Jon Gruden Says Tuck Rule Still Irks Him; Raiders Have 'Unfinished Business'

Lawrence Cooper
January 14, 2018

After 10 years away from coaching, Jon Gruden is making his return to Oakland. Coaches said Lynch looked reinvigorated, though he also appeared to be more in step with his offensive line.

"Brady fumbled that ball." said Gruden to his former player Charles Woodson.

On Del Rio: In the wake of firing previous head coach Jack Del Rio on December 31, Raiders owner Mark Davis restricted his comments to a short statement released by the team. "He never said yes, he never said no".

"I never wanted to leave the Raiders".

After the playoff game against the New England Patriots deemed the "Tuck Rule Game", Gruden asked to be release to return to Florida to be closer with his family. The guys I know that have played for Gruden have absolutely despised him. "With that said, I have a lot to prove, and I know that".

But the timing was right. It really doesn't have anything to do with the contract. "The fact that you got a leading man here now who has a passion for Oakland, which is important and wants to take the Raiders to a new level".

Well, you might say "but, he's won a Super Bowl!"

"He's got a database that is beyond comprehension, of just football", Davis said. So I have faith in him. "And I appreciate that from him". Had Gruden not chose to return, though, Davis said he likely would have continued with Del Rio.

People often say that the National Football League is all about wins and losses. "The defense hadn't started clicking at that point in time". I think he loves the Raiders.

"He was ready. He was ready to do it". There are some great video clips of me swearing, and me screaming at players. "That's my only goal".

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Davis said. "And by far to get Jon Gruden was the toughest".

The Oakland/Las Vegas Whatever Raiders have made one of the dumbest moves they've made since the passing of Al Davis. "I think that's a reason why you might not have the same season you had a year ago".

As Marshawn Lynch departed the Oakland Raiders' locker room for the final time this season, he was draped in Beast Mode gear with massive headphones covering his ears and what appeared to be a celebratory Swisher Sweet-type stogie dangling, unlit, from his mouth.

The owner opened his pocketbook and presented an unprecedented 10-year deal reportedly worth $100 million.

GM Reggie McKenzie said the Raiders satisfied the rule. "We are a team. We are going to work great together". In the playoffs, he is 5-4, which includes a Super Bowl win with the Bucs the season after he left Oakland.

"Obviously Derek got hurt early in the season", Gruden said.

In his presser, you could just feel the leadership, the knowledge. "He nearly made me want to put that uniform on again". This is the organization that I want to be a part of, and I am all in.

The Oakland Raiders will be one of the most fascinating teams to watch over the course of the offseason, as their front office infrastructure has both maintained a level of stability with the return of Reggie McKenzie, and been given a big twist at the same time with the inclusion of Jon Gruden.

It certainly feels much more likely, given the unprecedented contract to Gruden and even the extremely rare reported four-year deals handed out to solid but not spectacular coordinators Greg Olson and Paul Guenther, that the primary impetus was a financial one.

"Somebody asked me what was harder, getting the 31 votes to move to Las Vegas or to get Jon Gruden?".

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