Training camp isn’t only the time for players to show off, at least not when it comes to the Oakland Raiders. Few coaches in the NFL draw more attention than Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. After spending years in the broadcast booth, Gruden came back to the NFL last year because he’s eager to turn the Raiders into a winner. Owner Mark Davis has given Gruden the keys to succeed, but it’s up to him to use them properly.
While he’s certainly gotten his fair share of backlash due to last year’s poor performance, Gruden and the Raiders seem primed to start turning things around in 2019 and it’s showing in the early stages of this year’s training camp.
Raiders’ Jon Gruden Shows off Muscles at Training Camp [WATCH]
With Jon Gruden’s son being the team’s strength and conditioning assistant, it makes sense that the head coach spends some time in the gym.
Caught on video by rookie defensive end Clelin Ferrell, Gruden takes a couple relatively large dumbells and gets a few reps in. Deuce Gruden is fired up about his dad’s showcase. Who knew the 55-year-old still had it in him? Must be that old man strength. It’s good to see the Raiders having some fun so far this offseason. Last year was anything but fun and if the team can build a better comradery, it could mean good things for the future.
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Jon Gruden’s Second Year
Gruden’s return to the Raiders was far from the triumph that many were hoping for. Drama, injuries and player uncertainty derailed the season. However, this year feels different. There seems to be a better aura around the team. While a positive aura doesn’t necessarily translate to wins, it should give the Raiders a better outlook in 2019. The team is much younger and that injection of youth should be a welcomed change considering the Raiders were the oldest team in the NFL last season.
Gruden has filled the roster with “Gruden-Grinders.” The team targeted high-character, hard-working guys in free agency and the draft. The coach is all about putting in the necessary work to succeed and he’s brought in the right players to make that vision a reality. Antonio Brown is one of the newest Raiders and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a player who works harder than him.
Derek Carr is also known for his work ethic and new right-tackle Trent Brown has been plenty busy this offseason. There are players with previous character concerns on the roster, including Richie Incognito, but they’re few and far between. This is a big year for Gruden as confidence in his ability as a coach is waning. He’s got a long contract, but the Raiders can’t stand for 10 years of mediocrity if Gruden can’t get it done. With added weapons, look for the Raiders to roll out more creative gameplans in 2019.