Jon Gruden making decisions about cutting or keeping players he’s never met

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The last time Jon Gruden was an NFL head coach, league rules allowed a lot more offseason work than the rules allow now. Gruden has a problem with that — and he thinks it’s going to be bad for some of his players, too.

Gruden told PFT Live that since arriving in Oakland he hasn’t even met a lot of his players and won’t meet them for several more weeks because of league rules limiting offseason work. But Gruden said that in some cases, he and the Raiders’ staff are going to have to decide to cut players, without ever giving those players a chance to show their new coaches what they can do.

“We’re not allowed to have any contact with these guys in March, either. Not until April 9,” Gruden said. “And we’ve got to make some very difficult decisions on who we keep, whose contracts we restructure, and we’re making a lot of those decisions without having met these guys. And that’s tough. It’s really disappointing to have to make some tough decisions without having met some of these guys.”

Gruden knows the rules were agreed upon between the owners and the players on the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, but Gruden said he doesn’t think every player agrees with those rules.

“I’ve had players who are dying to work harder,” Gruden said. “They want to play in this league and they want to be great in this league and to do that they need to learn and they need reps.”

Gruden mentioned backup quarterback Connor Cook as an example of the type of player who would get better with more practice time. But under the current rules, with limited practice time, starter Derek Carr will get most of the work, and a young backup like Cook won’t have as many opportunities to get better on the practice field.

Gruden has a point that some young players could benefit from different rules. But the limited calendar was a victory for the players’ union in the last round of labor negotiations and it’s not a victory the union has shown any interest in giving up, no matter how many coaches have a problem with it.

32 responses to “Jon Gruden making decisions about cutting or keeping players he’s never met

  1. There will be a lot of roster turnover among the teams with new head coaches and I would think that many of the players being cut would have liked a chance to get to know the new regime and potentially save their skin.

    Another reason the NFLPA screwed the players in the last round of negotiations.

  2. He makes some good points, which kind of points to a minor league for the NFL. We know that is not likely with how the NCAA is sort of the free developmental league.

  3. He will see that coaching is much different this time around. He may even have a hard time with the amount of contact that can happen or the amount of practice time etc…

  4. Last time I dared listen to chuckle, he and Sean McDonough were telling America the Bengals vs Steelers game was a total travesty and crimes were being committed on the field. I made a personal McDonough ban from that night forward. Now Jon wants special rules for him to interview all his players in the off season….its not like Gruden was totally out of football.

  5. I’ve never met any of the players, but, like all fans, that doesn’t stop me from knowing who should be cut or signed to an extension

  6. The rules are stupid. The NFLPA has no idea what they’re doing. Players can’t practice enough to get better. Players can’t hit enough to get better. More players are getting hurt in games because they don’t hit in practice.

    The slow decline of the NFL continues.

  7. It’s a shame that they changed it. A lot of those players that are on the fringe would probably be putting in work as we speak to have a shot at their dream. Sad.

  8. Glad he is back as coach. Tape will be important to evaluate personnel.(just like the free agent market) I doubt anyone not on the bottom of the roster will be affected by the early moves.

  9. Great example actually happened to the Raiders in their playoff season 2 years ago. Their 3rd string QB, Connor Cook, rookie 3rd string QB, had to start the playoff game after Carr was injured week 16 and the backup Matt McGloin was injured week 17. Cook, as mentioned by the coaching staff, had been given zero practice snaps during the season because the few reps available that didn’t go to Carr had been given to McGloin.

    Hilarity ensued =)

  10. Why would a coach need to meet a player to find out if they are a good fit for the team? All he needs to do is watch film and look at the stats to see if a player fits the new scheme. Seems to me Gruden was a successful coach before.

  11. They have to change these rules in the next CBA. This is ridiculous.
    Players are way to spoiled these days. But hey , I guess the owners signed off
    on this rule.

  12. The players should not let go of these hard-won concessions because some fringe players would like a better opportunity to impress. 53 players find a way to impress each year, and more time to prepare won’t help the fringe players leapfrog them – the other guys would get this extra time too.

  13. The so-called victory for the players union has certainly been costly for both player and team. As Gruden correctly said, they’ll have to cut some people who didn’t have much of an opportunity to prove themselves. And most of the players cut will see their dream end, and have to get jobs in the real world.

  14. He has some points, but coaches and teams abused the rules in the past by making “voluntary” workouts not so voluntary. He’s on to something with the idea that maybe younger players (or backups) would have more flexible rules on when they can start practicing and interacting with team personnel.

  15. Kind of rediculaus that they can’t even exchange tape or have video conf sessions. This was all so that the players could be “off” in the off season, meaning home. Seems like there is some middle ground here yet to be discovered.

  16. the epic disaster that I predicted when chucky came back is unfolding before our very eyes . Whine whine whine same rules for every team . Evidently doug pederson and belichick can develop players under the current rules . Chucky took over a title ready team won a title got progressively worse and then got chopped into MNF booth where he was undefeated . Reality is about to set in hard.

  17. Can we please put this story to bed already! Jon needs to quit his whining and just coach. If the ‘new rules’ are bothering him so much – he should return to the broadcast booth. Talk about the media beating a story to death – sheesh!

  18. “I shouldn’t have to abide by all these new rules. They weren’t here the last time I coached! Whaaaaa, Whaaaa, Whaaaaaaa!”

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