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Coach Gruden looking to 'finish this evaluation process' with last preseason game

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Head Coach Jon Gruden and the rest of the Raiders' coaching staff will be making a lot of those within the next five days. The Silver and Black will be playing in their preseason finale against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. This will be the Raiders' first trip back to the Bay Area since relocating to Las Vegas.

"I don't think there will be parade or anything like that," Gruden said with a laugh. "We all have great memories there, no doubt."

Despite the return to the Bay, Coach Gruden really only has one thing in mind going into the showdown against their NFC West rival.

"Just looking forward honestly to seeing these young guys compete," he said. "We're going to play a lot of our young players and finish this evaluation process.

"And hopefully come out healthy and try to find a way to win the game in the process. That's what we've been up to."

One of the biggest decisions Coach Gruden will have to make before trimming the roster will deal with his backup running back situation. With Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake poised to carry the main workload in the backfield, a trio of running backs are competing for a potential roster spot with Jalen Richard still being sidelined. Trey Ragas, B.J. Emmons and Garrett Groshek have had their fair share of carries throughout the preseason and will have to make the most out of what they get Sunday in efforts of not only beating the 49ers, but keeping their job.

"The only thing [that] happened from [Richard being out] on a positive light is we've been able to look at Ragas and Emmons. Two guys that we didn't know much about," said Gruden

"You can only keep 53, problem I have is I get attached to some of these guys. I just love being around the players. Trey Ragas and B.J. Emmons and Garrett Groshek. ... When the General Manager says you can't keep them all – you can only keep six, or you can only keep five, or you can only keep four – there will be some arguments for sure."

Another player that may get a few snaps against the 49ers is six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy. This would potentially be McCoy's first NFL game since December of 2019. Gruden has been ecstatic to see the veteran leadership McCoy has brought to the locker room, and what he's been doing at practice the past few days.

"I'm most excited to see him then anybody right now. I coached in Tampa, lived in Tampa, followed Tampa for a long time and this guy took over the torch for Warren Sapp. And it's a hard thing to do. He went down there to Tampa and went to four-five straight Pro Bowls. This is one hell of a player, and he's a great guy. And he's been a great teacher, a great presence in our locker room, our defensive line room, our defensive meeting rooms.

"I told him he plays like he practices, he'll get another number. He won't have to wear that No. 61."

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