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Jon Gruden having difficulty seeing Raiders in Las Vegas, but believes his old team will step up this year

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Former Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, right, now an ESPN broadcaster, greets denizens of the Black Hole. D. Ross Cameron/Staff)

Former Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, right, now an ESPN broadcaster, greets denizens of the Black Hole. D. Ross Cameron/Staff)

Jon Gruden said he gets a little emotional thinking about the future of the Raiders, but he likes what he sees in the present.

The former Raiders coach and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst was asked during a national conference call Tuesday what he thought about the idea of the franchise residing in Las Vegas.

“The Las Vegas Raiders? I don’t know, man, that’s hard for me to imagine,” Gruden said. “The Oakland Raiders have a real place in my heart. I’d hate to see ’em leave. I love where they are. I love the tradition of the Raiders. I’m tearing up right now thinking about them moving, but I certainly understand their situation and I hope it all works out for ’em.

“If Las Vegas was to acquire the rights to the Oakland Raiders, that would certainly, I think, be interesting.”

Gruden is excited to have the Raiders as part of the Monday Night Schedule on Nov. 21 in Mexico City against the Houston Texans and believes that by then his former team may have established itself as a playoff contender.

“This is the year for them to take a giant step forward,” Gruden said. “I mean, there’s a quarterback transition in Denver, and the Broncos have lost some key players. Kansas City’s had some injuries. I think the slate is pretty clean right now in the AFC West and it’s about time that Oakland backs it up.”

Gruden talked of the Raiders strength in key positions and position groups.

“Derek Carr’s got some weapons. You’ve got to love (Amari) Cooper, you’ve got (Michael) Crabtree. I think (Clive) Walford is coming on,” Gruden said. “Most importantly, they’ve solidified the offensive line. They bring in Hudson, they bring in (Kelechi Osemele), the guard from the Ravens . . . Donald Penn, my old guy from Tampa, this is a salty group.

“They’ll run the rock with (Latavius) Murray, and have Khalil Mack, one of the best closers in the fourth quarter. I even see (Sebastian) Janikowski’s still kicking. Hell, I drafted Janikowski. You can see I get excited talking about the Raiders. This ought to be a good year for ’em.”

Gruden has high regard for Carr, whom he had on his “Jon Gruden’s QB Camp” series in 2014.

“Carr broke all of my cameras,” Gruden said. “We had a little camera, right in the bull’s eye, he hit the bull’s eye three times in a row and we couldn’t film any more of the shoot.”

Gruden said Carr’s passing skills exceed anything he saw out of the 2016 draft, including top pick Jared Goff and No. 2 Carson Wentz.

“I don’t think there’s anybody in this draft that throws like Carr,” Gruden said. “He’s one of those guys that comes down the pike every so often. It’s time, I think, for him to take the next step.”

Sean McDonough, who replaces Mike Tirico as the lead announcer and Gruden’s broadcast partner, said he got a good scouting report from his brother Terry, who is vice president of player personnel for the Arizona Cardinals.

“Oakland is definitely the trendy pick to be a team that will take a big step forward, and I think they will,” McDonough said. “They played Arizona at the beginning of the preseason, I talked to Terry after the game and he just echoed what people have been saying, that Oakland has a lot of talent and he thinks they’re going to have a terrific year.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • BABY AL

    50 yr old Nedney?

  • DahlerStore

    Alright dammit, somebody call Big Reg & JDR – Carr is a no show until NOLA.

  • it’s on Jack and the boys now.

  • Raider Bren

    Released by Titans, didn’t see him play.

  • Titans third or fourth stringer

  • never heard of him. if he’s so great, why is he available?

  • BABY AL

    Michael Gehlken ‏@sdutGehlken
    WR James Jones joined Chargers after camp started. Couldn’t get comfortable in offense. Was released today. @annieheilbrunn first reported.

  • BroJackson34

    Murray is huge man!!! lol (pic) In all seriousness, these boys are hugemangenous beastly wall men.

  • 24
  • A meh RB

  • Nuevo posto

  • Rifflicks

    5’11” 229…….not big enough to be the Hammer the Raiders really need

  • 24

    Captain Jack better get these swash bucklers ready.

  • Fugazi

    And I released him right after the Chargers did

  • Rifflicks

    yeah…..a clown from the funny papers….your posts do him justice

  • BroJackson34

    The anti Murray. lol

  • 24

    Notice running up the middle actually works with Washington?

  • BroJackson34

    Exactly the reason why I’d try to trade Murray for a team that’s desperate for a RB.

  • inonewordraider

    Thats one side of the story, the other is castro made sure everyone had free education and healthcare, opened shelters for the elderly sick and poor, and allowed so you could only own so much land so everyone could own their own land. Castro then traded with russia venezuela amongst other countries becoming an economy on the rise but our cia funded military groups to combat castro, allowed refugees to enter the us which made cuba lose some of their best and brightest, imposed trade embargos so others couldnt trade with them and even tried to assassinate castro for what? Dont tell me it was because he was a ruthless dictator when in fact we supported dozens of ruthless dictators that have our business interests in mind

  • 24

    Well…I don’t want to be thin at RB again. It doesn’t hurt to have all 3. Lets ride the last year of his contract and then add another guy next year.

  • ForHundred8

    Guy can take a hit!

  • DQ202

    If Vegas approves the stadium, they’re gone!

  • Murray isn’t in that photo.

  • Raider Phil

    I was in Vegas a couple weeks ago, wearing my Raider gear. I got quite a bit uhhoo rahhs & go Raiders, it was fun. Talking to people in the casinos, cab drivers, & people in the town they like the idea of the Raiders coming. Some spoke of other evens that a dome stadium near down town would provide, not only for the college team, concerts, rodeo, moto cross etc: I think Sin City & Raiders fit. GO RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!

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  • Adam

    If you don’t want the raiders moving to Las Vegas, sign the petition at nolvraiders.com