The Las Vegas Raiders are ready to move on from Jon Gruden after the coach was forced to resign after a slew of racist, homophobic and sexist emails that the NFL obtained during an investigation into the Washington Football Team’s workplace culture. Gruden is likely to avoid the spotlight for the immediate future as his former team tries to salvage a once-promising season. However, the coach isn’t staying completely silent.
According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gruden had a simple message heading into the Raiders’ first game without him at the helm.
“Go Raiders,” Gruden wrote in a text message.
That was the first thing Gruden had to say since the statement he released after his resignation. He did touch on the decision to resign.
“I’ll get better from this,” Gruden added.
It was a short message from the coach but it’s clear he still wants to see the team that he helped build play well.
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Andre Rison Defends Gruden
While Gruden couldn’t do enough to save his job, there have been multiple people to come out and support him. Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Rison spent a year with the Raiders back in 2000 where he was coached under Gruden. He’s remained close with the coach ever since. He made it clear that he does not believe Gruden is a racist.
“We all say some things behind closed doors that we regret or we wouldn’t say in public,” Rison told TMZ Sports. “We’ve all made mistakes.”
“I believe who he said and what he said and who he intended it for, it was intended for that person and nobody else.”
Obviously, what’s done is done and Gruden isn’t coming back to coach the Raiders. However, Rison told Gruden to keep his head up no matter what happens.
“You’ve already given this game some of the best tutelage and best leadership that you could possibly give,” Rison said to Gruden. “So if you don’t ever touch the game again, don’t feel any type of way.”
“Go on with your life and enjoy it with the rest of the Gruden family.”
Rich Bisaccia Era Begins
Gruden is gone and he’s not coming back. The Raiders’ future at head coach remains murky but interim head coach Rich Bisaccia will certainly get his chance to audition the rest of the season. He’s well respected throughout the team and should be able to keep players focus amid all the turmoil. He’s hoping to keep his team composed heading into a game against a hated rival in the Denver Broncos.
“I feel like we are all going to take the field together and again, we will see what the process looks like as we go through the game,” Bisaccia said. “It’s certainly going to be new for me in that way. … So, we’ll see what happens but I’m not feeling really any different at this particular point.”
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The smartest guy in the room = Andre Rison