He’s a Super Bowl winning coach. A beloved television football analyst and one of the most recognizable faces in the sports world. All eyes will be on Jon Gruden as he retakes his spot on an NFL sideline this fall. Famous for his quarterback camps and exuberant descriptions of players and football x’s and o’s, Gruden hasn’t coached in a while and it’ll be interesting to see what he does in Oakland.
The former Raiders coach is back with the team that couldn’t wait to get rid of him many years ago. He takes over a team that disappointed in 2018, following a small taste of success under Jack Del Rio. With the team’s defense suspect, oddsmakers have not given the Raiders a strong NFL betting chance of making the postseason, pegging it at -190 that they won’t qualify for the postseason. In fact, it’s -130 that Gruden’s troops will finish with under 9 wins on the season.
In speaking with a former player of his recently, it was brought to my attention that Gruden’s style can really wear thin on the players. He exhibits and demands an incredible amount of intensity, which isn’t always warranted or wanted over a grueling 17-week season plus playoffs.
At 28-1 Super Bowl odds, Oakland is not expected to contend this year. Gruden’s only hope? That he’s the perfect quarterback whisperer for Derek Carr, able to resurrect his career and help the QB live up to his potential. If the Raiders can outscore opponents by putting up multiple 30-point games in 2018, then Jon’s boys have a shot at the playoffs. After all, it’s not like the Chiefs or Broncos or Chargers are favored to win the Super Bowl either.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He’s also a contributor to ESPN 101.3 Plattsburgh/Burlington. Follow him @MatthewWords.