Oct 15, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; General view of the ESPN Monday Night Football trucks in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot during the NFL game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: When Jon Gruden Speaks, Raider Nation Listens


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.

Aug 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson reacts during the game against the Chicago Bears at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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.” 

Sep 8, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) celebrates with quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) after catching a pass that was initially ruled a touchdown but call was reversed by instant replay in a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Oakland 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 8, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) celebrates with quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) after catching a pass that was initially ruled a touchdown but call was reversed by instant replay in a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Oakland 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Tags: Darren McFadden Denver Broncos Greg Olson Jon Gruden Mike Tirico Monday Night Football Oakland Raiders Peyton Manning Terrelle Pryor

  • Pridenpoise

    Gruden was not fired, after showing interest in college jobs and other NFL locations Davis knew that Gruden did not want to coach the Raiders anymore, I believe he was allowed to go the Bucs and the Raiders were compensated.

  • Angel

    Im standing behind you saying “yeah!” With my arms crossed.

  • TribalX

    Me too! YEAH!!!

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Ok, Ok, I mis-spoke. You’re correct, he was not fired but traded to TB for draft picks and a monetary settlement. Still, it was a bad move.

  • Miles

    You say it was a bad move, but at the end of the day Gruden was out of contract at the end of that season and the Raiders had probably the most experienced offensive unit in the history of the NFL, so experienced that they could run the offence themselves (Which according to reports they did after Gruden left). At the time it was an amazing deal, (we soon would have needed to rebuild with such a veteran team anyway) we were well compensated and Gruden was sent to a different conference with a shoddy offence. Nobody could have predicted him taking them to the Superbowl in his first season (If AL had thought there was any chance of that he would have pulled the plug on the deal). People say it was a bad decision only because how it worked out, but it just as easily could have swung the other way with Gruden not making the Superbowl with the Bucs (Any other team in the NFL Raiders win period) and the draft picks we got used on players that became great rather than wasted as they were. I rather think of it as a great move gone bad rather than a bad move period.

  • MartyCalderon

    Well true, has Davis kept himself out of the picture more and allowed Gruden and Bruce Allen to control what most head coaches and GM’s control, then they would have stayed. We can what if it to death, but Al wasn’t ever really sold on the westcoast offense or the direction Gruden and Allen was going.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Again, we can “What if” this thing to death, but at the end of the day, the deal worked out against the Raiders. I wish Gruden would have remained the Head Coach. I think that if Al Davis had adopted Gruden’s style of coaching and offense, the Raiders wouldn’t have fallen into a drought. Again, anything is possible.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    No, Davis wasn’t sold on anything but his throw it as deep down the field as you can offense, and a we will beat you defense. The problem is that it just became old and archaic after a while. Offenses and Defenses were better equipped to beat his style of offense and defense. Such is life…

  • Stanley Carr

    Man, gruden wanted out so as a raider fan of 41 years, I’m not listening to him n furthermore fuck him!! RAIDER4LIFE

  • Stanley Carr

    Plus he won with tony dungy’s team n after that they went to shit.he had all the power in Tampa n how did that turn out…

  • Pridenpoise

    If he no longer wanted to coach the Raiders Al’s hands were tied, regardless of you thinking it was a bad move or not, can’t have a guy around that does not want to be their.

  • MartyCalderon

    I agree. When Davis traded Gruden, all I can do was just hope someone could talk sense to him. I knew then it was going to be a while before the Raiders were going to compete. Although I should have known when he moved back to Oakland instead of trying to make LA work.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    And we were left with Bill Callahan, another Head Coach who didn’t want to be in Oakland. When the players speak about how horrible it was in the locker room, and how much he didn’t want to be a part of the Raiders with Gruden gone, it speaks volumes (i.e., Tim Brown and Jerry Rice).

  • Steve

    Same could be said that Callahan took Gruden’s team to the Super Bowl. Gruden took a 4-12 Oakland team to legit Super Bowl contenders after two .500 seasons.