Mark Dominik isn’t the least bit surprised to learn the Oakland Raiders have called a press conference Tuesday to introduce Jon Gruden as their new head coach.
Dominik knows Gruden, who had a previous stint with the Raiders, well. They worked together in Tampa Bay, when Gruden was the coach of the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl-winning team and Dominik was their director of pro personnel before eventually becoming their general manager.
‘Having been around him and just watched him in terms of how passionate he was about ball that it was going to be a lot harder for him to walk away forever’
“You knew that there was an itch there,” Dominik said while co-hosting the SiriusXM Blitz with Bruce Murray. “I’ve always known that with Jon and having been around him and just watched him in terms of how passionate he was about ball that it was going to be a lot harder for him to walk away forever. And I think watching his brother (Jay) coach (the Washington Redskins) and now his son (Deuce, the Redskins’ strength coach) could possibly be on his staff, which would be really cool. I’m not surprised.”
Nor is Dominik the least bit shocked by reports of some of the potential other assistant coaches Gruden could be hiring in Oakland. They, too, have connections with him.
‘People he’s familiar and comfortable with, he’s surrounded himself already with as the reports and the beliefs are out there’
“I’m starting to see some of the names of people that he’s worked with before, whether it’s (Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach) Greg Olson as a possible offensive coordinator, whether it’s (Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator) Rich Bisaccia as the special teams coordinator,” Dominik said. “People he’s familiar and comfortable with, he’s surrounded himself already with as the reports and the beliefs are out there. So not a big surprise. I am excited to see this.”
Dominik scoffs at speculation that Gruden might have problems meshing with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. If anything, he sees both parties benefitting from their impending union.
‘I think Carr is exactly what Gruden would like as a head coach’
“I don’t know who’s all been out there saying they’re concerned about the relationship between Carr and Gruden and it may not work,” Dominik said. “I think Carr is exactly what Gruden would like as a head coach. I think Carr is a very strong Type-A personality. Guess what? So is Jon, but I don’t think that’s going to make them ever work against it. He’s going to love having Coach Gruden challenge him, and Carr’s the kind of kid that I can handle the intense pressure that Gruden puts on you, just like Rich Gannon did. Extremely competitive internally, yet mentally capable to understand that, ‘Coach is just trying to get the best out of me. He’s not trying to ruin me or he’s not trying to tick me off today.’
“And, instead, if you take it the right way, Coach can really bring out the best in just about anybody. He did with Brad Johnson.”
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