Jon Gruden: “I don’t understand the taunting, I hate taunting, I think it’s ridiculous”

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers
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Taunting penalties have caused controversy throughout this NFL season, and perhaps the most controversial happened on Monday Night Football, when Raiders tight end Darren Waller got a 15-yard penalty because he spiked a ball after a catch along the Chargers’ sideline.

Waller did not appear to be attempting to taunt the Chargers at all, merely making a quick celebration of his own big play before returning to the field, but the officials flagged it. Raiders coach Jon Gruden said after the game that he hates taunting.

“I don’t understand the taunting. I hate taunting. I think it’s ridiculous,” Gruden said. “I think what happens after an interception or a touchdown, we allow these celebrations, I consider that taunting. I don’t understand what happened over there on the Chargers’ sideline. But the official made the call, we have to deal with it. We couldn’t get any momentum going. That didn’t help us.”

Although the NFL’s emphasis on taunting penalties this season has taken severe criticism, Gruden doesn’t seem to have a problem with the league trying to take taunting out of the game. Instead, Gruden is primarily upset that it happened to his own team on a night when little went right for the Raiders.

30 responses to “Jon Gruden: “I don’t understand the taunting, I hate taunting, I think it’s ridiculous”

  1. The penalties are what’s ridiculous. In every walk of life, you celebrate (sometimes with gestures) when you accomplish something or make a deadline.

    A few weeks ago, I took the AWS Machine Learning exam. I thought I’d bombed it, so I pumped my fist in celebration when I saw that I’d passed. Suddenly, an NFL referee yelled over the testing software ‘no taunting’.

  2. “Instead, Gruden is primarily upset that it happened to his own team on a night when little went right for the Raiders.”

    That, and the fact that the eyes of the world think it was a horrible call.

  3. When taunting first became its own penalty, it was explained that spiking the football anywhere except the end zone was considered as such. Not hard to understand.

  4. Bad call for sure. Seems because it happened right on the Chargers sideline they threw the flag, cause it definitely wasn’t in the defenders direction.

    Still a bad call in this instance IMO.

  5. Isn’t spiking the ball only allowed following a score? Also, they probably flagged him because of the location (Chargers bench).

  6. “ Gruden is primarily upset that it happened to his own team on a night when little went right for the Raiders.”

    That’s not what he said at all.

    He said, “I don’t understand the taunting. I hate taunting. I think it’s ridiculous,”

  7. Does he mean he doesn’t understand why guys do it and hates that they do it or that he doesn’t understand the penalty and hates that it’s called? Because the latter makes sense but the former is what his sentence sounds like.

  8. That should not have been a penalty. Give me a break I was cheering for the Chargers but that call was over the top. Think about it…the NFL penalizes you the same for that as they do for drilling the QB late….

  9. The line between celebrating and taunting is so thin that there is no way this rule can be consistently enforced. “These taunting penalties are making the game more exciting and fun!” – No one.

  10. I hate the Raiders more then any other team and that was a bs call imho. It was too far.

  11. I agree with Gruden’s point about taunting. I hate it, too. I remember the greatest LB’er who ever played in the NFL — Dick Butkus — was asked what he would do if a guy scored against the Bears defense and then started doing a celebratory dance or trash talking. Butkus said, “I’d knock him on his backside, stand over him and ask him, “are you going to do that crap anymore?”
    Butkus had it right and so does Gruden. There’s an old expression in baseball when a player does something which makes himself look foolish. They say it’s being “bush” (in reference to the “bush” leagues, or Minor Leagues).
    Taunting in sports is absolutely “bush”. If you want to celebrate, run off the field to your teams’ sideline and celebrate with your teammates there. Don’t have the whole defense run down the field to the end zone and pose like a bunch of meatballs.

  12. That wasn’t taunting. You’ve created a rule for refs who have a “feeling” of someone being teased. Of course Waller could act like he didn’t save the world after every catch. Not that it should be penalized, just that it’s a catch… Cool, move along. Antonio Brown does the same thing on his catches.

  13. there is taunting and celebrating. that was celebrating, everyone can tell the difference.

    if the NFL is really going to go sown this road , just ban any and all celebrations.

  14. When a player makes a big play along the sideline and spikes the ball downward into the turf in front of them with the defenders behind them, and doesn’t turn to jaw with the opponents, that’s a regular play. And missing obvious holding calls on the Charger OL, now that’s what is called home field advantage.

  15. And there it is folks…..Gruden loses a game and his composure. What else is new!? The Raiders aren’t scaring anyone!

  16. Simple cure for taunting,just tell the coaches to demand their players not do it or they will be fined and benched.players will start to get the drift when they are guilty.

  17. And that’s what happens when the NFL tries to install a point of emphasis on certain things. Trigger happy Refs that feel pressure to throw more flags, misinterpreting the gray area between taunting and celebrating . Let the refs call the game as they see fit. The NFL needs to quit creating penalties that should never be there

  18. We have to remember that most NFL players have been conditioned to be super competitive their entire football careers. We expect it from them and we want them to get “fired up”. These are pro athletes, but they’re the cream of the crop and they got to the NFL by working very hard and being very competitive. We expect emotion and intensity from players, and fans will call players out if they don’t feel they’re giving their full effort. We can’t have it both ways.

    I’m pretty indifferent to taunting, but if they want to get it out of the game that’s fine. But some people act like these guys should end each play with “And a good day to you, sir”, which is ridiculous.

    I’ll also add a reminder that Brady is allegedly one of the biggest trash talkers in the NFL.

  19. Don’t spike the ball next time unless you are in the end zone. These guys always want to show boat my spiking, spinning the ball and signaling first down. Just leave the ball alone and get back to the damn huddle.

  20. The most egregious bad call was the phantom face-mask penalty assessed to Niemann when he clearly had grabbed the Raider by his shoulder pads and came nowhere close to his face-mask.

  21. The thing is Waller wasn’t even looking at the defenders, who were themselves looking away when the ball was spiked… Silly.

  22. Waller spikes/drops/spins the ball right after every catch. One of these times he’s going to get called for an incompletion because it doesn’t appear that he held possession long enough. Hold on to the ball!

  23. Its simple celebrate with your own teammates. Away from opposite color jerseys. He literally did it in front on nothing but the opposite team. Walk away and go celebrate. Heck spiking the ball outside of the endzone, I thought that is a penalty anyway. Delay of game not taunting.

  24. It was taunting because it was on the Chargers sideline. How about handing the ball to the ref and going back on the field like you have been there before. Learn from the Amari Coopers and Larry Fitzgeralds of the world.

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