Jon Gruden made headlines at the NFL Combine this week. It was largely due to his interview at the NFL Combine.
Gruden said he loves Raiders player Michael Crabtree and many more. The new head coach called out other former draft picks like Gareon Conley, Obi Melifonwu and others. He also knocked down GPS and said he wants to take football back.
Ultimately, it is really not important what Gruden said. He’s been on record saying most of what he already said including players he’s counting on, an emphasis on the strength of his coaching staff, his frustration with new rules and his happiness to be back coaching. The issue is that he keeps saying.
Gruden isn’t in the media anymore. It’s not his job to entertain or give quotes. His job is to win the Raiders games.
Jon himself has said that he hasn’t met many of the players on the roster who they will have to make decisions about. He’s also admitted that he has to catch up and get into the grind. He understand the business side of the NFL too.
The point is, Gruden is setting himself up to fail if he’s making promises he can not deliver. If he doesn’t know if a player will back, he shouldn’t say it. Gruden also shouldn’t promise featuring every single skill player and highlight that he wants to get them ball. They will look at him sideways if he can’t or doesn’t deliver.
That doesn’t look good to future rookies and free agents. Remember, the new players know Gruden more for his stint on Monday Night Football than his time on Oakland’s sideline. They will have to see him as a coach but that won’t be easy considering he’s moving from the outside. Not delivering on promises will kill Gruden’s credibility before he gains it.
Further, Gruden doesn’t need to make himself look anymore dated. Between the comments about GPS, analytics and gripes about the new rules, Gruden does not need to do anything else to make him seem out of touch. He’s going to keep seeming like the back in my dead head coach with anymore comments.
Ultimately, Gruden could be playing the media. He could make it seem like he is or is not talking to players, He could play coy like he is struggling to adapt to analytics, policies and technology. Gruden is just smarter than us all and making people underestimate him and the Raiders Otherwise, these are all facts and the Raiders have a long road ahead them.
Regardless, the point is Gruden doesn’t need to say anything. He doesn’t have to promise players camp auditions or more play calls. He doesn’t need to gripe about changes in polices or technology. He just needs to win games.
As much as I hated the coach speak from Jack Del Rio, Gruden’s quote vomiting brings its own issues. It is setting expectations for players and fans but Gruden hasn’t and can’t do anything about these words. Sure, its the offseasons and it is all fluff but that doesn’t mean Gruden has to buy in. If Gruden wants accountability and a tight-lipped culture he better set the example. We’ve all had enough of his Monday Night Football quotes. It’s to Just Win Baby