"Obviously this is very emotional for me". "It will be fun, but he's a great coach and you see why Oakland is so excited about being able to get him back to the Raiders". "I don't care how hard Derek has worked before, he's going to have to change his work habits to fit in". "But here I am, I'm ready to get to work".
On Wednesday, Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group passed along comments from Rice, who played one season under Gruden during the coach's first stint in Oakland, about the importance of buying into his approach in order to succeed. Gruden initially coached the Raiders from 1998-2001.
Since he was shipped to Tampa, Oakland has gone 92-164 (.359) with two playoff appearances - including the first year following Gruden's departure, when his Buccaneers beat the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. "You know, I was at a point in my life where I wanted to be with my family".
Morton started his coaching career from 2002-04 with the Raiders, as an offensive assistant and tight ends coach.
"I have a lot to prove", Gruden acquiesced.
The Raiders, under Jack Del Rio at the time, had just lost five of six games. Sure, the chance to win, love of the game, etc., were all part of it, but the primary difference between this opportunity and all the others that he's had over the years is the contract that Raiders owner Mark Davis gave him, which is a reported 10-year, $100 million deal.
McKenzie said the Raiders interviewed Bobby Johnson, Oakland's tight ends coach for the past three seasons, and Tee Martin, now the offensive coordinator at USC. He struggled to a 15-33 record in the Big Easy, with his tenure perhaps best known for the trade of an entire draft's worth of picks (plus first- and third-rounders the next year) for the right to draft running back Ricky Williams fifth overall in 1999.
That's why everything about this feels like it is more about business than ball. I think he's got a huge upside.
Questions about Gruden's "control" should be answered tomorrow when the Raiders introduce Gruden at team headquarters in Alameda. It's about the people, it's about the staff, it's about the tempo that we establish as a coaching staff.
On Monday, BetDSI.eu released next year's Super Bowl odds on the Raiders, lining them at 20/1. With the return of Jon Gruden, Davis is rewriting the wrong's of his late father Al Davis. "We have to be more consistent, we have to stop making the little mistakes".