Emotions eventually won out. “I’m a real short-term, goal-oriented coach”. “This is a big effin’ deal”.
Davis summed up his thoughts on the matter pretty simply during his opening remarks: “Raider Nation, this is a big f’ng deal”. Before the press conference, Gruden’s agent, Bob LaMonte, said Gruden walked away from other lucrative coaching offers in part because he wanted to raise his sons.
“I can’t say enough about Jon and what he’s done”, McVay said, “and what he’s been able to teach me and kind of the way he put his arm around me and taught me this game”. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 and led the organization to its first Super Bowl title during his first season in charge.
As Marshawn Lynch departed the Oakland Raiders’ locker room for the final time this season, he was draped in Beast Mode gear with massive headphones covering his ears and what appeared to be a celebratory Swisher Sweet-type stogie dangling, unlit, from his mouth. “I don’t care how hard Derek has worked before, he’s going to have to change his work habits to fit in”. “I think with Greg Olson and the system we are going to put in place is going to demand a lot from him and I think that is what is going to unlock the greatness in him but very, very excited to have him as our quarterback”.
“I don’t know if anyone can match Jon’s intensity”.
“My frequent flyer miles between San Francisco and Tampa, did that (trip) maybe 15 times”, Davis said. He even found a favorite hotel and a quality Laundromat over an estimated 15 trips back and forth.
Gruden’s rapid hiring – first rumored before his predecessor, Jack Del Rio, had officially been fired – prompted some question whether the team complied with the NFL’s “Rooney Rule”, which mandates a team interview minority candidates for any head coaching opening. “Off the top of my head, probably yes”.
Known for his feisty sideline demeanor, Gruden admitted he has some “unfinished” business with the Raiders.
“I started to believe it because it was a different conversation than we’d had in the past”, Davis said. Can’t remember? Of course you can’t, because he never did.
Davis now has his man in Gruden, and wants this pact to work in the short and long term.
After agreeing to a massive $100 million contract that spans 10 years, Gruden will now have a chance to write a new ending with the Raiders.
Gruden made it clear that McKenzie would continue to be the team’s general manager and said personnel decisions would be a collaborative effort.
More than 110 media members were present, as well as 45-50 former players, including nine Hall of Famers in Jim Otto, Howie Long, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Ted Hendricks, Mike Haynes, Dave Casper, Willie Brown and James Lofton.
“All I know is this year I’m coaching in Oakland”, he said. If the National Football League eventually punishes Davis for not complying with the Rooney Rule and/or for improperly hiring Gruden, Davis will pay the parking ticket and move on.
Gruden, who has obviously been the lead voice of Monday Night Football for the past nine seasons, has been seeing the game from a bird’s eye view for almost a decade. “This is something I feel strongly about”.