Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Las Vegas Raiders have had to change and adapt to a unique situation this offseason.
All American professional sports came to a screeching halt back in March. Nonetheless, business had to continue for the NFL. The draft came and went without incident featuring a live web format. There was no live spectacle aside from player’s reactions in their homes in response to their selections. The Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden have had to adjust in an extraordinary offseason. Unable to hold live camps or workouts, Gruden has had to shift gears using modern technology. He recently opened up about this.
Zoom, Zoom, Then More Zoom
Gruden recently spoke with Jerry McDonald of the Mercury News, the coach filled us in regarding the offseason.
The coach acknowledged that Zoom, a video telephony service, is keeping his team together via virtual meetings. “We just got done with a two-hour meeting with the guys. Now we’re getting ready for our next meeting. We Zoom and we Zoom and we Zoom.” While it may seem like a repetitive or redundant process, Gruden and all other coaches have had to adjust and find ways to build and maintain team chemistry. At this point, it’s important to point out Gruden’s low key. He said that current circumstances have forced him to change his approach for the moment.
“To be honest I’ve just been low key. I’m not saying much. Football is kind of not as important right now to anybody given the circumstances. So I’ve just kind of been under the radar trying to get my team ready to go, get our coaches ready to go, and try to be respectful of the rules. All of these rules. It’s nuts.”
Amid the restrictions that have developed as a result of the pandemic, Gruden is challenged with adjusting the team’s offseason. Any sense of normalcy is welcomed and the coach referred to this as well.
“It’s important that we try to keep things as normal as possible when it comes to football. We still have to teach a lot of new players our system and we still have to try and bring a lot of new people together and form some camaraderie some how, some way. It’s hard to do. It’s challenging.”
People Have To Adapt
Nothing can replicate on-field exercises and play simulation Still, the Raiders have to keep moving forward despite current events. As Gruden pointed out, team camaraderie is more important than ever and while it’s challenging, all NFL teams are doing the same thing. Environmental changes force people to adjust and Gruden has been no exception, this was the same coach that once said, “I’m trying to throw the game back to 1998… I’m not going to rely on modern technology.” That’s quite the contrast in philosophies now.
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*Top Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images