Antonio Brown and Vontaze Burfict, teammates on Raiders and Family Feud

AP

Raiders coach Jon Gruden loves the energy Antonio Brown brings to his team. And also the attitude Vontaze Burfict walks in the door with.

There is the small matter, however, of their history before becoming teammates.

Via Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America, Gruden had the former Steelers-Bengals rivals join forces in a team-building version of “Family Feud” during OTAs.

“They’re good,” Gruden said. “We played Family Feud one day in our team meeting. We had three guys on one team, three guys on the other. Our version of “Family Feud.” Silver team and a Black team. The Silver team was Antonio Brown, Vontaze Burfict and I think we had Isaiah Crowell on the team.

“You gotta try to get these guys to know each other. This is the only time that you can really do that. April, May, June. It’s almost like church. Everybody stand up. Shake a hand, introduce yourself to your teammates. Otherwise, Peter never gets to know Jon and Jon never meets Joe.”

Gruden described it as “a helluva game,” and that’s also one way of describing the Burfict-Brown relationship before they became teammates. The former Bengals linebacker knocked Brown out in a playoff game, just one of the times he and the Steelers were at odds over Burfict’s over-the-top style.

But Gruden went on and on about the “energy” Brown brought to the team, while mentioning Burfict “talking trash at us down the hall” at their facility. It’s a fascinating dynamic, and Gruden’s going to have to be at his Richard Dawson-best as a host to make it work.

5 responses to “Antonio Brown and Vontaze Burfict, teammates on Raiders and Family Feud

  1. I like the Raiders and I like Gruden, but something does not mesh together when one moment you say stuff like “I’m not going to get into the relationship business” about Carr and Brown and shortly after you are talking about Family Feud games for players to get to know each other.

    I can appreciate him not wanting to have to play counselor, but obviously he is at least somewhat talking and thinking about the relationship business with his players. As a coach in today’s NFL, with its over-the-top player personalities, you almost have to be.

  2. In Cincinnati, Burfict could go over the coach’s head. In Pittsburgh, Brown could go over the coach’s head. In Oakland, Gruden is the top dog. Guys understand what they can and can’t get away with. If they don’t like what the coach says, they can leave, but there won’t be any problems while they’re there. These rough and tumble players love playing for a strong coach. One who will set limits and boundaries. These guys will thrive in that environment. One thing about Burfict and Brown is they have passion for the game. Everyone on the Raiders will give 100% and Gruden will make it fun. The Raiders are a serious contender, right now.

  3. charliecharger says:
    May 27, 2019 at 8:43 am
    In Cincinnati, Burfict could go over the coach’s head.
    ————————————
    I’m what scenario would burfict have needed to go over his coach’s head and what good would it have done him? Marvin Lewis was all in on Burfict and allowed his antics. Jon Gruden considers himself old school so he won’t be reeling in Burfict either. None of this matters of course because Burfict simply isn’t good anymore.

  4. jm91rs says:
    May 28, 2019 at 8:04 am
    None of this matters of course because Burfict simply isn’t good anymore.
    ________________________________________

    That’s a lazy evaluation. You really have to look deeper at these things, because there are REASONS teams make moves like these.

    Take a look at his PFF grades. In 2018 his grade was 47.9. It was the first time he played for a DC other than Paul Guenther, and he only played 7 games..

    In 2017, the last season he played for Paul Guenther, his grade was 72.9 in 10 games, and in 2016 it was 83.2 in 11 games. This season, a grade of 72.9 would have ranked him #23, not the greatest LB in the world but far better than anything we had last season, by a LONG shot.

    And guess who Burfict’s DC will be again this season? You only get 1 guess.

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