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Head Coach Jon Gruden: "I Never Wanted To Leave"


Head Coach Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden had his first official press conference as Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders Tuesday afternoon. It was not only a big day for the organization, but every member of Raider Nation, as the team's future continues to look bright. During his 30-minute presser, Gruden touched on a multitude of topics, but emphasized his focus on getting to work.

Here are the quick hits from his media session:

**Gruden started the press conference by elaborating on the process of becoming the Head Coach.


"[Owner] Mark [Davis] and I have been friends for a long time. I think over the last six to seven years we have talked about the Raiders. Not necessarily becoming a coach, but maybe ways that we could improve the Raiders or my vision how I thought I could help them. Mark came to me a few weeks ago and asked me if I had any intentions of coaching and with the support of my family I said, 'Yes, I do,' and it's a mysterious way it all came together and here I am. I don't really have a solid explanation other than that."

He praised quarterback Derek Carr for his talent, and is anxious to get started with him.

"He has great arm talent, he's athletic, he's got natural leadership skills, he's young, he's in his prime, he's healthy now. He's, I think, been in a lot of different systems, played for a number of different quarterbacks [coaches]. There hasn't been a lot of continuity around him that way. I think he has a huge upside. I think with Greg Olson and the system we are going to put in place is going to demand a lot from him and I think that is what is going to unlock the greatness in him but very, very excited to have him as our quarterback."

Gruden discussed how being away the game will help him now that he's returned to the sideline.

"I've had a chance to watch practices and see how they conduct training camps [as a broadcaster]. I've had the chance to learn and see some things that I've never gotten to see as a coach. I've had a chance to study different offenses, different defenses, and the chance to get into personnel more. I think I'm more big picture now than what I was in the past, but I still want to be very detailed in terms of how we play offense. I still want to be very involved with how we move the football. I have had some unique and beneficial opportunities as a broadcaster."

He recapped how the 2017 season went, and is eager to get the team back on track.

"Well they started off fast with two impressive wins. That is what we are in the process of finding out. I can't tell you that I have all the right answers right now. We have to get to work and solve the problems that we have. We did not finish well. We lost our last four games, had some injuries certainly, and changes with the coaching staff. There were some things that went wrong, but you can't solve all the problems today. We've got to come up with a plan to put the Raiders back on track and build this football team back."

Gruden shared his message with Raider Nation.

"I would just like to say that I'm glad to be back. I'm glad to unite with them. I never wanted to leave. I am thrilled to be back and I plan on doing everything that I can with this opportunity. Let's go. That is what I say to Raider Nation. Let's go. Let's stop talking, and let's get to work."

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