As Jon Gruden wrapped up the first training camp since his return to head-coaching after nine years away from the sidelines, he’s certain of one thing.
The practice hours logged by his Oakland Raiders are second to none in the NFL. Now, he hopes that will translate well once they begin playing games that count.
‘We got a lot of work done’
“I believe repetition is the mother of learning, so I think the Raiders will get the title of the most reps in training camp this year,” Gruden told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan during the SiriusXM NFL Radio training-camp tour stop at Raiders camp in Alameda, Calif. “We got a lot of work done. We got a lot of reps for a lot of players, covered a lot of situations, came together as a team and worked hard and backed it up, and I’m proud of our staff and team for doing that.”
Gruden believes in placing heavy emphasis on fundamentals and techniques in his team’s drills.
‘We think outside the box’
“And every drill, we believe, is based on two things: what the kid needs to work on and what happens most in a game,” the coach said. “We’ve got quarterbacks throwing balls with no laces because sometimes they don’t get them. So we think outside the box. We try to come up with some drills that are based on those two things and we really give the coaches time to teach it, because what you see on film is what you coach and we’re hoping some of these things show up and help us win.”
When the Raiders hired Gruden, there was plenty of discussion about how his high-intensity coaching style would mesh with quarterback Derek Carr. So far, so good, according to Gruden.
‘(Derek Carr’s) got a lot of legitimate questions, he’s got a lot of ideas’
“It’s a pleasure to coach him,” Gruden said. “It’s a challenge to coach him. The man is the first guy in the meeting room, he’s the last guy to leave. I know you hear it all the time, but that’s the reality with Carr. (He asks), ‘Where’s the tip sheet? What do you got for me? What do you got for me? How are we handling the Corner Cat this week? How are we doing that Thirty-three Diamond look when Gunther stems to it?
“He’s got a lot of legitimate questions, he’s got a lot of ideas, he’s very creative. He sees the field. That’s what I love about him. You can get on the chalk board and show all these videos, have all these walk-throughs, but the reality is when the game starts, he sees the field as good as any guy in football and for that season, we’ve got a chance.”
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