A mini-vacation is a good reprieve for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders. A break from the daily NFL grind does both the body and mind good.
When the team reconvenes in a month for training camp in Napa, however, it’s imperative Gruden ramp up the attitude and maintain the same level-headed approach he’s shown in front of the media.
“We got a lot to prove yet, we’re a long way off. But we laid a very good foundation,” Gruden said during last week’s mandatory minicamp.
Gruden and his coaching staff did a tremendous job acclimating both new and familiar faces in the organization to the new style of Raiders football. Gruden is intent on bringing back a swagger in Oakland that would be more commonplace in the Attitude Era of the WWE. And, by all accounts, players both old and new are assimilating.
“We added a lot of new players and we felt we needed to do that — This roster needed help,” Gruden lamented. “And we helped ourselves. I think lot of these players came with very little signing bonus, some of them I think would pay for nothing and that’s the attitude we need here.”
But is Gruden’s style really “new” Raiders football? Yes, there are those hackneyed jokes about Gruden being so old-school and behind the times, yet …
“We need competition, depth, we need leadership and we need players,” Gruden said. “Hard tough football players and I think that’s what the Oakland Raiders franchise is built around.”
Hardass coach and his hardass Raiders? Did someone nab a flux capacitor, hop in the DeLorean, and take us back to 1998?
Let’s hit the Quick Slants!
- Former quarterback Rich Gannon was impressed with Derek Carr’s ability to soak in and retain Gruden’s system and terminology. Take notice of that. Gannon isn’t one to brown nose.
- Eyebrows raised when Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley missed the last two sessions of minicamp. Gruden said Conley tweaked his groin and will be ready in Napa.
- If Khalil Mack is missing in August — that’s the only time I’ll be concerned about the Raiders missing their best defensive player.
- Players going in motion and quarterbacks barking dummy calls is a godsend at Raiders camp. Not using either enough last year made Oakland look like dummies.
- Going from a 90-man roster down to 53 is going to be brutal. And it’s up to players to make that decision difficult for Gruden and company.
- Connor Cook is holding the No. 2 spot at quarterback but he’s been pretty scattershot. He’s made nice throws and awful ones for interceptions.
- Gruden realized just how athletic Jared Cook is a tight end and that’s a very good thing for the veteran.
- Love Gruden stating what we’ve seen so far is the Raiders “in shorts”. Training camp with pads on will be the defining moment for players.
Quote Of Note:
“I think the rookie out of Florida is a capable guy. He’s a capable guy. And I also think [Giorgio] Tavecchio, he’s not going to relinquish that job. But it’s going to be competitive, we’re going to try to stage some competitive drills, not only at the kicking position, but some of these young players they might get their eyes opened the first few days of pads.”
— Jon Gruden on the competition at kicker