Five Thoughts On Jon Gruden’s First Offseason Back In Oakland

Jon Gruden has been the Raiders head coach for only three months, but he’s already become the lightning rod of the organization.

The Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie scorners can hardly get a word in amid all the praise and criticism Gruden has been monopolizing since January.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on Gruden right now, so what’s one more log on the fire?

Here are five thoughts and observations on Gruden’s latest tenure in silver and black:

1 – The show belongs to Chucky.

When Gruden says he wants to take the game back to 1998, he’s not talking about gameplans and analytics (or lack thereof). He’s talking about going back to the days when the head coach carried the big stick in the building.

There’s no doubt about it – Gruden wants to run the Raiders a lot like the way Bill Belichick runs the Patriots.

Aside from the cheating, can you blame him?

2 – Everyone seems to be talking about all the veteran players Gruden is signing, but how many will actually make the final roster?

The Raiders have 11 draft picks at their disposal and the roster will look much different in a month.

One of the knocks on last year’s team was a lack of veteran leadership. That won’t be an issue moving forward.

3 – Why did Gruden decide to release one of the best punters in the NFL?

Some say it was the contract, but money probably wasn’t the issue.

Marquette King sure seems to exemplify everything that would drive Gruden crazy in a player.

Gruden isn’t impressed by social media clowns and he doesn’t dance during losses.

The Raiders special teams won’t be better without King, but Gruden is probably thinking the locker room will be.

4 – For all the talk about Gruden setting the Raiders back with a few unpopular roster moves, it’s worth noting that the team went 6-10 last year.

Had he not been fired, Jack Del Rio would have dumped Crabtree and Lynch and was considering bringing back offensive coordinator Todd Downing.

Also, there is no way Del Rio could have coached the team another year. Deservedly or not, the team didn’t respect him.

The roster was going to be turned upside down one way or another.

5 – Of all the crazy storylines going into next season, few should be more interesting than seeing Gruden and Marshawn Lynch work together.

Gruden won’t hold back the way the previous coaching staff did with Lynch, but the two may actually bring out the best in each other.

Something happened in the past month that convinced the Raiders (i.e. Gruden) to essentially guarantee Lynch $4.5 million nearly six months before the season begins.

Lynch is reportedly fired up to come back and Gruden obviously has big plans for him.

Get your popcorn ready.

twitter: @raidersbeat


18 thoughts on “Five Thoughts On Jon Gruden’s First Offseason Back In Oakland

  1. I agree. Especially about the vets hes bringing in just to get a paycheck to the cuts come to make the 53 man roster. I hope this locker room gets unified. All for one and one for all. Gruden does have a plan for Lynch. His name is Wheatley. And Doug Martin is Kaufman. Or Lynch is Crockett and Martin is Garner . Either way there is gonna be the lightning before the thunder. Indeed Get your popcorn and BEER Raider Nation. Indeed!!!!

    1. Yeah, I agree this is gonna be a special year!!! We have for some years built our team to be the Belichick Busters. The train got derailed when Chucky was traded. Now I can’t wait to see him rebuild and fulfill what Al was wanting to do for years. A Raider prodigal son story, this season will be fun. Another thing to mention along with what Alex Ortega was saying is that the duos this year will be fun to watch. RB’s Wheatley and Garner or Kaufman and Jordan, but the receivers that we had in Rice and Brown I would just watch and see if both were gonna go over 1000 yards and I think they got close that year. The team will be super competitive with the draft picks and new additions. The camp will be fun, and Bowman will be signed hopefully before then.

  2. Respect and discipline are crucial components of any successful organization. The team needed someone who would and could hold everyone accountable. Gruden is that person.

    1. I agree here with Black Patch and feel that the Davis family found a guy that will indeed honor the Raider Way of football that Al always wanted to play. But Gruden is now mature enough to see the importance of the organization to the league. I think he really had a wake-up call while in the tv booth announcing. He always thought of himself as a Raider. That is the respect and discipline that he has and it will be filtered down through the organization. Chucky won’t have it any other way.

  3. Gruden is showing these younger players that if they thought King was funny with all his antics & off field moves that he’s not impressed, and King buried himself in that interview when he said he never met a little Chucky doll & cant wait to see what he looks like, well I guess Gruden didn’t think that was funny, and Marshawn better be careful to with his production crew at practice’s & games, JDR let him have way to much leeway I think but it’s not happening this year, I don’t believe anyways,

  4. makes me laugh hearing and reading all of the negative opinions on what the Raiders are doing. Many from so called experts. Blows my mind that so many people aren’t understanding what’s happening.
    Let me just say this,
    Who has been the core of this teams success over the past couple years?
    Carr, Mack, Cooper, Penn, Hudson, Osemele, Jackson, Irvin, and Crabtree.
    Who is still the core of this team?
    All of them except Crabtree, who was replaced by a much better locker room presence, with the same skill set but doesn’t drop balls or have tantrums.
    What has Gruden and McKenzie done to change this team?
    They released expendable players and brought in low cost gap fillers, and will now build the next core additions through the draft. Which is exactly how you properly build a team.
    They also brought in players that have a familiarity with the systems, or fit well in the systems, so the transition can move smoother. Crucial to getting everyone on the same page as quickly as possible.
    Bringing in veterans is also key to adding leadership, and taking low risk fliers on players looking for a final chance to make an impact. The Patriots have been doing this for two decades now, and with tremendous success.
    The last thing done, is getting rid of headaches and locker room cancers, or distractions. Again, smart for properly building a team that can be unified.
    Not everything will work out perfectly, but this is the exact correct way for a new coaching staff to come in and set the tone and build the right team.
    I love what the Raiders have done thus far.
    We will see who’s correct in due time.

  5. I said this on 12/31/2017

    Recently, there has been some talk of John Gruden replacing Jack Del Rio as the Raiders head coach. That talk has suggested that Mark Davis could possibly pay John Gruden as much as 10 million dollars a year and offer Gruden part ownership in the franchise. Should any of this talk gain any traction, might I suggest, to Mark Davis, an option, or two, to afford Gruden. First, Mark Davis might consider invoking the Lemon Law;

    The “Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act” or “Song-Beverly” for short is a law enacted by the state legislature that basically says that a manufacturer must replace your vehicle or give you a refund if your vehicle has a defect that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle and the manufacturer has not been able to fully repair the vehicle within a reasonable number of opportunities.

    Derek Carr is certainly a lemon and secondly; the Raiders can save on Gatorade since they have signed Car for 5 years at 25 million per year, they will be drinking lemonade for, at least, the next four years.

    I have been a Raiders fan since 1968. Given that, I’ve seen the Raiders go through some good years and some not so good years. What Raiders ownership is really looking for, under the guise of having Gruden return to the Raiders, is leadership, plain and simple. Mark Davis is just an owner who inherited the Raider franchise, not a leader. Reggie McKenzie is an unproven x Green Bay management castoff, not a proven leader. Jack Del Rio is a marginally successful coach, not a leader. Gruden “was” a successful coach, with the Raiders, who inherited a ready made franchise, built by Tony Dungee, who lucked up and played against a team that he had successfully coached for the three previous years. Gruden knows and believes that he has unfinished business with the Raiders. Nothing would give him greater satisfaction than to return and complete his unfinished business, with the Raiders. As far as Gruden returning to the Raiders, I see “some” advantages and “some” disadvantages. First, the advantages;
    Gruden has won a Super Bowl.
    Gruden has the decided advantage of retrospection from years of coaching, years of sitting on the sidelines, years of observing how other teams have been successful and watching the mistakes other teams have made.
    Gruden was successful in Oakland, barring the Tuck Rule.
    Gruden’s experience far exceeds that of anyone presently on the Raiders staff, management included.

    Now, the disadvantages of hiring Gruden;

    Gruden, through his many comments as a commentator, has shown he does not connect with players.
    Gruden is a dictator, not a teacher.
    Gruden does not have an eye for talent, he needs to know the difference between pragmatism and optimism.This is defined as what something actually IS versus what he would like for it to be.
    Gruden does not have an eye for detail. This is evidenced by only he could have beat the Raiders, in the Super Bowl, after having coached them for three years but couldn’t duplicate that success again.
    Gruden is unimaginative and this team would suffer as a result.
    Gruden doesn’t listen to anyone but himself because he likes the sound of his own voice.
    Gruden is narcissistic and it’s hard for him to accept constructive criticism and believes that his force of will can conquer all.

    Should the Raiders hire Gruden; here are some suggestions that could facilitate a successful return.

    Hire, if possible, Tony Romo. Whatever else anyone feels about Tony Romo, he had figured the game out. Tony’s only problem was that his body had become brittle but mentally he knows the game and could be beneficial to Carr’s growth. After signing this kid to a five year 125 million contract, it’s obvious he will be there for a few years so the Raiders might as well get him some expert tutelage. Hiring smart knowledgeable people breeds success.

    Realize what every team that has ever won a Super Bowl knows, that DEFENSE wins championships.So make his first priority team speed on defense. It wasn’t that long ago that Von Miller showed us all what team speed, on defense, can do.

    Emulate success. Gruden and every other team in the NFL has had years of watching successful plays, for all situations. Have that high priced staff do their due diligence and spend some time reviewing and compiling successful plays run in similar situations and use them. Remember, Belichik changed the culture in New England and look at what he was able to do with a guy who was drafted 199th. Again, the secret of Super Bowl winners isn’t lumbering behemoths, it’s speed and versatility. Get a clue.

    William Edler
    A Raiders Fan For Life
    Norfolk, Va

    1. Mr.william, I don’t completely agree with what your saying. Some truths of course. But some completely false statements about Gruden. You say he is unimaginative right? Hes mor a teacher right? Who was2 of the hottest coaches last year. Sean mcvay and Kyle Shanahan who give a lot of praise to Gruden for what he taught the. Everyone says mcvay is a younger Gruden. Coaches like him. From what recollect, these 2 coaches had a very imaginative offense last year. You said he doesn’t have an eye for detail. Did you see the mic’d up on nfl network ripping into Chris sims. He has a offense he wants it run to the T. He is a dictator . Can’t disagree with you there. But so is belecrap. Works for him with the young and old guys. Hes a hell of a coach. You want to know about detail. Watch the superbowl that we lost. You got lunch telling Gruden “coach, it’s the play you said they would run. We know everything they’re gonna do. ” you don’t think he taught them the offense for 2 weeks hammering home where they need to be to stop us. Gruden has been who we needed for a long time. Were not gonna go belly up. You said he couldn’t duplicate the success after that superbowl win with the bucs. How many coaches repeat the next year. Very few. Andy Reid is a **** good coach. Has he won a superbowl. We might not win a trophy because they are hard to come by but I bet well be competitive. Playoffs year after year. And that is what we hope for to get a shot at a ring. So ease back with the negative Nancy, world is caving in because we hired this guy. Its gonna be ok my raider brother.

  6. You must able to adapt to your opponent. It’s not about playing fast or pounding the rock. It’s about who are you playing this week and having the full spectrum of playing styles to exploit your opponents weakness, while simultaneously not offering up a single playing style for your opponent to game plan.

  7. You must able to adapt to your opponent. It’s not about playing fast or pounding the rock. It’s about who are you playing this week and having the full spectrum of playing styles to exploit your opponents weakness, while simultaneously not offering up a single playing style for your opponent to game plan for.

  8. Agreed they needed to respect each other and the boss but something divided the club last year. They need a fresh start and approach that was missing last year and it’s gruden

    1. Just for the record, those of you Gruden fans, good luck. Who anointed Gruden God and Overlord of all things football? He’s been a marginally successful coach and here’s a headline for you, he’s NOT going to play one down on the field. Carr has been compared to Aaron Rodgers, LOL!!! He’s a second tier quaterback, realize it and live with it. HOPEFULLY Mack will resign but he knows that he can get more money somewhere else so you’d better keep your fingers crossed. I’ve been a Raiders fan since 68 so you know that I believe in them. Optimism is nice but the only thing that counts, in this league, is wins. So, if you guys are counting on Gruden and McKenzie to produce, I’ll believe it when I see it but don’t hold your breaths.

    1-Lynch = Tyrone Wheatly
    2-D.Martin = Charlie Garner
    3- Cooper & Nelson will both be 1,000 yard Receivers
    4- #1 Draft Pick = Vita Vea the Samoan MAULER
    #2 Pick LB, #3 Pick Edge Rusher?
    Accountability, Discipline, Pride in Wearing the “Brand”

  10. It was obvious this team needed a cultural overhaul by the end of the season . Del Rio obviously lost the locker room somewhere along the line . There was no veteran leadership on the field despite Navarro Bowman’s efforts to fill that role .The veteran players Gruden has brought in are not long term solutions . They’re there to contribute whatever they have left and show the younger talent how to prepare and give their all on Sunday . Some of these guys won’t even make the team but those that do will be counted on to provide leadership and be an example of how to be a pro . Gruden has 10 years and I doubt he’s thinking Superbowl in year 1 . He’s setting the table for the future . Hopefully the team won’t go 6-10 again but I wouldn’t look for any big improvement in this team until year 2 . They’ll be better than last year but how much better is anybody’s guess .

  11. Some of the response comments have shown the undying optimism that every Raiders fan has had for years. NO ONE wants the Raiders to become relevant more than me. Trading a 30 year old wide receiver for a 33 year old wide receiver makes sense? Cutting the best punter since Shane Lechler makes sense? Bringing back a one dimensional tight end makes sense? Since Gruden is collecting antiques, someone should let him know that Wes Welker is still available.

  12. Im not a big fan of many of the roster moves so far, but you did make an extremely valid point on lack of discipline and leadership last year. Every week reading reports about locker room problems and seeing players complete lack of discipline on the field was beyond annoying. The teams best players Mack is to quiet and Carr seems to nice and needs to be more vocal like Phillip Rivers or Tom Brady. Hopefully the draft goes well and the roster shakes out. One last thing: A lot of hype going around that the Raiders should draft Vita Vea. I say hell no on that. Edmunds, Smith, Ward or Nelson/Fitzpatrick (if they fall) should be the options. Vea is just another fat body to shove in the middle with Ellis. Neither can penetrate a pocket and it will not help the interior pass rush one bit.

  13. There are RAIDER fans who follow the game, and there are fans who like the RAIDERS and are more into fantasy football and Madden. There are those who have just come to like the RAIDERS at 7-9…became fans at 12-4… and are off the wagon at 6-10. Fans who follow the RAIDERS religiously know that you don’t win championships with big FA names, and you don’t win championships with football super stars. If championships were won that way, the “dream team” Eagles, the “Suh, Mike Wallace” Dolphins, the “Rob Ryan, we won the off season” Bills and our own “Randy Moss, Lamont Jordan, Richard Seymour, Larry Brown” teams would have been hoisting Lombardis. This year’s Rams are already crowned as SB champs. We all know how that works. We had the best off season of any team in the NFL. We got Gruden and we are going to extend Khalil Mack. Furthermore, we moved on from JDR and his staff. Lastly, we have Gruden the wheel on the roster and let Reggie do what he does best. We’ll see where that goes, but in my opinion, “we have won the off-season”. GO RAIDERS ☠️💀☠️💀☠️💀

  14. Everyone has an opinion about things beyond their control. However my opinion is about what I can control, my loyalty to the Raiders organization. I have been a die hard Raider fan since 1977. I saw great success and great failure with the Raiders. Not once did I think about another team and I certainly don’t now. Gruden is back and I for one am behind him and this organization. Offseason moves or lack of doesn’t change where my loyalty is. The players on the team are there because the organization believes they can help get W come regular season so let’s let the management do their thing and stay true to Raider Nation

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