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#pounditThursday, October 29, 2020

Articles tagged: Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden takes funny shot at Baker Mayfield over his commercials

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden is well familiar with his upcoming opponent, and not just for what he does on the gridiron.

The Las Vegas Raiders head coach addressed reporters Wednesday ahead of this week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Gruden took a funny shot at Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, saying he preferred his own television commercials to Mayfield’s, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Mayfield, 25, is enjoying some decent run on TV right now, most notably appearing in a series of ads for Progressive Insurance. He has proven to be a marketable pitchman, even dating back to his college days.

Gruden is no slouch either though when it comes to Madison Avenue. He has a number of memorable commercials under his belt, especially from the years before he became coach of the Raiders. Included in Gruden’s past exploits are ad appearances for Corona and Hooters.

Mayfield has certainly faced his fair share of criticism this year. But going after him for his acting chops is probably a first here.

Jon Gruden makes bold claim about Raiders’ handling of coronavirus

Jon Gruden

The Las Vegas Raiders have had their share of issues with COVID-19 this season, but coach Jon Gruden clearly thinks the team’s handling of the virus has been exemplary.

Members of the Raiders have received multiple fines for failing to follow the NFL’s safety protocols. Offensive lineman Trent Brown recently tested positive for the virus, and the team briefly had to isolate its entire offensive line as a result.

Gruden, however, was quick to point out that the Raiders are far from the only team to have a positive test. Then he made an even bolder claim about the team’s handling of the virus.

“As an organization, we are on the cutting edge of beating the virus,” Gruden said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic.

It’s not very clear what Gruden is basing this on. The Raiders don’t seem any closer to “beating” COVID-19 than any other organization. In fact, the league is reportedly looking into the team’s handling of it.

Gruden was among the first coaches fined for not wearing a mask back in Week 1. Maybe he’s learned his lesson, but the Raiders definitely don’t look like they’re leading the league in handling the virus.

Jon Gruden wears tiny mask after getting fined by NFL

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden clearly is not a fan of having to wear a mask on the sideline during games, and it will be interesting to see how the NFL feels about whatever it is he wore on his face on Sunday.

Gruden wore a mask during the Las Vegas Raiders’ game against the New England Patriots that looked more like a G-string than a face covering.

Earlier in the game, Gruden’s mask appeared to have much more material.

Gruden was fined $100,000 and the Raiders were fined $250,000 for his failure to wear a face covering at all times during last week’s win over the New Orleans Saints. Multiple NFL coaches have been fined for not following the mask protocol after the league issued a warning following Week 1.

A report during the offseason indicated the Raiders tricked players into thinking Gruden had contracted the coronavirus to send a message about the dangers of the illness. Gruden said recently that he actually did have COVID-19 and was annoyed by people saying he faked it.

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Jon Gruden, Sean Payton fined for not wearing masks

Sean Payton

The NFL has added two more head coaches to its masks fine list for Week 2.

Jon Gruden and Sean Payton were both fined $100,000 for not wearing masks during “Monday Night Football.” Their respective teams, the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints, also received $250,000 fines.

The NFL has now fined five of the league’s 32 head coaches for masks. In total, that is $1,750,000 in fines this week.

The NFL is making it very clear that they want coaches to wear masks for coronavirus purposes. The league issued warnings last week and escalated to fines this week. The message from the league has been sent.

Jon Gruden says coronavirus story was real, not fake

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden says he actually did contract the coronavirus over the summer, contrary to what some reports may have claimed at the time.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported last month that the Las Vegas Raiders held a Zoom call with players that was supposed to be led by Gruden, but the coach did not show up. The players were told Gruden had been hospitalized with COVID-19. The goal, according to Garafolo, was for the Raiders to send a message to players that anyone can contract the coronavirus.

After the Raiders’ win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, Gruden tried to set the record straight. He said he actually did have COVID-19 and told the San Jose Mercury news that he is tired of people saying it was a prank.

“I did,” Gruden said. “I’m tired of (people) saying I faked it.”

Gruden is one of several NFL coaches who have been criticized for not wearing their masks properly during games. He told reporters on Monday that he takes the coronavirus seriously because he had it.

“I’ve had the virus, OK? I’m doing my best,” Gruden said. “I’m very sensitive about it, but I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate these situations. I apologize, and if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine. I’m very sensitive about all of that and I apologize.”

Three head coaches and their teams received hefty fines this week for not wearing their masks on Sunday. Based on what we saw during Monday night’s game, Gruden and Saints coach Sean Payton could be next.

Jon Gruden, Sean Payton may be headed for mask fines too

Jon Gruden

The NFL showed on Monday that it is serious about handing out fines to coaches who do not wear their masks during games. Sean Payton and Jon Gruden could be headed for fines as well.

Both Gruden and Payton were seen with their masks/face coverings near their neck on the sidelines during “Monday Night Football” between the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints.

Some head coaches are having difficulty communicating/coaching during games while wearing their masks, which seems to be leading to the problem.

Kyle Shanahan, Vic Fangio and Pete Carroll all received $100,000 fines for not wearing their masks during Week 2. Their teams were fined $250,000 as well, totaling $1.05 million in fines.

Jon Gruden has funny take on Allegiant Stadium ‘Death Star’ nickname

Jon Gruden

The Las Vegas Raiders’ new Allegiant Stadium has been dubbed the “Death Star” by ownership and some fans, and Jon Gruden is into it.

The stadium’s round, almost spaceship-like appearance inspired the nickname, which has been pushed by owner Mark Davis. This is in spite of the fact that the namesake “Death Star” met an untimely end in “Star Wars.”

Gruden said he doesn’t care at all about that, and loves the name.

“I think it’s a cool name for our stadium,” Gruden said Thursday, via Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I don’t give a damn about Star Wars. That’s what we’re calling our stadium and I don’t care what anybody else thinks. It’s a cool stadium, it’s a great name and we just have to play good when we’re in there.”

There you have it. The name stays. It’s hard to blame anyone for that. First, it sounds cool, and second, once you’ve seen the place, the nickname seems very appropriate. Get used to hearing more of it.

Raiders tricked players into thinking Jon Gruden had coronavirus to send message

The Las Vegas Raiders’ coaching staff had a unique way of sending a message to players about treating the coronavirus seriously.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Raiders recently held a Zoom meeting that was supposed to be led by coach Jon Gruden. When players logged on, they were instead met by special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who told the players that Gruden was hospitalized with COVID-19.

Gruden was not sick or hospitalized, but it was an attempt by Raiders coaches to send the message that anyone could contract the virus and thus needed to be very vigilant during training camp and beyond. According to Garafolo, it actually did resonate with players.

This happened even before Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19, which probably only drove the point home further.

Ex-Raider disputes narrative that Jon Gruden, Derek Carr don’t get along

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden and Derek Carr have seemed like something of an odd couple to this point of their relationship, but one player who witnessed the dynamic firsthand thinks that they work together just fine.

In an appearance this week on “The Pat McAfee Show,” former Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson was asked about the mainstream media narrative that Gruden and Carr don’t get along.

“I mean, you see Gruden on the sideline where I assume if it was mic’d up, there would be a lot of beeping going on and you really wouldn’t understand what he was saying,” said Nelson. “And Derek is a more of a calmer, obviously Christian dude that is not gonna cuss anyone out or do anything like that. So I think their two demeanors and personalities might clash. But they honestly get along great. I mean, it’s a good balance.

“There’s a couple times when I was there they got a little fiery at each other,” Nelson added. “But that happens with everyone … The one thing I think that works great with those two, Derek is extremely smart and puts in so much time and work that he can handle everything that Gruden’s throwing at him.

Nelson spent the final year of his career in 2018 with the Raiders, catching passes from Carr. That season also marked Gruden’s first with the team.

Rumors abounded last season that there was a major disconnect between Gruden and Carr, and they may have only grown louder when the Raiders brought in Marcus Mariota this offseason. But that perception is probably more rooted in the difference in their personalities, as Nelson says, rather than an actual rift.

Jon Gruden says Raiders want to continue building around Derek Carr

Derek Carr

Rumors have been swirling for about two years now that Derek Carr may not be with the Raiders much longer, but head coach Jon Gruden continues to insist he has no plans to part ways with the quarterback.

When asked about Carr at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, Gruden said he can’t address every rumor about his quarterback but is looking forward to building around Carr going forward.

“I really think Derek is a heck of a player and I got a lot of respect for what he has done with some tough circumstances,” Gruden said, via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “So, I’m not going to answer every media rumor out there. I just can’t do it. I’m just going to listen to my Sirius Rock n’ Roll classic vinyl and keep working. But I love what Derek Carr brings to our team and anxious to continue to build around him.”

Many interpreted that as Gruden’s way of saying Carr will remain with the team in 2020, but the coach also said the Raiders need to improve at the quarterback position. However, he didn’t necessarily mean improving by bringing in someone to replace Carr.

Earlier in the week, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock left the door open for the Raiders to move on from Carr. If the Raiders have a chance to sign Tom Brady, it’s impossible to imagine Mayock and Gruden opting to keep Carr rather than making a run with the greatest QB of all time.

While Gruden has vocally backed Carr as the Raiders’ long-term quarterback, there were some reports late last season that indicated the quarterback’s days with the team may be numbered.