weather icon Clear

Raiders mailbag: Jon Gruden’s potential feud with Tom Cruise

Updated August 23, 2018 - 3:24 pm

Want to be a part of the RJ Raiders mailbag? Send NFL writer Gilbert Manzano your Raiders questions and hot takes. Tweet him @GManzano24 or email gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Thank you to everyone who participated this week. Here’s the latest mailbag:

Let’s attempt to play out the scenario when movie star Tom Cruise first finds out about the random shots Raiders coach Jon Gruden took at him this week to defend his 10-year, $100 million contract.

It’s Monday morning and Cruise opens his laptop with a cup of coffee. He Googles himself to see the box office numbers for his latest Mission Impossible film titled “Mission: Impossible — Fallout.” Nice touch with the em dash.

Cruise, 56, pats himself on the back for another action movie that grossed more than $200 million worldwide. But then another story catches his attention. No, it’s not the one about Scientology.

He clicks on the TMZ story that reads, “Gruden insults Cruise for no apparent reason.”

After spitting his coffee, Cruise shouts: What did I ever do to that guy?

OK, maybe it didn’t go down like that, but Cruise has to be wondering why?

Here’s what Gruden told Peter King recently about his critics calling him overpaid:

“Well, I never thought Tom Cruise, never thought his movies were any good, but he’s making plenty of money. There’s a lot of things that I don’t understand. No disrespect to Tom Cruise. I’m sure he’s a great actor. But you know what? You just go about your life as hard as you can. You try to find something you love and you do the best you can at it. I never got into coaching for the money.”

Shots fired! Seriously, why, Chucky?

Remember when Gruden canceled the final training camp practice last week? He probably spent the day watching the new Mission Impossible film, and he did not leave the movie theater a happy camper.

We might never know why Gruden unleashed digs at the “Risky Business” star. But that won’t help Gruden shake the overpaid labels. He has to win games for the silver and black.

“The Raiders are not a good team and Gruden is overpaid,” Charles Adler said in an email. “If the Raiders think he is worth $10 million a year, then (Patriots’ Bill) Belichick, who I dislike, is worth $30 million.”

It’s way too early to judge Gruden’s historic coaching contract, but so far the players approve of him and his first draft class is off to a hot start during preseason. Only time will tell.

Let’s just hope Cruise is on the Los Angeles Rams’ sideline for the season opener against the Raiders on Sept. 10. Please don’t let this feud end.

How many running backs make the final 53 roster? — JChuck Mullaney (Facebook)

If a general manager is in need of a running back, he should camp in front of the Raiders’ headquarters. A reliable running back might be coming out soon with a box full of personal items.

The Raiders have a logjam with five talented running backs. It’s highly possible only four make the cut.

Marshawn Lynch is safe, of course. The competition is between Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren III.

This decision was probably made easier after Washington recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. He won’t play in Friday’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers and it’s unknown when he’ll return.

Washington has shown flashes of being a versatile back, but Gruden wants grinders and he gets that with the physical undrafted rookie Warren.

For some weird reason, Martin’s name never comes up when discussing cuts. He’s like the team’s secret weapon no one is allowed to mention.

Expect Lynch, Martin, Richard and Warren to be on the Raiders’ running back depth chart past the Sept. 1 cuts. Washington will be stopped by a general manager waiting in Alameda.

How many interceptions will Derek Carr throw this year? — Mike Padovani (Facebook)

Here are Carr’s interception numbers in his first four NFL seasons starting with his rookie year: 12, 13, 6, 13.

The year Carr only threw six interceptions was when he was an MVP candidate in 2016 and led the Raiders to the playoffs.

I’ll guess Carr throws 10 interceptions with most coming early in the season. He’s learning a new offense and will get a lot of responsibility at the line of scrimmage.

Ten picks might be low enough to keep Gruden happy.

There are other teams out there that are in worse shape — Steve Ahern (Email)

He’s gotta be talking about the secondary, right? It can’t get worse than last year’s unit that only managed five interceptions all year and none during the first 10 weeks.

There’s a lot of optimism for improvement, especially at cornerback with Gareon Conley and free-agent acquisition Rashaan Melvin.

I find it strange how confident the Raiders are with Conley producing at a high level this season after only appearing in two games his rookie year and was injured again during training camp.

The Raiders did the right move by adding insurance with signing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Wednesday. He can help if Conley or Melvin struggles, or move him to safety, which has a lot of question marks.

We’ll see how much this secondary has improved when they face Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a half on Friday.

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

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

Don't miss the latest Raiders news. Like our Vegas Nation page
Raiders Videos
Five Raiders to Watch on Offense in 2019
The Oakland Raiders finished 2018 last in the AFC West with a record of 4-12. With head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock attempting to steer the team into a winning season, the Review-Journal's Heidi Fang takes a look at five players that can help propel the team toward that goal. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
On a Short Field Raiders Leave Canada With a Thrilling 22-21 Win - VIDEO
After The CFL Goal-Post forced the game to be played using only 80 yards, the Raiders defeated the Green Bay Packers in Winnipeg 22-21. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders fend off Packers, win 22-21 - VIDEO
The Raiders moved to 3-0 in the preseason taking home a narrow 22-21 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The game winning field goal was hit by Daniel Carlson with just 8 seconds remaining in the game. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation Mailbag | August 22, 2019
The Review-Journal's Heidi Fang and Ed Graney are back for a new rendition of the Vegas Nation mailbag! Send in your Raiders questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Jon Gruden Does Not Think Raiders Are Distracted - VIDEO
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden talks about what he's looking for in the teams third preseason game Thursday in Winnipeg, also says he doesn't believe in the narrative of Hard Knocks and Antonio Brown distracting the team. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Antonio Brown Practices with Raiders in Alameda - VIDEO
Antonio Brown was once again present for the Raiders first practice of the season in Alameda and while he looked to be stretching on his own, he eventually practiced with the team after finding a helmet later on. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Antonio Brown Back With Raiders on Final Day of Training Camp - VIDEO
Wide Receiver Antonio Brown was back with the Raiders in Napa for the final day of Training Camp, just one day after General Manager Mike Mayock commented on Brown's status with the team. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vontaze Burfict talks defense, Paul Guenther details preseason strategy - VIDEO
Raiders Linebacker Vontaze Burfict describes his leadership on this years defense. Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther details his preseason strategy with new players and Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson talks about Derek Carr's growth. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mike Mayock comments on Antonio Brown's recurring absence from camp - VIDEO
General Manager Mike Mayock seemingly gave Antonio Brown an ultimatum after the receiver yet again disappeared from the teams training camp in Napa, CA. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Johnathan Abram On Moving to Las Vegas - Video
Raiders safety Johnathan Abram talks about the team moving to Las Vegas and how he is ready to bring his game to the desert in the new Allegiant Stadium.
Raiders Safety Johnathan Abram and Wife Bri'Anna On Being A Football Family - Video
Raiders safety Johnathan Abram and his wife Bri'Anna sit down to talk about being a football family and what it means for their daughter and how it changed their lifestyle.
Derek Carr talks receiver depth while rookie Josh Jacobs gets praise - VIDEO
After practice Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr talked about the current depth of the receiver position. Head Coach Jon Gruden and Wide Receiver Tyrell Williams had a lot of praise for rookie Running Back Josh Jacobs and his offensive versatility. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Potential grass Raiders will play on being tested out by stadium crew - Video
The Raiders have yet to decide which grass they will choose as the turf the team plays on when it comes to Las Vegas in 2020, but the testing process is already underway at Allegiant Stadium. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Vs. Cardinals Post Game Press conference
The Oakland Raiders came away with a preseason 33-26 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks to media after the game.
Raiders defense steps up in win over Cardinals - Video
The Oakland Raiders came away with a preseason 33-26 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Raiders beat writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal Myles Simmons discuss three takeaways from the win.
Vegas Nation Mailbag August 15, 2019
The Review-Journal's Heidi Fang and Ed Graney are back for a new rendition of the Vegas Nation mailbag! Send in your Raiders questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Derek Carr and Jon Gruden talk Antonio Brown Return - VIDEO
Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr talks to the media about Antonio Brown's return to Napa. Head Coach Jon Gruden talks roster cuts and Brown's appearance. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Training Camp Day 12 Wrap Up - VIDEO
Michael and Myles discuss Antonio Brown's surprise appearance at Raiders Training Camp. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Antonio Brown Full Press Conference - VIDEO
Raiders Wide Receiver Antonio Brown showed up late to Tuesday's practice in Napa, California and addressed his current situations in the Raiders press conference. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Preseason Game 1 Wrap Up - VIDEO
Heidi, Adam and Michael discuss everything that happened during the Raiders first and final preseason game in Oakland,CA (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jon Gruden talks preseason excitement, Peterman and Doss TD connection
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden talks about the competition and excitement of preseason games. Nathan Peterman and Keelan Doss talk about their touchdown connection in Doss' hometown. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raider Fans say HBO Hard Knocks got them pumped for the season
With the Oakland Raiders being featured on HBO's Hard Knocks, the Review-Journal's Heidi Fang asked fans at training camp in Napa what they thought about the team being on the show, how their team was portrayed and their reactions to what they saw. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jon Gruden Talks Plans for Saturday's Preseason Game - VIDEO
Best of the press conference after day 2 of joint Practices with the Los Angeles Rams from Napa, CA. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Training Camp Day 11: Day 2 of Joint Practice with the Rams - VIDEO
Adam and Michael discuss everything from the final day of practice before the first preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rams talk about skirmishes with the Raiders - Video
On the second day of the Los Angeles Rams and Oakland Raiders joint practices at training camp in Napa, skirmishes broke out between the teams. Rams coach Sean McVay, cornerback Marcus Peters and defensive tackle Aaron Donald talk about what happened on the field when push came to shove. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rams QB Jared Goff gives the Raiders some advice for Hard Knocks - VIDEO
After a joint practice at the Raiders NFL training camp in Napa, Rams quarterback Jared Goff gave some advice for the Raiders who are being featured on HBO's Hard Knocks. Running back Todd Gurley spoke about the Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs and head coach Sean McVay spoke about Lamarcus Joyner and Antonio Brown. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Training Camp LA Rams first joint practice - VIDEO
The Oakland Raider had their first joint practice with the La Rams before Saturdays first NFL preseason matchup. The Review-Journal's Michael Gehlken and Adam Hill breakdown recap the days practice.
Raider The Dog - Video
Raider The Dog gave a demonstration of his suspect apprehension abilities at Raiders Training Camp after practice in Napa. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best of Sound Day 9
The best of Jon Gruden's press conference after day 9 of Raiders Training Camp from Napa, CA
Wrap Up Day 9 - VIDEO
Adam and Michael wrap up day 9 of Raiders Training Camp from Napa,CA before the first episode of HBO's Hard Knocks airs.
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
Raiders Topping Ceremony of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas - Video
The Raiders held a topping ceremony in Las Vegas where the last beam to connect the last roof truss was hoisted into the stadium frame. The team also announced their naming rights partner, Allegiant Air. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Day 8 Wrap Up - VIDEO
Michael and Adam wrap up day 8 of Raiders Training Camp from Napa, CA
A look at the Raiders headquarters under construction in Henderson
Don Webb, chief operating officer of the LV Stadium Co., gives the Review-Journal a tour of the Raiders headquarters under construction in Henderson. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts views Las Vegas stadium as opportunity
MGM Resorts International intends to offer tailgating experiences at its resorts before and after events at Raiders stadium. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mayock discusses signing Incognito
Raiders GM Mike Mayock speaks to media regarding the team signing Richie Incognito.
Raiders-Packers bets stand despite field being shortened

Several sportsbook directors said they had no specific rules posted for an adjusted length of the field, meaning all bets made before the announcement stood as wagered.

Raiders’ Johnathan Abram misses Popeyes

Living in the Bay Area is much more expensive than back home in Mississippi, the Abrams said. It’s also harder to find southern comfort food, like a Popeye’s stocked with chicken wings.

5 things to watch: Raiders vs. Packers

Five storylines for the Raiders’ NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers tonight at IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.