Jon Gruden welcomed back to Raiders 16 years after exit

This time around, the former Raiders coach who got away - okay, he was shipped off in a trade with Tampa Bay - was ready to return.

This strictly was about Jon Gruden reuniting with the Oakland Raiders, and that's how he wanted it in his return to coaching.

We're talking, of course, about the famous "Tuck Rule" game: the New England Patriots' improbable 2001 AFC divisional-round win over the Raiders in overtime, aided by a controversial call that ruled Brady's fumble an incomplete pass. There's no doubt the game has changed since Gruden's last coaching stint ended with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. "This is the organization that I want to be a part of, and I'm all in".

"I just, in my heart, feel this is the thing I want to do", he said. "I really haven't. I'm not a real deep philosophical person". This is something I feel deeply, strongly about and I'm going to do everything I can to hire a great coaching staff and put the Raiders back on track. It's been a while since we've consistently performed at a high level ...

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"I think he has a character like Bill Walsh-he can be your best friend or your worst enemy", he said.

Well, you might say "but, he's won a Super Bowl!" "I'm going to do everything I can to help this team get right again".

"I felt confident he was all in", Davis said of Gruden.

Barlow played in the National Football League for seven seasons, his final two with Gruden and the Buccaneers. Showed him pacing on the Raiders sideline, giving speeches in the Raiders locker room, yelling at Raiders players, scowling at the camera, eyes bugging out of his head. This was a moment six years in the making, the conclusion of a quest started shortly after Mark took control following owner Al Davis' death.

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And while the team is moving to Las Vegas in a couple of years from now, Gruden says he's excited to see his friends in the Black Hole again and make this team a victor here. Jon Gruden definitely got his hype video. Davis said. "And by far, to get Jon Gruden was the toughest". He was the primary color analyst for ESPN's "Monday Night Football" before accepting the Oakland job for the second time.

That the union of Carr to Jon Gruden, in the mind of the guy who is paying each an exorbitant amount of money, has been brewing for some time. It followed a 12-4 record in 2016 that produced the franchise's first playoff appearance since 2002.

The Raiders had major drops in scoring (26 to 18.8), yards per game (373.3 to 324.1) and committed twice as many turnovers (14 to 28) this season as Carr took a major step back in his development after signing a $125 million, five-year extension in the offseason. It's possible, but we know Gruden will tailor a system to the players as opposed to forcing assets into a cookie-cutter offensive system. I think with Greg Olson and the system we're going to put in place, it's going to demand a lot from him and I think that's what is going to unlock the greatness in him. "But I'm very, very excited to have him as our quarterback". "But you need a coach that's going to keep you focused, and Jon Gruden is that type of coach".

According to Gruden, he doesn't anticipate agreeing with everyone but intends to work with decision-makers in the building including McKenzie who still holds the general manager position. I just want to give him everything he needs to be successful.

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  • Jill Young