I miss Chucky! In the aftermath that was the catastrophe surrounding Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis trading/release of then Head Coach Jon Gruden, the Raiders have been scraping the bottom of the barrel to get out of the losing cycle. Gruden went on to captain the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory against the Raiders that very next season. Wow, we could “what if” this to death. Let’s just say, it was one of the worst decisions made by a team owner. Enough of that.
Gruden now headlines the Monday Night Football (MNF) team with Mike Tirico. In preparation for the upcoming MNF matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos, Gruden was interviewed on the “Mike & Mike” show on ESPN. He was asked about his thoughts on the Raiders and Gruden stated, “They’re doing an excellent job. Greg Olson, their Offensive Coordinator, is creating a lot of chaos. Different formations out of the option with Terrelle Pryor coming one way, and (Darren) McFadden coming out the other way. That’s hard to defend. And they’ve been very offensive-line friendly with a quick passing game. When Pryor runs around, he looks like Julius Peppers in the pocket. The Raiders have a lot of unknown guys out there playing hard, and they could easily be 2-0.
In regards to the defense, Gruden likes the different looks that the Raiders defense has called up. He stated, “Dennis Allen has a very good three-down, dime, nickel-package… and he’s creatively come up with things he used with Greg Williams in New Orleans.”
The point here is that even the great Jon Gruden is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Oakland Raiders. A new era has emerged for the Raiders. The winning ways are returning, and the days of the no competition games are over. In order to win the AFC West, the Denver Broncos are going to have to come through Oakland. They will meet a much improved and dangerous defense that will do their best to keep Peyton Manning’s air attack at bay. The running game of the Denver Broncos is going to struggle against the front line of the Raiders defense. The Broncos defense will be tested by the elusiveness that is Terrelle Pryor, and they will have to contend with a healthy and confident running back in Darren McFadden. The best team will prevail. May it be our Oakland Raiders.