Head Coach Jon Gruden
The Jon Gruden news has officially made its way to Orlando.
Just a couple weeks into his job as the Oakland Raiders’ newest Head Coach, Gruden has dominated headlines since it was announced he would return to the Silver and Black, and the news has people at the Pro Bowl talking.
With Derek Carr, Kelechi Osemele, and Rodney Hudson representing the Raiders at the Pro Bowl, each has been asked multiple times about the addition of Gruden, and all of them have expressed their excitement.
“I’m excited, I’m excited,” Hudson said. “Looking forward to it, and we’ll be looking forward to it come April.”
Hudson, typically a man of few words, like many Raiders players will be embarking on a new journey with Gruden, one the Head Coach has defined as finding “a new greatness.”
Former Raiders owner Al Davis always said, “the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,” and that’s precisely where Gruden is trying to lead them. Gruden, who’s known as a quarterback mastermind, hasn’t had too much time to connect with his new players, but has taken it upon himself to speak with his franchise quarterback in Carr. No. 4 recently spoke on SiriusXM NFL Radio about his new Head Coach, and the connection between them so far.
“It’s a new start, it’s a new start,” Carr said. “We’re going to miss Coach Del Rio, we love him, I really do, but you’ve got to be excited for Coach Gruden. You’ve got to be excited for what he’s going to bring, especially as a quarterback guy. You’ve got to be excited for what he can teach you and move forward... I’ve talked to him for sure, I love the guy, have a great relationship with him. I text him back and forth all the time, we have a great relationship, I don’t think there’s been a day we haven’t talked. We’ve got plans going forward, but you can’t do too much because of the rules nowadays.”
Gruden hasn’t coached the Raiders since 2001, but the impact he had on the franchise in those four years was special. After stepping away from the sideline in 2008 to join ESPN, he’s been without a coaching headset for a decade, which has prompted many NFL analysts to question how effective he’ll be in his return. One person who doesn’t question that however is former Raiders linebacker, and SiriusXM NFL Radio host Kirk Morrison.
“The first thing I think of when I think of Jon Gruden was me as a Raiders fan,” Morrison said. “When Jon was the Head Coach I was still in high school, and college when he took over the team. All I know is success, and that success is something my dad and I had a chance to sit in the Oakland Coliseum, and watch the Raiders, and put into national prominence pretty much in some of the players he had. How hard he coached them, that’s what I think of Jon Gruden.
“So I think this time around, coming back to Oakland to be the Head Coach, all you know is you’re going to have a team that’s going to be tough, going to be physical, but also very smart, understand situational football. I think that’s what he’s going to bring, and that’s what a lot of old Raiders fans who remember him the first time are going to want to see.”
While current, and former Raiders, are excited about the Gruden’s return, overhearing what other players have had to say during the Pro Bowl has been interesting.
From Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry, several players have shared their thoughts on Gruden becoming the Head Coach, and they all expect him to make a significant impact.
There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before the team reports for Organized Team Activities later this offseason, but one thing is for sure, Gruden has sparked a buzz among NFL players and media members.