Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden discussed the challenges of moving to a new location during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a whole host of new challenges for every team in the NFL, with some exclusive to the Las Vegas Raiders. Most teams are worried about their players staying healthy, keeping their noses clean and out of trouble, and getting in shape for the new season but the Raiders are doing so while also trying to manage a relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden discussed a number of topics with The Mercury News and chief among them were the challenges associated with the pandemic. Gruden spoke at length about how the team is managing their virtual training sessions and monitoring their players during this unique situation.
Speaking specifically about the challenges related to the move, here is what Coach Gruden told to Jerry McDonald:
You’ve got to remember, we’re in transition. We’re the only team that’s changing locations. We’ve got to find new homes, new doctors, new places to shop. We’ve got to get acclimated to a completely different environment.
Players are starting to find homes, and the more players that move to Las Vegas are slowly but surely getting to know each other and creatively keeping their distance and trying to get in some workouts.
Source: The Mercury News
A move across state lines would be challenging for anyone but moving an entire organization is a gargantuan task and the logistics of it are daunting. The Raiders are simultaneously holding virtual meetings, tracking the fitness and weight of players, checking the rehab status of injured players, and managing the construction of a new practice facility and stadium.
These are the sort of challenges that can derail a team from success but luckily for the Raiders, aside from the move, every other team is facing the same issues. The advantage that the Raiders have over several teams is the continuity they have in the organization.
While the rookies and free agents may have a steeper learning curve than usual, the holdovers from the 2019 squad have the benefit of not needing to learn whole new playbooks on either side of the ball.
Continuity and consistency have not been the hallmark of the Raiders in the 21st century but they are starting the Las Vegas era with both in the front office and in several key positions on the field. This pandemic has changed the world in countless ways and it's affects are still being felt across the country but the Raiders, just like everyone else, are learning to adapt and overcome.