McFarland: Jon Gruden’s Biggest Challenge Will Be Coaching The Social Media Generation

ESPN’s Anthony (Booger) McFarland played five seasons for Jon Gruden in Tampa and he believes his former head coach will face at least one big challenge getting back into coaching.

From a football standpoint, McFarland believes Gruden will be fine, but he says it will be a challenge for Gruden to cultivate relationships and get young players to buy in to his philosophy.

Appearing on the Stick to Football podcast, this is what McFarland said about what he believes will be Gruden’s biggest challenge back on the sideline:

“I think the biggest key for Jon is going to be how he adjusts to this young league. This league is no longer a league that’s built on veteran players. It’s built on young guys that are 22 to 28 that like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, all these different things and for a coach who wants you to ingest football 24-7, he’s got to get used to that. He’s got to get used to the guy who in the locker room is using his Instagram stories to talk about how he gets ready for practice instead of staring at his playbook. I think that will be the biggest adjustment.

Jon Gruden knows football. He knows football better than just about any coach that I’ve ever been around, however he’s got to adjust to the relationship part of ‘how do I cultivate a relationship with a Derek Carr. How do I get these young guys to buy in and believe in me, because yeah I won a Super Bowl in Tampa, most of these guys were teenagers when that happened so how do I get them to believe that I can still get it done?’ To me, that’s his biggest challenge. I think he’ll do fine, but it’s going to be a challenge.”

Ironically, Gruden released his social media superstar in March and outside of the draft picks, the Raiders roster hasn’t gotten younger in recent months.

So maybe Gruden isn’t planning on turning the locker room culture over to the kids just yet.

twitter: @raidersbeat


5 thoughts on “McFarland: Jon Gruden’s Biggest Challenge Will Be Coaching The Social Media Generation

  1. booger should jump down to the Penn article. they can share space in tardville

  2. Gruden is a smart guy and I’m sure that he has seen how the NFL with social media , has changed . I think he will live with all of that as long as it doesn’t mess with the player’s work habits and their commitment to playing the game . If it does , not even Bill Belichek can coach up players like that and those players won’t have a place on Gru’s roster for long anyway .

  3. People especially younger ones buy in when they immediately see positive results from their efforts. The reason a mix of old and young is important; older people have endured hardships and generally have nurtured the patience to overcome adversity. Gruden knows he needs mentors who understand teams like life have ebbs and flows that require us to remain focused on goals.

  4. Gruden is younger than a bunch of HCs, this is so overblown it’s stupid to still talk about it. Belichick is older, Carroll is older, Zimmer is older, Rivera is older, Harbaugh is older, etc. If it was about Gruden not being up to date with football, I’d get it…but since this is all about him not being able to connect with younger players, it’s ridiculous. Those guys are older and do just fine, especially more old school guys like Belichick, Rivera and Zimmer.

  5. Players today are as smart or as dumb as players in the past. Gruden knows exactly what he is doing. You will have players who will never get it while others have a very clear understanding how and where their money will come from. Look around the league and see how many really good players have screwed up their career because of foolish behavior they have acted out and they know where it will take them. NOT FAR. While most other turn into productive citizens. Let see how many players refuse to play for a game in support of Cap and Reid). If a player leaves for any period of time there is another player waiting in line for their turn. Gruden knows what he is doing and how to make it work. The latest report is offensive lineman are coming to camp out of shape. Let see how its handled, it may be the worst and hardest camp they have endured, without a word being said. If they don’t like it, do you think they will quit and leave the large contact all of them recently signed? This foolish problem could be very expensive for them next year when their best paying year is coming, but if any of the new current offensive lineman (guards-center) work out the money required to keep Mack will be needed and look for Jon to replace at least one of those players next year. None of those players will ever see all the money they signed for, not one of them, because they will do it again, and Jon knows he doesn’t have time or money to waste to see if they will come around. We saw how terrible the guards and center played last year after receiving a large contract. Their time is limited maybe one will understand it while the others think no way will they be replaced. WATCH JON.

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