Jon Gruden can even praise Christian Hackenberg

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New Raiders coach Jon Gruden has never met a player he couldn’t praise.

That even extends to Christian Hackenberg, who hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL.

During a call with season-ticket holders, Gruden offered some positive words about his newest quarterback, who was acquired from the Jets for a seventh-round pick.

We’re looking for players,” Gruden said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “We’re looking to get better every day, and Christian Hackenberg was available. He was a second-round pick. He did some really encouraging things at Penn State. He had some ups and downs. We’re going to look at him, and we’re going to make it very competitive to see who Derek Carr‘s backup is.”

At the moment, Hackenberg is competing for that honor with Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel for that privilege. They’ve at least thrown NFL passes, so they may ostensibly have an edge.

12 responses to “Jon Gruden can even praise Christian Hackenberg

  1. If the Raiders can stick him at QB 3 for a few years and Hackenburg shows something in the preseason and they can flip him for third or so it will look like the trade of the decade.

    Either way, Hackenburg is a cheap bench warmer as QBs go

  2. Gruden was paid to play the game til they get to Vegas….you would have to be a fool to think otherwise. He will make some coin, help with the transition. And in the end,nothing more than a politician cashing in..,but it’s the First Nation…what a joke

  3. “He did some really encouraging things at Penn State.”

    Wow, high praise. Should he have said hey, the guy sucks, but we need to cram 90 onto this roster?

  4. Manuel is actually not a bad backup, and I don’t see Hackenberg as an upgrade over Cook necessarily, but Hackenberg’s style is more fitting to what Gruden would like out of his QB. He hasa stronger arm than Cook and is a better decision maker than Manuel…at least, that’s what he was supposed to be. In reality, he’s worse (probably, since he hasn’t even made it on to the field we can’t say for 100% certain) than either Manuel or Cook, and doesn’t know the team or offense yet. Gruden wants to see if he can shape him up to the form he was supposed to take after leaving Penn State, and if he can’t, he’ll get dumped. He’s a project, and Gruden enjoys projects…especially if he has a backup or two that he can use in the meantime.

    My bet? I wouldn’t count on Hackenberg actually developing much more than he has. We might see him jump in a few games in clean up time or in the preseason, but if Carr goes down there’s no way Hackenberg usurps Manuel or Cook to actually have to win games.

  5. Gave up a 7th round pick for a guy that was drafted in the second. If Cook beats out Manuel, Hack would be a cheaper alternative than Manuel as a #3.

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