One of the bigger questions surrounding the Oakland Raiders giving Jon Gruden a second chance to guide their team is how his aggressive, in-your-face coaching style will work with the players.
In particular, one player: Quarterback Derek Carr.
‘I think he has natural leadership and passion to be a great player‘
Gruden met Carr for the first time Tuesday, when Gruden was introduced as the Raiders’ new coach after agreeing to a 10-year contract worth $100 million, and he can’t wait to get to work on doing all he can to help Carr get the most out of his talent.
“I’m really excited,” Gruden told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “He’s got all the things you’re looking for. He’s young, he’s athletic, he has outstanding arm talent. I think he has natural leadership and passion to be a great player. We’ve just got to put more on his plate. We’ve got to demand more from him at the line of scrimmage and he’s got to become a CEO-type quarterback like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, take a lot of ownership of our football.”
‘I’m going to try to create competition in the drills, on the roster and in every period of practice‘
Gruden, who coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002 to 2008 (winning a Super Bowl in his first season with the Bucs), acknowledges that he brings plenty of emotion to his job. He stressed, however, that it is reflected as much in support as it is in anger or frustration.
“I’m sure I have a reputation for being a screamer and a yeller at players, I guess, but I’m also a big-time cheerleader,” Gruden said. “I want these guys to be successful and I want an urgency to get better. And, look, I’m going to try to create competition in the drills, on the roster and in every period of practice. And, hopefully, it brings out the best in people.
‘I don’t think my coaching style is going to be a negative, but it might be an adjustment to some‘
“That’s what the NFL, that’s what playing team sports is all about. I don’t think my coaching style is going to be a negative, but it might be an adjustment to some.”
Gruden, who until last weekend was ESPN’s analyst for Monday Night Football, has learned plenty about the NFL in the nine years he has spent away from the sidelines.
‘You don’t see a lot of split-safety coverages anymore‘
“I’ve learned a lot, no doubt,” he said. “The proliferation of the shotgun, the running game, the quarterback runs, the way people are playing defense. You don’t see a lot of split-safety coverages anymore.
“(In broadcasting) you have plenty of time to study the game with coaches on other teams. You never get that opportunity when you’re a coach. So now I’m locked down. I don’t get access to anybody else anymore and I got to work hard with (Raiders General Manager) Reggie McKenzie and our scouting staff, and we’ve got to lock the doors and get to work.”
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