14 January, 2018
Jon Gruden had plenty of opportunities to return to an National Football League sideline over the past several years. We can all go back to enjoying Monday Night Football this season!
It didn't take too long for Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden to get reacquainted with the rivalry involving his team and the Kansas City Chiefs. My sons were at an age where I had a chance to coach in high school, be around them. I've been fired. I've missed the game terribly.
"Most of all, I love to win".
After four seasons, from 1998 to 2001, Gruden was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million. Gruden will be paid $100 million over the course of his 10-year deal, but said in his introductory press conference Tuesday that he doesn't feel pressure.
"He loves it here - he absolutely loves it - and part of coming back and playing the last two seasons in Oakland was a big part of our discussions", Davis said.
Gruden says he met with Carr the morning of the press conference and has already thought of some new plays to call.
"I started to believe it because it was a different conversation than we'd had in the past", Davis said. This was a moment six years in the making, the conclusion of a quest started shortly after Mark took control following owner Al Davis' death. The fire that Jon Gruden brought to the microphone. The sentiment stayed true with Raiders alumni such as Charles Woodson, Rich Gannon, Howie Long, Jim Otto and more in the building.
McKenzie's presence answered one question about Gruden's return to the franchise - specifically, who will be working alongside Gruden in Oakland's front office. Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders have unfinished business.
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Many other questions remain, however.
"I've got to hire a great coaching staff. With the support of my family, I said, 'Yes, I do'".
While no current Raiders players were in attendance, Gruden was certain that in time he would bring this team back to its winning ways.
Following a video presentation highlighting his first Oakland tenure, Gruden was introduced by owner Mark Davis, who called it the "biggest day of my life", almost 20 years after Gruden was hired by the late Al Davis as a 34-year-old unproven coach. He is 1-7 against the Broncos while coaching the Raiders.
The league Gruden returns to will look markedly different than what he left in 2008 when he was sacked as the head coach of the Buccaneers, particularly in regard to the use of social media by players and teams.
Gruden will have plenty of say in personnel, not in the move to Vegas. "I talk to my kids about Snapchat, Instagram, all that stuff".
How much an injury at Denver in early October - Carr suffered a transverse process fracture in his back - affected his play as the season wore on is unknown. "You know, in the past he wanted to do it, wanted to do it, but he wasn't ready ... but (this time) I just felt it".