Gruden returns to Raiders sideline he ‘never wanted to leave’

Updated January 9, 2018 - 7:20 pm

ALAMEDA, Calif. — One hundred fifteen media members were credentialed for a news conference that drew “Event Parking” signs outside Raiders headquarters.

About 50 retired Raiders players attended. Fifteen fans held signs near the facility’s entrance.

Around 8:30 a.m., one fan said, Jon Gruden autographed his sign, which read, “Welcome back Chucky” in black marker.

Not just another news conference.

Not just another coach.

“Raider Nation” owner Mark Davis said seconds before Gruden took stage: “This is a big f-ing deal.”

Gruden formally was introduced to the public Tuesday. There was less a sense of a 54-year-old man being hired for a job but rather an overdue reunion and even prodigal coach’s return. Gruden made his first comments about his arrival since ending a nine-year tenure Saturday as an ESPN analyst to sign a 10-year, $100 million contract with the NFL team.

He initially joined the franchise in 1998 at age 34. He remained there through the 2001 season before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gruden won a Super Bowl the next year over the Raiders. He hasn’t coached in the league since 2008.

“I never wanted to leave the Raiders,” Gruden said. “I never thought I’d be back. … I feel a lot of unfinished business. I feel a lot of loyalty, and I feel a lot of responsibility to get the Raiders going again. It’s been awhile since we consistently performed at a high level, and that’s really all I care about.”

Gruden said he will call offensive plays from the sideline, a role he’s held in the past. He also confirmed the hirings of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, offensive coordinator Greg Olson and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. More interviews will be Wednesday morning, Gruden said.

This was a long time coming for Davis.

He attempted more than once to lure Gruden back onto the Raiders’ sideline. That included leading up to the 2014 hiring of coach Jack Del Rio, whom Davis fired Dec. 31 after a 6-10 season to add Gruden.

Davis’ father, Al Davis, died Oct. 8, 2011. Shortly afterward, his son addressed reporters.

“I said the one thing I know is what I don’t know, and I’m going to surround myself with the people that do know those things,” Mark Davis said. “My vision at that time was Jon Gruden to coach this football team and (general manager) Reggie McKenzie to bring in the talent. It took me six years of chasing Jon.

“But every trip I made to Tampa Bay, I sat down in the Fired Football Coaches Association room and saw the work that Jon does every day starting at 3 in the morning. Watching film. Marking down plays. How much he enjoys it. And over the six years that passion never waned. He’s continually doing it, and I continually tried to convince him that he’s wasting his time teaching everybody out here how to play football, that he should come back and that he should do it with a football team in the National Football League, and if he’s gonna do it, he should do it with the Raiders.”

Added Davis: “It is the biggest day of my life right now to have him here to run this organization and be the leader of this organization on the field. It’s going to be phenomenal. I’m excited.”

Raiders alumni who attended the ceremony included two Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receivers under Gruden — Tim Brown and Jerry Rice — and retired defensive back Charles Woodson.

In a moment of levity, Woodson asked Gruden if his contract includes a no-trade clause. It does, Gruden said.

Gruden’s introduction was inside the team’s weight room to account for the large number of people who attended. There were 230 chairs with a standing section for 25 video cameras.

Before hiring Gruden, the Raiders interviewed two minority candidates to be compliant with the Rooney Rule, McKenzie said. They were Southern California offensive coordinator Tee Martin and Raiders tight ends coach Bobby Johnson.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Las Vegas Morning Update — Sunday, July 8
The Raiders team is secretive about tickets, and the new Miss Nevada is Alexis Hilts.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Analysis of Raiders Stadium Construction Site
Review-Journal sports reporter Ed Graney and business reporter Rick Velotta go over the recent updates on the Raiders stadium and owner Mark Davis serving food to construction workers.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Friday, June 29, 2018
The Resort on Mount Charleston has sold, Raiders owner Mark Davis throws a barbecue, and a Las Vegas woman found dead was a police informant.
Vegas Nation: Gruden Gives "Final Exams"
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders improvement throughout training and how Gruden has been pushing the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Deciding On Opening Day Kicker
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken and Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney go over he Raiders choosing an opening day kicker and Doug Martin's potential.
Vegas Nation: Mandatory Mini Camp
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Raiders beat writer Micheal Gehlken and Review-Journal sports writer Ed Graney go over day one of the Raiders mini camp.
Vegas Nation: Derrick Johnson standing out at OTAs
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders OTAs and how the team is adjusting to new coaching style of head coach Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Week Two Of OTA's
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the start of week two of the Raiders OTA's.
Vegas Nation: NFL Owners Meeting Day 2
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the NFL owners meeting.
Las Vegas Stadium construction site drone footage
The Raiders set up a drone at the Las Vegas Stadium construction site on May 20, 2018.
Las Vegas Stadium Milestones
Las Vegas Stadium Milestones as of May 16, 2018.
Vegas Nation: NFL Owners Meeting Day 1
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the NFL owners meeting.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Participate In First Day Of Practice
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders first day of practice.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Minicamp
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over the Raiders minicamp and questions surrounding the Raiders picking defensive lineman Maurice Hurst from Michigan.
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Jon Gruden Talk About Mini Camp
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Jon Gruden go over the Raiders Mini camp.
Reggie McKenzie On Final Day Of NFL Draft
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talks about the Raiders final draft picks.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Final Draft Picks
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Review-Journal reporter Gilbert Manzano go over the last day of the draft pick for the Raiders.
Gruden On Day Two Of Nfl Draft Picks
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden discusses the teams second day draft picks.
Raiders trade again, draft DT P.J. Hall and OT Brandon Parker
Raiders trade again and draft DT P.J. Hall and OT Brandon Parker. The team moved back again Friday, this time exchanging the No. 41 overall pick for the No. 57 selection. It then selected former Sam Houston State defensive tackle P.J. Hall. The Raiders parted with No. 75, trading up 10 spots to select former North Carolina A&T offensive tackle Brandon Parker.
Gruden On Bryant Joining Raiders, Bryant On What He Has Left To Prove
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks about what Bryant will bring to the Raiders and Bryant talks about what he has left to prove.
Gruden, Miller On First Round Pick
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and first round pick Kolton Miller talk about the NFL draft first round pick for the Raiders.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium can help economic boom, expert says
Study after study has concluded that stadiums aren’t effective economic development drivers. But a leading urban growth researcher says Orlando and Las Vegas are exceptions because of the strength of their regions’ tourism economies. The Raiders are building a 65,000-seat, $1.8 billion indoor stadium at Interstate 15 and Russell Road using $750 million of public money authorized by the Nevada Legislature. Las Vegas has a leg up on many cities, because it has an airport at which business people can catch a nonstop flight to virtually any domestic destination. Panelist Cathy Tull, chief marketing officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the presence of out-of-town media for playoff games featuring the Vegas Golden Knights has given the city media mentions that money can’t buy. Another issue receiving the panel’s attention is the need for mass transit with all the teams, venues and anticipated visitation they will generate. Panelists also discussed the prospect of attracting big events like the Super Bowl, the NFL draft and NCAA tournaments.
Reggie Mckenzie On Raiders First Draft Pick
Raiders general manager Reggie Mckenzie on Raiders first draft pick.
Vegas Nation: First Round NFL Draft Pick
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal writer Gilbert Manzano and Raiders beat writer Michael Gelhken go over the first round of the NFL draft picks and the Raiders choices.
Vegas Nation: NFL Draft preview
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken breakdown the Raiders offseason moves as well as what they could be looking at in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Wide Receiver
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the wide receiver position for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Raiders secondary
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the Raiders secondary for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Running Back position
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the running back position for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Join Vegas Nation for NFL Draft updates
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken will provide updates about everything surrounding this year's NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: NFL Draft: Defensive Line
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken discuss the defensive line and what can happen in the 2018 NFL Draft.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like