Due to the lack of a preseason and limited media availability, the 2020 Las Vegas Raiders are a somewhat unknown quantity. We know Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs are going make plays and that the offensive line is going to be great but not much else. We also don’t know how the team plans to address social justice causes.
On Thursday Night Football, the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans had their own unique ways to promote their causes and many other teams are expected to have their own forms of protests. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was asked about what his team plans to do on Sunday versus the Carolina Panthers and he gave a cryptic answer.
“I think we’re all together on what we’re going to do,” Gruden said Friday. “I just hope our country can unite quickly. That’s all I’m hoping for. Our players have discussed it and I’ll leave it at that.”
While he didn’t give much a hint, it does sound like the Raiders do have a plan. That would be a good sign as everybody remembers the mess that happened in 2017. There’s a lot of promise with this team and they need to stay united if they hope to win games. Regardless of what they do on Sunday, it sounds like the Raiders are a united front.
Gruden Won’t Reveal if Team Is Improved
For somebody who used to work in the media, Gruden certainly doesn’t like to give the media a lot to work with. He was asked about whether or not this current Raiders roster is the best he’s had since returning to the NFL and he remained cryptic.
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen my team yet,” Gruden said. “I haven’t seen anything. Haven’t seen a game. Haven’t seen really more than three or four live snaps of football. So I’m confident. We’ve worked hard. I’m really proud of these guys, our coaches and players, but we got a long way to go to make that assessment.”
Gruden is clearly keeping his cards close to the vest due to the unprecedented offseason. However, the roster the team has compiled is almost without question the most talented he’s had. It’ll be up to him and the other coaches to utilize all that talent.
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Gruden Talks Rookie Starters
Gruden has been careful about praising his rookies too much this season. He doesn’t want to give his opponents any kind of help at all. The coach does believe the team is improving and is eager to see his top rookies perform.
“We’ve built a new team,” Gruden said. “We’re starting to see the products of our labor. We’re hoping that [Damon] Arnette, [Henry] Ruggs and [Bryan] Edwards are up to the challenge because Carolina is going to be a challenge.”
The Raiders will have three rookies starting in prominent positions. The Panthers are a rebuilding team but still have some strong talent. It will be very interesting to see how the rookies perform in their first action. If they perform well, the Raiders are in a really good spot.