The Oakland Raiders are saying goodbye to the Bay Area after this season, but that hasn’t affected fan enthusiasm in the slightest. During the three-game winning streak, Raider fans have played a huge part in helping make the lives of opponents very difficult. Fans don’t typically get a ton of credit when things are going well, but Jon Gruden gave them a huge shoutout after Sunday’s win.
“Our fans are superb, they really help us out,” said Gruden after the game.
Gruden has started a tradition of going and celebrating with the Black Hole after every win. It may not be something that most coaches would do, but Gruden doesn’t care.
“That’s why I coach football,” said Gruden about how he goes to celebrate with the fans after every win. “I love people that love football and they love it more than anybody. People can make fun of me and say whatever they want. When we win, I’m going down there. And when we lose, usually I stick around the parking lot and hang out with the guys and try to get them ready for the next home game.”
Gruden and the Raiders have been working really hard to give Oakland a proper send-off. Three straight wins at their home stadium will definitely go a long way in helping retain fans when the team moves. Gruden has one last great line to describe Raider Nation.
“They’re nuts. They’re the closest thing to me that I’ve ever seen.”
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Gruden Trusted His Defense
It hasn’t been the best year for the Raider defense. They’ve frequently been torched by the top NFL quarterbacks. However, the last two weeks have been impressive showings by the unit. With only a couple of minutes left in the game, the Raiders were in range for a field that would have all but sealed the game. Jon Gruden elected to punt, which could’ve led to disaster if the Cincinnati Bengals drove down the field and scored a touchdown.
“You know, I sure was,” said Gruden when asked if he was considering kicking the field goal. “I felt like we could pin them deeper than we did, honestly and they [had] no timeouts and we felt our pass rush in a predictable situation would make it hard on the young quarterback to go 80 yards.”
Gruden went on to further explain his decision.
“No disrespect to [Daniel] Carlson… I played it a little conservative if you want to say it, but I really trusted our defense. I didn’t want to potentially give them the ball near midfield.
Fortunately for Gruden, the decision paid off as he would’ve been ripped to shreds if the Raiders lose the game. It’s starting to look like the defense is finally starting to turn things around.
New Guys Make an Impact
“I definitely appreciated that,” Swearinger said about Gruden’s decision to have him play. “I’ve never seen that anywhere else. The confidence he gives you as a player is great. You want to go to [play your heart out] for a guy like that.”
The move certainly paid off as Swearinger led the team in tackles and Jordan was able to get a sack.
“I put in a lot of hours,” Swearinger said. “I came in and met with coaches over the weekend when I got here. I made sure I studied every night and definitely put in the work. It ended up with a great result.”
It was impressive effort by the two defenders and it’ll be exciting to see what they can do with more reps under their belts.