For the last two days, personnel from all 32 NFL teams have been present in Arizona for the league meetings.
Tuesday morning, Head Coach Jon Gruden met with reporters during breakfast for an hour-long media session; take a look at five of the best quotes from his sit-down.
Gruden expects recently signed linebacker Vontaze Burfict to be at his best next season.
“Burfict has something to prove, he didn’t play his best football last year. Burfict has been fined, Burfict has issues, and that’s what people talk about when they talk about Burfict. What you got to remember is when he’s right, he is a great player and he has proven he can make plays with Paul Guenther. If that combination can reunite, that solves a problem that the Raiders have had for a long time.”
Mike Glennon appeared on Gruden’s QB Camp in 2013 and left a lasting impression on the Raiders head coach (maybe add lime about Landry)
“I always liked Glennon and having lived in Tampa [Bay], studying him, and seeing him play live several times… here’s a guy that got a big deal to go play for the [Chicago] Bears and just a couple months later they drafted [Mitchell] Trubisky. Then he goes to Arizona to compete with Sam Bradford and a couple months later they trade up for [Josh] Rosen, so he’s had some bad luck, but I do like this guy because he has arm talent, he has some experience as a starter, and he’s really smart. Landry Jones is a guy that’s started in games in this league, and he’s a guy that can help us with Antonio [Brown’s] transition as well. What’d they call this in Pittsburgh? Why’d he’d convert his route and do that? There’s some interesting side things Landry can bring as well.”
Gruden has the utmost confidence in Mike Mayock to manage the pressure of being a general manager.
“It’s a people business and when the trade was happening with the Steelers, I know Omar Khan, he knows Kevin Colbert, everybody’s got cell phones today and you’re communicating, but he’s such a great communicator and he has so many connections in the league it helps to get deals done. He’s not afraid, he’s got the guts, and he’s got the knowledge to pull the trigger and that’s what I really like.”
Gruden offered high praise for Raiders safety Lamarcus Joyner and can’t wait to coach him.
“When I was in Tampa I coached a guy named Ronde Barber and he perhaps may have been my favorite player I’ve ever coached. He wasn’t the biggest guy, he wasn’t the fastest guy, but when he put the helmet on something happened to that guy. Joyner to me is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Ronde, as a slot corner. I think he’s the best. I think he’s got a chance to really be dynamic in there, his leadership – when you meet Lamarcus Joyner, trust me, he’ll be your favorite guy you’ve met in a while – there’s something about this guy that’s special.”
The Silver and Black were unable to retain tight end Jared Cook in free agency, and Gruden knows the team will have to adjust.
“We lost a really good player, [tight end Jared Cook] was a really good player, man. It’s sickening to think we lost that guy. It’s one of the things I hate about free agency, you can’t keep all the guys you want. That’s a lot of production to replace. This Darren Waller is very interesting and we’re going to give him the chance of a lifetime. So, if you’re listening out there Darren, let’s go, brother.”