The Oakland Raiders have put the future of the franchise in the hands of golden-haired Jon Gruden, paying the former ESPN analyst $100 million over 10 years to bring the silver and black back to prominence. Will he? Well, that’s complicated, just like his relationship with analytics.
It’s already becoming quite clear, however, that he’ll do it his own way and provide plenty of entertainment along the journey. NFL.com’s Mike Silver cracked into the coach’s unique brain in this lengthy profile, and now the world has this wonderful bit of media criticism.
Here’s the Raiders coach on his quarterback, Derek Carr.
“Oh, I’m so worried (about our relationship),” Gruden said, in mock horror. “I mean, come on. Who was worried? Does anybody (who expressed concern) know me or him? God — I did 60 quarterback shows (while working for ESPN). This is my favorite guy. How can you not love that guy? He makes me feel like a better person, just being around him.
“Look, I’m not gonna say all the quarterbacks I’ve coached have liked me. I’m not gonna say I’ve liked all the quarterbacks I’ve had, either. Let’s be real. It’s a two-way street. I’m not gonna get into all that. But, you know, everyone was worried, and it’s a big story. It’s a good story for Bleacher Report or Bloomin’ Onion or whatever these people are called … But come on. He’s a great player. We’re just trying to get everyone around him to play at his level.”
Surely there’s something more on-brand for Gruden than to confuse a satirical website with a chain restaurant appetizer, but it’ not coming to me right now. And don’t sleep on the backhanded burn of equating Bleacher Report with a hilarious, yet still-devoted-to-fake-news outlet.
Also presumably included in the coach’s media diet? The Beef Lead, Sporks Illustrated, Yoo-hoo! and, for the latest celebrity news, BLT Sports.