes falling out of giants butts. if you can’t overcome and find a way to score one more point than the opponent, you just weren’t good enough. that’s what separates the GOATS from nannies.

  15. “He loves football, the City of Oakland, the Raiders, and winning.”

    Well, 2 out of 4 ain’t bad.

    Plus, jeez, still upset over that Pats loss 15 years later? It’s HIS fault they lost, because there was plenty of time left in that game for the Raiders to win, but he couldn’t coach his way past what he perceived to be a bad call, that’s all on HIM.

    Someone should tell him that too much salt isn’t good for you, unless you live in the NE and need it for the driveway or sidewalks during the winter.

  16. luckyforus says:

    January 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    “Gruden said he loves Oakland and he wants to finish his career in Oakland. LMFAO they are moving to Vegas in 2 years”

    He was just showing his love for the city of Oakland. It’s easy to be an anonymous douche bag on a message board with no knowledge of football and obviously didn’t watch the presser.

    Good job, turd.

  17. hasn’t won or lost a game in 10 years…. is the highest paid coach in all of football.

    Is wining about a game 10 years ago…..before he has even taken the field as a new head coach……man I so dislike the raiders and now I have even more to dislike..

    8 & 8 and no playoffs. in 2018… welcome back mr gruden

  18. I think the Raiders obviously needed this to boost interest in attendance before they move. Popular opinion aside, many Raiders fans see him as the coach who was shipped out of town by Al much earlier than he should have been. He’s polarizing, so he’s good for the team and the league right now. I’ll take a pissed off Chucky on the sidelines again.

  19. If he has so weak an understanding of NFL rules that he is still saying that was the wrong call he will fail.
    If he is so weak minded that he is still crying about an officiating call from a decade and a half ago the NFL today will eat him up and he will fail.

    So I do hope thats not where he is at really.

  20. The only reason i think they might do well is, Gruden does a pretty good job for teams that were already built and handed to him. Teams that he actually builds dont tend to work out that way.

  21. you guys….remember when Johnny Manziel was the second coming of Johnny Unitas? remember when Chip Kelly was going have an offense that ran a hundred plays a game and redefined offense in the NFL? remember when….?

    You all never learn.

  22. Lemmy Aksyadis says:

    January 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    8oneanddones says:
    January 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    The 2001 Raiders were 10-3 and needed one more win to clinch a higher seed than New England. They lost at Denver and laid two eggs at home vs. non-playoff teams.

    Don’t forget they *won* a super bowl on a phantom RTP call vs NE so Tuck Rule was payback I suppose.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Actually go watch that “phantom roughing the passer call”, Stabler gets hit in the head. That’s a penalty all day, get a clue about football before commenting, this way you won’t look so stupid

  23. Brady dropped the ball AFTER Woodson slapped him in the head. The head-slap is the reason why Brady fumbled. It’s justice that the Raiders were not rewarded for fouling the QB.

  24. weepingjebus says:
    January 9, 2018 at 4:05 pm
    If Brady had fumbled, there would have been no need to delete the rule that plainly described how it was not a fumble. Get it?

    —————
    No, I dont think he does. And thats alarming for his chances at success.

    There are coaches that cry about the officiating, and there are coaches that consider it their job to win regardless whatever happens with the officiating. He sounds like he is auditioning for the former.

  25. Dick Vermeil was older than Gruden when he came back and he wasn’t as dialed into the NFL as Gruden is at this point in time. Once a Coach, always a Coach and Gruden’s greatest asset was on display at this press conference and that is his passion for the game. It’s contagious and the players will feed off that energy that the old Raiders who came back today once did. This team will be better prepared and motivated than they have been since he left in 2002. Whether that leads to a SB in the not too distant future is anyone’s guess, but they will be better than they have been.

  26. Looks like the haters are a little worried. they are all over this seconds after it was posted. its almost like they all sat there and watched it live. The raiders rule even the lives of people who hate them.

  27. 11 seasons of coaching and just 4 seasons with 10+ wins & 5 with playoff appearances, let’s calm down. Expect to miss the playoff every other year with him.
    Harbaugh had 5 10+ wins seasons in his first seven (lowest was 8).

  28. Jon Gruden is just what we need. Raiders will go at least 10-6 next year record wise. Hope we go after Saquon Barkley in the draft.

    Raider Nation!

  29. As a Raider fan I have to hope for the best but I don’t have any enthusiasm about this hiring at all. I think they would’ve been better off keeping Del Rio although if I turn out to be wrong then I’ll be glad to admit it. It may get some fans fired up to see Gruden back but all that I care about is results on the field.

  30. so he wins a SB with Tony Dungey’s team and then NEVER wins another playoff game after that and all of the sudden he’s the greatest coach in the world? WTF are you drinking and can I have some, please?
    Thanks so much!

  31. araidersfan says:
    January 9, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    As a Raider fan I have to hope for the best but I don’t have any enthusiasm about this hiring at all. I think they would’ve been better off keeping Del Rio although if I turn out to be wrong then I’ll be glad to admit it. It may get some fans fired up to see Gruden back but all that I care about is results on the field.

    If you care about the results on the field then you should be happy they fired Del Rio. In three years he couldn’t even put an average defense together and firing the guy who had the offense playing like a top 5 unit was also not very bright. I appreciate Del Rio as a life long Raider fan who got a chance to Coach his home town team, but he’s not a Coach that is going to take you where you want to go. Gruden turned the Raiders around once and I’m hoping he can do it again.

  32. Phantom roughing the passer call in the 76 playoffs that cost the pats a Superbowl birth was far worse. That ref got fired it was that bad.

    At least the tuck rule was the proper implementation of an unpopular rule. (One that cost the pats during the regular season against the jets)

  33. No Raiders fan by any means. Although, I like Chucky. I hope he succeeds (except when he plays my team)

  34. weepingjebus says:
    January 9, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    If Brady had fumbled, there would have been no need to delete the rule that plainly described how it was not a fumble. Get it?

    Except it didn’t. The tuck rule accounted for the QB losing control of the ball after starting a throwing motion even if he pulled it down. That wasn’t the case in this instance as the ball was knocked loose by Woodson. That is why the ruling was criticized and is still seen as a call that gave the Patriots a win they didn’t deserve by Gruden and many others.

  35. A unique personality that will be watched closely win or lose. Football is better with gruden coaching. I will not miss him on monday night.

  36. His PC was certainly better than listening to him on MNF…. and he certainly can’t be any worse than Del Rio. The Battle of the Bay this upcoming season should be off the hook.

  37. Sports fans, don’t be shocked if you see Tim Tebow in camp, suited up, ready to enter the fray.

    Not saying it’s right or proper, just don’t be shocked if and/or when it happens.

  38. The Raiders love to overpay….. First their QB and now their HC. Gruden is a decent coach, and I don’t think his absence will have much of an effect, but 10 million per year for this guy? LOL, Belichick (Not a Pats fan) might be the only coach I would pay that for. No other coach has that much of an effect on a team to command that. Most of a teams success depends largely on the talent on the roster. I don’t think Gruden is that good. He won 1 SB for a team that was built by someone else, and his career record is 95-81(.540 win pct) which is 69th on the all time record list for HCs. He isn’t alone though, there are probably a few coaches that are overpaid.

  39. mataug says:
    January 9, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Expect to miss the playoff every other year with him.
    ———————–

    Like RaiderIsland wouldn’t take that.

  40. Oh for heaven’s sake, let it go. Brady didn’t fumble the ball per the rules in place at the time. The same rule was enforced against the Patriots earlier in the same season. Finally, the game didn’t end on that play. The Raiders has multiple opportunities to win that game after the Tuck Rule play, and prior to that too. If they could have converted a 3rd and less than 1, Brady neve even gets the ball back for the Tuck Rule play to have even occurred. Finally, if you still insist the Raiders were robbed, I’ll point out that the 76 Raiders playoff win against New England was at least as grievous – blatantly holding penalty on Villapiano against Russ Francis that would have allowed NE to run out the clock, and of course the phantom roughing the passer call against Ray Hamilton. So let it go, Raider fans – at the very least, your even.

  41. Better than ever? Are we going back to the 70’s and early 80’s? Oh wait, Raiders won their last playoff game in 2001, 2002? Man, I’m shaking. But you gotta love this team man, they got Gruden and I’m telling you man, they have never had a better coach ever!

  42. I’m just glad he’s off TV and, for that reason, hope he succeeds enough to remain employed in the NFL. But he’s overrated and inherited his Super Bowl ring.

  43. And then again, they might not be better.
    When was the last TD actually scored by a coach.
    His drafting record stinks.
    He better surround himself with real knowledge football people.
    I he big mouth fails.

  44. theandy59 says:
    January 9, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Oh for heaven’s sake, let it go. Brady didn’t fumble the ball per the rules in place at the time. The same rule was enforced against the Patriots earlier in the same season. Finally, the game didn’t end on that play. The Raiders has multiple opportunities to win that game after the Tuck Rule play, and prior to that too. If they could have converted a 3rd and less than 1, Brady neve even gets the ball back for the Tuck Rule play to have even occurred. Finally, if you still insist the Raiders were robbed, I’ll point out that the 76 Raiders playoff win against New England was at least as grievous – blatantly holding penalty on Villapiano against Russ Francis that would have allowed NE to run out the clock, and of course the phantom roughing the passer call against Ray Hamilton. So let it go, Raider fans – at the very least, your even.
    ———————-

    You’re wasting your time. The Tuck Rule is the only thing that RaiderIsland has to hang their 20 year lack of success on.

  45. The guy hasn’t coached in nine (!) years and his last three as a head coach his record was below .500. Yeah, I’m not exactly shaking in my boots.

  46. Gruden has coached 11 years in the NFL and only 3 years he was under .500 and thats because the Bucs owner was cheap.

  47. yes. Brady fumbled the ball that snowy night sixteen years ago in Foxboro.

    And New England was awarded victory?

    no.

    Brady then completed a huge 13 yard pass to Patten which set up the tying kick from AV.

    Then Brady went 8 for 8 in OT, including a huge 4th and 4 conversion to Patten again, and set up the winning kick from AV.

    There were loads of opportunities for Oakland to win the game, including their own a 2nd and 3 just before the tuck play, but they failed-every time.

  48. Starting his run moaning about the tuck rule game? This is gonna be a disaster. His current players were like 4 then.

  49. kalous700 says:
    January 9, 2018 at 4:11 pm
    The Return of the Raiders. The Dawn of a New Dynasty. Today, is the tomorrow, that the NFL feared yesterday. Welcome home Chucky.

    22 16 Rate This

    —————-

    wildly delusional

  50. eslaught says:
    January 9, 2018 at 5:49 pm
    Two of the worst haircuts in football have joined forces. Watch out NFL.

    5 0 Rate This

    ————-

    lol!!!

  51. He is as full of crap, as is Davis. All you Oakland fans eating this up?
    The team is Moving to Vegas………you idiots !!
    It’s all about the love of money!!
    They, both Davis and Gruden, don’t care about you.

  52. mongo3401 says:

    I can’t believe the hype on Gruden. The game has changed and the players have changed in the last ten years.
    ==========================================================

    No, it hasn’t really changed. 10 years is a long time if you’re a millennial.

  53. Gruden had two teams in the same Super Bowl, which is a feat that has never, nor will ever be equaled.

    At least let the guy coach a few games before you write him off. RaiderIsland had the Raiders beating New England in Mexico en route to their Super Bowl victory, so the team must be close.

  54. I’m 100% all in on Chucky being Back in Black,
    I have great memories of the black hole when he coached here,
    I love how all the haters are showing how much this is eating at you,
    To the Raider fans that wanted to keep JDR??? WTH are you Smokin?
    You couldn’t have been watching the same Raider team as anyone else this season,
    He lost the locker room!! MD had no choice but can him!
    He never had his players ready for big games, no accountability.
    This won’t happen with Gruden.
    And by the way, I love the Bay, but Vegas is a much better weekend!

  55. don’t get excited Raiders fans, for this to work you need a complete overhaul of the roster, like 10 starters on defense for instance.

  56. If you think the layoff is a big deal see Dick Vermeil. He was out of coaching for 15 years and came back and won a bowl.

    A good coach is a good coach, no matter the era.

  57. Gruden had two teams in the same Super Bowl, which is a feat that has never, nor will ever be equaled.
    __________________________________________________
    Gruden won the SB with Dungy’s team. He had nothing to do in building that team and kept Dungy’s playbook. Do you know anything about football? Additionally, he was only with the Raiders for 3 years. The team was largely built before he got there.

  58. Watching Gruden’s press conference today I wanted to dig out my old football uniform and suit up. He has such a positive attitude that he makes you want to run through a wall for him.

  59. Everybody knows Brady fumbled the ball, heck Brady himself said he thought he fumbled the ball, and anybody who knows football knows he fumbled the ball! Even under the tuck rule he fumbled the ball come on delusional Pats fans!

  60. $100 million for a guy who hasn’t coached a single down in 10 years.

    LOL. Vegas Raiderz fanz. Mark Davis is just like Al…..completely stuck in the 70’s style of running an NFL team.

  61. Jon loves the city of Oakland, Jon loves the Raiders, Jon loves the Raiders nation, but foremost, Jon just loves the $100 millions. As he said to Davis, “show me the money, BABY!”

  62. wcman says:
    January 9, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    araidersfan says:
    January 9, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    As a Raider fan I have to hope for the best but I don’t have any enthusiasm about this hiring at all. I think they would’ve been better off keeping Del Rio although if I turn out to be wrong then I’ll be glad to admit it. It may get some fans fired up to see Gruden back but all that I care about is results on the field.

    If you care about the results on the field then you should be happy they fired Del Rio. In three years he couldn’t even put an average defense together and firing the guy who had the offense playing like a top 5 unit was also not very bright. I appreciate Del Rio as a life long Raider fan who got a chance to Coach his home town team, but he’s not a Coach that is going to take you where you want to go. Gruden turned the Raiders around once and I’m hoping he can do it again.

    =========================================================

    After taking over a 3-13 team, Del Rio went 19-13 in his first 2 years with the Raiders and went to the playoffs in his 2nd year. They regressed last year mainly because of the acquisition of locker-room cancer Lynch (who was forced on the team by the owner) and because they caved into Penn during his holdout.

    In contrast Gruden went 16-16 in his first 2 years (taking over a 4-12 team) and didn’t reach the playoffs until his 3rd year. He pushed to high round draft busts like Matt Stinchcomb & Marques Tuiasosopo. As for his assistants, after 1 year Gruden (not Al) fired Willie Shaw who was an excellent DC and replaced him with Chuck Bresnahan who was even worse than Norton.

    Again, for the sake of the Raiders I hope that Gruden succeeds but I don’t wear rose-tinted glasses when viewing his credentials.

  63. Perspective. One winning season since 03. Last title was in 1983. After the 2016 season the Raiders got full of themselves, fired their offensive coordinator, let their stud young running back walk, brought in a washed up Lynch and even let their solid tight end go. Paid their QB dumb money without a playoff appearance and then bailed on Oakland again. Somehow we’ve been fed the story that they’re one of the all time greats.

  64. The rule changes about practice time, etc., put a greater emphasis on coaches’ ability to effectively prioritize how they spend the time, rather than just try to outwork everybody. SO he will need to adjust in that respect – if he can, everything is lined up for the Raiders to be very successful.

  65. raideralex99 says:
    January 9, 2018 at 6:05 pm
    Gruden has coached 11 years in the NFL and only 3 years he was under .500 and thats because the Bucs owner was cheap.

    I love this meme. He’s rarely been under 500. OK, 9-7 is over 500. Doesn’t get you into the playoffs all that often unless it’s the top team in the AFCW, which has happened leaving teams with better records at home. His playoff record is 5-4 (.556) and his regular season is also a very pedestrian .540, excuses notwithstanding. There are two active coaches who have coached 176 games as has Gruden, Tomlin and Payton. Both have better records and each have a SB win.

    I don’t know how good a coach he will be but one thing is certain. If talk can win rings then the Oakvegas Raiders will win the SB every year until Gruden retires. OTOH he did say no promises.

  66. I can see why Raider fan is excited. Getting back to being a perennial 8-8 team is a step up for them.

  67. Gruden has been watching more film when he was fired than most HC’s do while they have a job.. Raiders will be fine!

  68. thesilentshoplifter says:

    __________________________________________________
    Gruden won the SB with Dungy’s team. He had nothing to do in building that team and kept Dungy’s playbook. Do you know anything about football? Additionally, he was only with the Raiders for 3 years. The team was largely built before he got there.
    ———————————-
    Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998-2001, FOUR YEARS…

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