Earlier today, Jon Gruden was introduced as the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders in front of a lively media audience and some excited Raider alumni. I finished watching the hour long press conference and there was a lot of big takeaways that will hopefully help people see what we can expect from the Oakland Raiders.
First, there was some odd beginnings that I wish I could say I was suprised that Mark Davis did this. He oddly introduced Gruden’s family as they walked in and said that Jon Gruden’s wife and mother were Davis’ “big cheerleaders” of his in this decision. Not sure if that’s a tactic to piss Gruden off and light a fire under the Raiders or just your typical uncomfortable Mark Davis moment. The Raiders also had an unexpected pump up video for bringing Gruden back. Wasn’t sure if I loved or hated it, but just the pure hype that Jon Gruden is back in the NFL got me very excited.
Onto the actual press conference, there is no questioning that Jon Gruden is still one competitive guy. In the middle of every pause in a question he would have the classic half grimace half smile Gruden has going on. He looked like a guy who was excited to just be near football, and the way he talked about the roster and the work he had to do, while he kept it brief, he sounded excited to get back in the office and get some much needed work in as a coach. The only thing that really concerned me for this Gruden-Raiders reunion was when asked how Gruden would get along with GM Reginald Mckenzie, Gruden stammered and said how they will work together, and may not always agree sometimes. The statement he made definitely showed that Gruden or Mckenzie didn’t cover this too much. I think in this day and age, both GM and Coach need to be on the exact same page (Lynch and Shannahan) or one simply folds to the other (Belichick). Neither will fold to the other in Oakland, which will hurt the team. But if they can get on the same page sooner than later, the Raiders can be successful for a long time with this young team.
Image from larrybrownsports.com