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Gruden welcomed back to Raiders 16 years after departure

Gruden welcomed back to Raiders 16 years after departure
gruden-welcomed-back-to-raiders-16-years-after-departure

Gruden said he hopes the familiarity with new offensive coordinator Greg Olsen, who had that role in Carr's rookie season in 2014, will help Carr bounce back after regressing this season from the form that made him an MVP candidate in 2016.

The Raiders had major drops in scoring (26 to 18.8),[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/vernon-hargreaves-iii-jersey-cheap]Womens Vernon Hargreaves III Jersey[/url], yards per game (373.3 to 324.1) and committed twice as many turnovers (14 to 28) this season as Carr took a major step back in his development after signing a $125 million, five-year extension in the offseason.

"I think he's got huge upside," Gruden said. "With Greg Olsen and the system we will put in place that will demand a lot from him,[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/noah-spence-jersey-cheap]Womens Noah Spence Jersey[/url], I think that's going to unlock the greatness in him. I'm very, very excited to have him as our quarterback."

Gruden brings intensity to the sideline and the meeting rooms that made him a fan favorite in his first stint, earning him the nickname "Chucky" after the character in the 1980s slasher movie "Child's Play."

Some of Gruden's former players said the new Raiders are in for something they've never experienced before.

"Either you buy in or you're not going to be a part of it,[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/roberto-aguayo-jersey-cheap]Womens Roberto Aguayo Jersey[/url]," said Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who played one year for Gruden. "I hope these players are read. They're going to get him. Now how they deal with that is a different story, but Chucky's going to come out."

For almost 16 years,[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/donovan-smith-jersey-cheap]Womens Donovan Smith Jersey[/url], Jon Gruden had a gnawing sensation.

“There is unfinished business,” Gruden said Tuesday at his introductory news conference as Raiders head coach, just after joking,[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/ali-marpet-jersey-cheap]Womens Ali Marpet Jersey[/url], “Thanks for bringing up the tuck rule and for reminding me how old we are.”

On a bitter, snowy January night in New England in 2002, Gruden’s first turn in the position to which he is returning ended in a gut-wrenching way — a fumble by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady that officials overturned and deemed an incomplete pass under the NFL’s obscure “tuck rule.” It was a controversial play that cost the Raiders a playoff victory, launched a New England dynasty and has haunted the Raiders ever since.

“For the organization and for the entire Raider Nation,[url=http://www.texansfootballauthentic.com/deandre-hopkins-jersey-authentic]Authentic DeAndre Hopkins Jersey[/url], we don’t know what could have been,” said former Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson, who once thought he had won that playoff game with a strip sack of Brady. “We felt like he left prematurely.”

A month later, Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay by then-owner Al Davis — and the Raiders spent the better part of the next 16 years floundering.

But in a stunning turn of events, the years of longing and wishful thinking and unfounded rumors brought us here, with Gruden returning to coach the Oakland Raiders.

“For my (Oakland) career to end that night in New England, it still ticks me off,” Gruden said. “I’m so thrilled to be back here. I hope people understand the emotion inside. I feel there’s unfinished business. I feel a lot of loyalty and responsibility to get the Raiders going again. It’s been a while since the team has consistently performed at a high level.

Tuesday’s news conference was part coronation, part class reunion and grand theater. It was held in the Raiders’ high performance center, which even Mark Davis — who fired head coach Jack Del Rio after the final game of the season — said should be called the Jack Del Rio high performance center because the former coach helped bring the Raiders into the modern era.

The room was packed, not only with reporters and team employees but with dozens of former players. There was a celebratory, giddy vibe in the audience: that a wrong had finally been righted.

“He didn’t want to leave here,” said former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon. “I sat up in that office with him after we lost to the Patriots and you could see the pain on his face.”

But it wasn’t until the first week of November, when the Raiders spent the week in Sarasota, Fla., having just lost to the Buffalo Bills to fall to 3-5, that the wooing got serious. Davis visited Gruden in Tampa that week to ask for advice on how to turn around the franchise.

“That might be the first time I started to get the inkling that he might be the one to come back and fix it,” Davis said.

Gruden broadcast the Raiders’ penultimate game of the season, in Philadelphia on Christmas night.

“We spoke Christmas Eve,” Davis said. “I felt pretty confident that he was all in.”

It was a bold stroke from Davis, who needs momentum and credibility heading into the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. And it was the end of a long quest that started that February day almost 16 years ago when his father traded Gruden to Tampa Bay.

In the years since, which doubled as a coaching carousel. The “We must be the dumbest team in America, there have been plenty of events at Raiders headquarters,[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/noah-spence-jersey-cheap]Authentic Noah Spence Jersey[/url],” news conference by then-head coach Bill Callahan. The hiring of Norv Turner. The return of Art Shell. The hiring of young “Lance” — as Al Davis mistakenly called Lane — Kiffin, and the subsequent firing by overhead projector. The Tom Cable hiring and firing, the Hue Jackson hiring,[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/roberto-aguayo-jersey-cheap]Authentic Roberto Aguayo Jersey[/url], the Dennis Allen hiring and the Jack Del Rio hiring.

All were accompanied by the sense that something irretrievable had already been lost, that the Raiders’ best hope ended when Gruden was sent to Tampa.

Tuesday’s event was quite different. Joyful. A pleasant mix of fond memories and future excitement.

Now 54, Gruden is,[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/donovan-smith-jersey-cheap]Authentic Donovan Smith Jersey[/url], still works like a madman. His three sons are almost grown: Deuce works for Jay Gruden in Washington, in many ways, the same person. He still claims not to be a “deep and philosophical” guy,[url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/ali-marpet-jersey-cheap]Authentic Ali Marpet Jersey[/url], still wakes up in the predawn hours,[url=http://www.texansfootballauthentic.com/j.j.-watt-jersey-authentic]Womens J.J. Watt Jersey[/url], Michael goes to the University of Tennessee and Jayson, who was born in the East Bay, is a junior in high school. While his wife,[url=http://www.texansfootballauthentic.com/j.j.-watt-jersey-authentic]Authentic J.J. Watt Jersey[/url], Cindy, they are looking at schools in the Bay Area, and Jayson will remain in Tampa to finish the school year, and Cindy hopes they can find a home in their old neighborhood in Pleasanton. She will be more involved in the community than last time, no longer having to juggle three wild little boys.

And though he didn’t say it specifically, the definite impression Gruden left was that he wanted to come back and finish his business while the team was still in Oakland. He didn’t mention Las Vegas, except when he was asked about the team’s impending move.



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