Adam Schefter on ESPN last night, “Jon Gruden is going to be the next head coach of the Raiders.” This is the perfect time for Gruden to trade in his pen and well-paid position as an ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and return to the sideline wearing a headset. He’s going to a place he’s worked with in the past, will get full roster and personnel control, and will be compensated like a King in a deal that is set to include partial ownership of a franchise that is Vegas bound in 2020.
Gruden already has his franchise Quarterback in Fresno State man Derek Carr. Carr struggled mightily this season after suffering a serious back injury early in the season that he returned from nearly a month ahead of schedule. While he’ll never admit that was the cause of some of the regression, we can all put the pieces together. Carr threw for 3,937 yards with 28 TD’s, a 96.7 QBR and just 6 INT’s last season. He followed that up with 22 TD’s and 13 picks and an 86.4 QBR and a Raiders team that went from 12-4 in ’16 to 6-10 while playing “uninspired” football this season which led to head coach Jack Del Rio‘s dismissal.
Gruden has already been putting the wheels in motion on a coaching staff, and will call plays for the Raiders, once the deal becomes official according the NFL Network insider Ian Rappoport. Gruden would also reportedly bring in his former Quarterback during his tenure with Oakland in Rich Gannon to coach the position and help bring Derek Carr along in his progression to being one of the game’s best at QB. Gruden is also targeting Cincinatti Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther to run his defense as his status is in lieu with the Marvin Lewis situation pending in Cincy.
This move is great for the league as well. The Raiders will soon be a force in the conference to battle with the likes of the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers with the talent they have on their current team and added boost of an elite coach. Jon Gruden will be inheritting a team loaded with awesome talent such as Khalil Mack, Carr, Amari Cooper, Michael Crbatree, Rodney Hudson and Kelechi Osemele. The AFC also gets a coach outside of John Harbaugh who can actually give Bill Belichick a game come January and scheme up a plan to beat New England. Add in the impending relocation to Las Vegas, and this move is just what league officials want to see. A franchise that has been mired in mediocrity for the better part of a decade since Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay, will now be catapulted back to the head of the table with a franchise QB, a great charismatic head coach and a vibrant, fresh new market for football.
Mark Davis loves Jon Gruden, and this has been the proverbial coaching white whale every year since he joined the broadcast booth. Every year, both college and professional teams inquire about his services and are immediately denied, but this year was different as it comes at the perfect time for Grudent to get back to doing what he loves most, coaching. You see the passion when he runs his yearly QB camp and sits down with all the draft prospects for the position, picking their brains and seeing if they have what it takes at the next level. You can call Mark Davis whatever you’d like, but he’s about to execute this perfectly-timed plan and land his Moby Dick.
I thought it would be great to include the Derek Carr visit and video to Gruden’s QB Camp now that he’s set to be his franchise Quarterback for the Raiders. Enjoy.
Gruden went 95-81 in his eleven season as a head coach including five playoff appearances and six winning seasons and was Super Bowl XXXVII Champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002. You don’t make the move to ax Del Rio after going 25-23 in three seasons unless you know you’re getting a big-time upgrade. The Raiders were quick to pull the trigger and I imagine the details of the agreement will soon become public knowledge as every big insider has said the move is essentially a “done deal.” Jon Gruden to the Raiders is not only best for business, but it is must-see TV. Chucky is back.
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