Raiders hire a familiar face as new coach

Terrel Emerson | Sports Editor

January 11, 2018

Shovels with the Raiders’ logo at the new stadium’s groundbreaking. But, the $1.9 billion project will be UNLV’s to use as well. Photo by: Edgar Garcia/UNLV Scarlet & Gray Free Press

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis said after his father, Al, died he knew who he wanted to lead the resurgence of the Oakland Raiders.

 

Six years later, enter Jon Gruden.

 

The Oakland Raiders re-introduced Gruden as the organization’s newest head coach Tuesday after agreeing on a 10-year, $100 million deal last week.

 

Gruden mentioned five major things as the reason for his return to the Black Hole.

 

“Number one I love football, I love the players that play it, I love the preparation and I love the journey. And I love the city of Oakland, I had a son here. Some of my great memories of life are in Oakland and I want to give the the two best years of football possible,” Gruden said.

 

The Raiders are set to relocate to Las Vegas in 2020.

 

Gruden went 38-26 with two division titles in his four season as the Raiders’ head man.

 

Following the season, Al, who was known for not making the most popular decisions, traded Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two first round picks, two second round picks and $8 million in cash.

 

“I never thought I’d be back but here I am,” Gruden said.

 

Mark opened the press conference with the statement, “Once a Raider, always a Raider.”

 

The move proved to be beneficial for Gruden and the Buccaneers. As Gruden’s yearly salary was increased from $1.2 million to $4 million and Tampa Bay was rewarded with a 12-4 record and a trip to its first Super Bowl.

 

Their opponent was Gruden’s former employer, the Raiders. Tampa Bay would go on to win its first and only championship, beating Oakland 48-21.

 

The room where the press conference was held filled with laughs when former Oakland defensive back Charles Woodson asked Gruden if his new deal included a no-trade clause. Gruden replied “yes” with a smile.

 

Since that Super Bowl, Gruden went to capture the Buccaneers career wins record with 57 and was inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring Of Honor last year. He has not coached since 2008.

 

As for Oakland, it has only one playoff appearance since suffering that loss to Gruden’s Bucs 16 years ago.

 

But all of that is behind Gruden and company now as they look to start anew.

 

Gruden has gone on record saying, “I like the mystique of the Raiders. I like being a part of it.”

 

Gruden expressed his intention to call plays on the offensive end for Oakland. And with a rising star like quarterback Derek Carr under center, the possibilities can be endless.

 

“I’m at a point in my life where I need another challenge. I know I have a lot to prove and I’m eager to prove I can do it. I’ve been thinking about a lot of plays and when I met Carr this morning I thought of a few more,” Gruden said with a grin ke kept for most of the 37-minute press conference.

 

He also pointed to Carr’s athleticism and natural leadership qualities as some of the things he’s most excited about utilizing.

 

While the press conference provided Raiders fans with excitement heading into the years to come, Gruden was sure not to make any promises.

 

“No guarantees, no promises but I want to win […] We’ll get what we deserve,” Gruden added.

 

Contact Terrel Emerson at sports.freepress@unlv.edu.


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