Jon Gruden is one of the most popular faces in the NFL and that’s for a lot of reasons. The Las Vegas Raiders‘ head coach is a colorful character who is the definition of a football junkie. Since his rise to prominence, a lot has been made about the complexity of his playbook. It’s essentially become a meme at this point.
Tight end Jason Witten has been in the NFL for a very long time and even he decided to take a shot at the coach over his playbook.
“You play 16 years and think you’ve seen it all, and 2020 happens,” Witten said Monday. “Coach Gruden condensed the playbook, so I’ve mastered the first 1,000 pages. Only have 9,000 to go.”
This year could be trying for a lot of new players for the Raiders. It’ll be hard for some to catch onto the playbook after not getting any OTAs. It sounds like Gruden has tried to simplify it somewhat based on Witten’s comments.
Witten Reveals Message He Told Team
Considering the Raiders already had a strong group of tight ends on the roster, it’s obvious they didn’t bring in Witten to be a top receiver for the team. Instead, he’ll come in as a very strong leader for a group of really young players. Gruden had Witten address the team recently and he gave some insight into what he told them.
“It’s vital,” Witten said. “This league’s too hard regardless of how talented you are, and I shared this with the guys. … The margin for error is so small in this league that’s how you have to approach it. I was blown away by the skill set. You can see it. I’ve also seen the guys love football. They work hard. They’re accountable.”
The Raiders may have a lot of young players on the roster but they all love football. Having a lot of youth worked out well for them last year and could work in their favor once again this season. Adding a leader like Witten was smart in hindsight considering the move to a new city and all of the young guys on the team.
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Witten Talks New Raiders Facilities
Witten has had the privilege of playing for the Dallas Cowboys for a very long time and was able to play in one of the nicest stadiums in all of sports. He’s now headed to the Raiders who have just built some state of the art facilities. Though he’s used to having nice facilities, Witten praised what the Raiders have done.
“They didn’t miss a beat with all the details, and they’ve provided a great opportunity,” Witten said. “It says a lot about the ownership and the message being sent to the players. From the COVID testing to where we want to live has been first class. I’m coming from the leader in first-class and in how you do it with the Dallas Cowboys. There’s a buzz. That’s a challenge for the players that they have this opportunity they can’t take for granted.”