Moving to Las Vegas seems unspeakable to Raiders coach Jon Gruden

Updated January 12, 2018 - 3:13 pm

Remember the old “Happy Days”on TV when Fonzie would try to apologize for being wrong, and he could only get out the first two letters?

That reminded me of Jon Gruden when he was reintroduced as the Raiders’ coach this week. He had trouble saying “Las Vegas” when asked about the Raiders moving here.

Not the right place for such a query, one surmises. Not the right time.

On the other hand, Gruden talked about Oakland as if it were Valhalla or Utopia and had a low crime rate. Which again was more predictable than Amari Cooper dropping a pass from Derek Carr.

It was Oakland where he made his coaching name; it was Oakland where one of his sons was born; it was Oakland where Raiders lineman Grady Jackson (or running back Harvey Williams) nicknamed him “Chucky.”

Said Gruden:

“Some of my great memories in life are of Oakland.”

And: “All I know is this year I’m going to be coaching in Oakland, and next year I’m going to be coaching in Oakland.”

And: “I want to help deliver the best football team we can for the people here in Oakland.”

And: “Big reason I’m here is my passion for the city of Oakland.”

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

And: “(Marshawn Lynch) came back to the Raiders for similar reasons, I think, that I did. I think he loves Oakland.”

To paraphrase another iconic TV sitcom: Marshawn, Marshawn, Marshawn! Oakland, Oakland, Oakland!

What about Las Vegas?

Gruden mentioned Las Vegas only once, when somebody asked about Raiders relocation. “Mark can talk about the move to Las Vegas,” he said, handing off to owner Mark Davis.

If Mark could talk about moving to Las Vegas, he didn’t.

Not the right place. Not the right time.

There were many old Raiders inside the weight room where they had the circus disguised as a news conference. No need to upset Ted Hendricks, whose nickname was “Mad Stork.” There were guys with spikes protruding from chain mail waiting to greet the new/old coach. No need to upset The Black Hole.

Gruden showed old intensity and new resolve. He said typical Gruden things, in typical Gruden style. He probably sold a few more seat licenses here, even if he wouldn’t mention us. You know he will say all the right things about Mayor Goodman and Steve Sisolak and Carrot Top at the appropriate time.

Would he discuss moving to Las Vegas in a less guarded moment, during the only one-on-one interview he gave to local media?

No. Not really.

The future can wait

“It’s two years away,” Channel 5’s Kevin Bolinger said after catching Gruden in Cover 2 defense. “But the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in 2020. What are your thoughts on the move and the city of Las Vegas as an NFL city, and as a Raiders city?”

Gruden stayed in the pocket. “Well, obviously, I think it’s an incredible place. Las Vegas.

“The Raiders are an incredible franchise, and so that combination has a chance to be something really exciting. But right now, I’m focused on Oakland. I’m focused on this year, this week and trying to deliver a championship to the Raiders right here in Oakland.”

Gruden rubbed an eye. Bolinger tried again.

“As they build a stadium, and they’re going to build a whole new practice facility, is that something you want to have your finger on in terms of what’s in there in Las Vegas, so you have the right tools …”

Gruden checked off to a secondary receiver.

“Las Vegas is gonna be spectacular, and the Raiders are going to make sure it’s gonna be spectacular. But when you’re me, the last thing you can think about is three years from now. Or two and a half years from now. In a couple of years, I can’t wait to see what it looks like, I really can’t. But in the meantime, I’m committed to the fans here in Oakland, and this Raider team coming up in 2018, so I’m just going to stay short-term goal oriented.”

At least Gruden didn’t tell Bolinger he was “W-r-zhhh … W-r-zhhh” — not exactly right — for asking about Las Vegas, a la The Fonz after suggesting Ralph Malph should join the Marines.

It might not have been the right place.

It might not have been the right time.

It might even be possible that Jon Gruden really wasn’t thinking of moving to Las Vegas.

But after he agreed to a backloaded contract that will pay him $100 million over 10 years — a deal even more lucrative given Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax and California’s is the highest in the country — you know his accountant is.

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

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski 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