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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Articles tagged: Jon Gruden

Raiders fans react to Jon Gruden complaining about lack of pass rush

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden really had the gall to complain about the Oakland Raiders’ lack of a pass rush on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, and you can guess how that went over with fans.

The Raiders lost 20-19 to the Denver Broncos on a field goal in the final seconds. For the second straight game, the team collapsed in the second half and blew it. They were up 12-0 at halftime in Denver and led 19-10 in the fourth quarter before giving the game away.

The team only had one sack, which seemed to be an issue for Gruden after the game. The head coach said the Raiders have to “do something to get more pressure, maybe call more blitzes,” according to Vic Tafur.

Fans all had the same reaction: Hello! You traded away the team’s best pass rusher.

Gruden made a decision that he wasn’t going to pay Khalil Mack the big money the former Defensive Player of the Year was seeking. He ended up trading Mack to Chicago before the season.

Fans were left frustrated with Gruden and all had similar reactions to the coach’s comment:

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Marquette King has no love for Jon Gruden

Marquette King dance

One of the first moves the Oakland Raiders made after hiring Jon Gruden was to cut longtime punter Marquette King, and it seemed fairly obvious that Gruden was the driving force behind it. It’s even more obvious, now.

With King’s new team, the Denver Broncos, set to take on the Raiders this weekend, the veteran was asked on Wednesday if he has any thoughts on Gruden. He said a whole lot by saying barely anything at all.

There is clearly no love lost between the two. While King was one of the best punters in the NFL with the Raiders, they saved some money by releasing him. However, there were rumblings that Gruden wasn’t a fan of King’s personality. King has drawn flags for some immature reasons in the past, and Gruden probably wanted nothing to do with that. It seems like King wants nothing to do with him, either.

Jon Gruden calls out Derek Carr for turning down throws

Derek Carr

Jon Gruden called out his quarterback Derek Carr on Wednesday for passing up throws during the Oakland Raiders’ Monday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Speaking with reporters, Gruden said Carr had Amari Cooper open deep a few times and didn’t pass it to him.

Cooper had just one catch for nine yards in the game — far below what the former No. 4 pick is capable of. Carr threw for 303 yards but did not have a touchdown pass and was intercepted three times.

Lest you think this is Gruden picking on Carr, keep in mind that former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio made the exact same observation about Carr last season.

Carr had a strong rookie season in 2014 and followed that up with even more impressive seasons in 2015 and 2016. He looked like he was well on his way to becoming a franchise quarterback. However, last year he suffered a serious back injury that derailed his play. Some thought he would be improved if healthy this season, but maybe there was more to his struggles than injury.

The observation from Gruden makes one wonder whether the Raiders will consider moving on from Carr if he doesn’t show improvement, which certainly seems like a possibility.

H/T Rotoworld

Amari Cooper has high praise for new head coach Jon Gruden

Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper thinks pretty highly of his new head coach.

The Oakland Raiders wide receiver told analyst Rich Gannon during the team’s preseason game against Seattle on Thursday that Jon Gruden “has a play call to beat everything.”

Gruden is highly regarded as a football coach, particularly for his work with offenses and quarterbacks specifically. He helped turn Gannon into an MVP. If even his players can see that, then they will go into games feeling extra confidence. You have to trust your coaching staff in order to succeed, and it’s clear that Cooper does.

Cooper, a former No. 4 overall pick, is looking to have a bounceback season for the Raiders after failing to record a 1,000-yard season last year. Maybe he can in the team’s new-look offense.

Jon Gruden is apparently not a big Tom Cruise fan

Jon Gruden

Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden apparently has some pretty strong feelings about one of Hollywood’s most prominent actors.

Gruden took an unprompted shot at Tom Cruise while discussing his salary with Peter King of ProFootballTalk, saying he’d never been a big fan of his films — but he still gets paid.

“I’m not making $100 million, just so you know,” Gruden said. “Well, I never thought Tom Cruise, never thought his movies were any good but he’s making plenty of money. There’s a lot of things that I don’t understand. No disrespect to Tom Cruise. I’m sure he’s a great actor. But you know what? You just go about your life as hard as you can. You try to find something you love and you do the best you can at it. I never got into coaching for the money. I got into coaching because I wanted to be a quarterback coach. What the salary cap has become, what free agency has become — it’s amazing.”

This one takes a bit of parsing. Maybe his point was that some people don’t deserve to make a lot of money but do anyway. Maybe he just really wants the world to know that he thought Jerry Maguire was garbage. The world may never know. All we know is that Gruden thinks Tom Cruise movies make a lot more money than they should.

Gruden hasn’t even coached a regular season game since returning to the sideline and he’s already proving an incredibly quotable figure. It’s good to have him back on the sideline.

Jon Gruden uses quite the metaphor to describe Martavis Bryant

Jon Gruden

As regular viewers of Monday Night Football are aware, Jon Gruden has a way with words.

The Oakland Raiders coach had another fascinating comparison on Wednesday, comparing wide receiver Martavis Bryant to a white tiger. Don’t worry, there’s something behind it.

We’re guessing that this is a hint that Gruden knows Bryant is capable of doing great things, but he needs to be more consistent and productive. After all, this is a guy who has reportedly struggled mightily through training camp and needs to show more. Gruden will keep getting on him publicly if that’s what it takes.

Jon Gruden calls out Martavis Bryant over poor training camp

Martavis Bryant

Martavis Bryant has been given the fresh start he wanted this season, but it does not sound like he is making the most of it thus far.

The Oakland Raiders sent a third-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Bryant back in April, and the wide receiver has not impressed his new head coach. On Saturday, Jon Gruden told reporters he needs to see more from Bryant.

“He’s got to get out here and play better,” Gruden said, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He’s in a competitive situation. Right now, a lot of the other receivers have had a nice camp. He’s just got to learn the offense. He’s got to stay out here. He’s had some illnesses. He’s got to get on the field. He’s got to master the offense and become more versatile, and that’s the key to making this team better.”

Bryant is competing for the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson. While the Raiders paid a fairly high price for Bryant, Ryan Switzer has been impressive in the slot and returning punts. Gehlken notes that rookie seventh-round pick Marcell Ateman has also been “surging,” and Johnny Holton and Dwayne Harris are expected to play a role on special teams.

Is it possible Bryant could be cut from the 53-man roster?

“Nothing is going to be given to anybody,” Gruden said. “It doesn’t matter how you got here and what your history card says. We need everyone to understand the best players are going to play, and he’s got to be more consistent. And I’m confident he will.”

For now, it sounds like Gruden is just trying to light a fire under Bryant. However, it’s noteworthy that what we’re hearing about Bryant is far less flattering than what has been said about the much older Nelson. Bryant is in a great opportunity to succeed, but he has to capitalize on it.

10 NFL head coaches under pressure to deliver in 2018

Jon Gruden

The NFL coaching carousel never truly stops. Some guys survive a bad year with the understanding that their seat will be warm to start the next season, putting them under heavy pressure from Week 1. Then there are coaches who had bad years and aren’t on the hot seat, but much is expected of them and failure could make them sweat a bit. It’s all about expectations and improvement, and if coaches don’t show it, then questions will inevitably follow.

Here are ten NFL coaches who, for various reasons, will find themselves under a good bit of pressure to deliver results in 2018.

10) Andy Reid, Chiefs

The big knock on Reid has always been his inability to translate his regular season success into postseason wins. Reid now faces a challenge to keep that regular season success going. Alex Smith has been shipped off to Washington, replaced by second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Trading Marcus Peters won’t help the secondary no matter how justified it was. Reid’s job isn’t in jeopardy, but the team is under pressure to win after getting rid of Smith and investing heavily in Mahomes.

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Report: Khalil Mack, Jon Gruden have had zero contact

Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack is currently in a stand-off with the Oakland Raiders’ front office over his contract, and it seems as though he is freezing out his new head coach in the meantime.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Mack and Jon Gruden have not spoken once since Gruden was hired as Oakland’s new head coach back in January.

Mack is a former Defensive Player of the Year and clearly the Raiders’ best defensive player, so it’s a bit unsettling that he has not established any type of relationship with the team’s new coach. That could just be Mack’s way of playing hardball, or he may feel as though Gruden could influence him getting a long-term extension.

While he’s scheduled to make around $14 million in the final year of his rookie contract this season, Mack wants long-term security. It makes sense that the negotiations aren’t progressing all that quickly given the amount of money Mack is expected to demand.

Jon Gruden hints he will walk away from his huge Raiders contract if unable to win

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden is doing his best to ease concerns about the massive contract that he signed with the Oakland Raiders this offseason.

In an interview with Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY on Tuesday, the Raiders head coach hinted that he would walk away from his ten-year, $100 million deal with the team if he is unable to meet expectations.

“If I can’t get it done, I’m not going to take their money,” Gruden declared.

“Who guarantees I’m going to live 10 years?” he continued. “So I don’t think about that. You start thinking about a 10-year contract – people don’t know how it’s structured and it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is, ‘Is Khalil Mack going to be here? Is Donald Penn going to be ready to play?’ I’ve got more important things to worry about than eight years of my contract.”

The 54-year-old Gruden, who hadn’t coached in nearly a decade, was lured out of the broadcasting booth by a deal that was both the longest and the most lucrative for a head coach in NFL history.

He’s already getting an idea of how difficult the job will be, but depending on what his definition of “getting it done” constitutes, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Gruden doesn’t try to secure the whole bag from the Raiders.