Jon Gruden had the perfect response to his massive contract


As team owner Mark Davis said to open the Tuesday press conference to introduce his new coach:

“Raider Nation, this is a big effing deal. Please welcome the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Mr. Jon Gruden.”

During the 40-minute press conference, Gruden answered questions about his motivation to coach again, how the Raiders can improve from their 6-10 record last season and, of course, about that massive 10-year, $100 million contract.

He was asked to confirm if that total was accurate and his response was classic Gruden.

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“I don’t have a guarantee to be alive in 10 years, just so people know,” the coach said.

He added: “Mark [Davis] has told me we’re not getting ownership of the team, so I’m happy to report that today.”

“I don’t really know the terms,” Gruden continued. “All I know is this year I’m going to be coaching in Oakland, next year I’m going to be coaching in Oakland, and I want to help deliver the best football team we can for the people here in Oakland.

“How long I stay here will be determined by how well we play.”

Gruden coached Oakland from 1998 to 2001 before being traded to Tampa Bay, where he won a Super Bowl in his first season — against the Raiders. He compiled a 95-81 record in 11 NFL seasons before he was fired in 2009. Since then, Gruden has worked has an analyst on “Monday Night Football.”

He was also asked about the challenge of living up to expectations with such a big contract.

“I know there’s a big bulls-eye on my chest,” Gruden said. “If people want to use that as incentive, so be it.

“I worked for Al Davis in 1998 — that was pressure. I was 34 years old. I’ve dealt with pressure before. I don’t really feel pressure. I love the excitement and the thrill of competition. I can’t worry about things I can’t control in that regard.”

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He added, “But I know people will want to step on me and beat me. That’s just how this league is.”

Gruden also announced that he hired his coordinators, including defensive coordinator Paul Guenther from the Bengals; offensive coordinator Greg Olson from the Rams, where he was quarterbacks coach; and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia from the Cowboys. Bisaccia was Gruden’s special teams coach when he was in Tampa Bay.

The press conference was filled with former Raiders including Howie Long, Charles Woodson and Jerry Rice.

Woodson asked: “All of us just want to know, Is there a no-trade clause in your deal?”

“There is a no-trade clause. I want to say this to you guys, all of you, it means the world to me that you’re here,” Gruden said, speaking to the Raider alumni in the crowd. “And you’re welcome, as long as I’m the head coach … all of you are welcome here. I want you guys to be a big part of this Raider organization and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your attendance here today.”

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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