Raiders head coach Jon Gruden praises Patriots at NFL Combine
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
Jon Gruden, once again the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, always has the Tuck Rule in the back of his mind. But that still won't stop him from talking glowingly about the Patriots.
Gruden, who got an inside look at how many NFL franchises are run as part of his Monday Night Football job with ESPN, says he learned a lot from his trips to Gillette Stadium and says he really envies the franchise.
“Man, I’m envious of the Patriots,” Gruden said. “I really am.”
“They don’t care how they beat you either,” he said. “They’re not afraid to use the 60 minute clock to beat you in the final seconds and they’re not afraid to blow you out either…It’s just a pleasure to watch them adapt every year to the new rules and to the new men on their roster and on their coaching staff. It all starts with Belichick and Tom Brady, certainly, but the people behind the scenes there deserve a lot of credit.”
The Patriots and Raiders will not meet in the regular season for at least another year or two. It's certainly possible that they could play each other in the playoffs if Gruden is able to turn Oakland back around.
While he wants to take an old-fashioned approach, he is definitely no slouch of a coach. He won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002. However, it will remain to be seen how much ignoring analytics and some of the other evolutionary elements of the sport will work for him.
“I still think that doing things the old fashioned way is a good way and we’re going to try to lean the needle that way a little bit,” Gruden said.
Give him this - he certainly isn't afraid to be bold.