After finishing the 2017 NFL season with a 6-10 record, the Oakland Raiders were in clear need of a shot in the arm. The Raiders, who were a popular Super Bowl pick, wasted no time in shaking things up by immediately hiring Jon Gruden to become the team’s new head coach after the season had ended.
Gruden’s return to Oakland signals a massive shift in the team’s culture and on-field identity. According to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, Derek Carr expressed his excitement for his new head coach’s excitement:
Now that we have Coach Gruden, we’re fired up, we’re excited. Especially as a quarterback, to have a guy like that, his mindset. I spent time around him, I’ve known him for years now. We have a pre-existing relationship, so that’s nice to have. I’m just really looking forward to growing under him.”
Carr recently admitted his back injury affected his 2017 NFL campaign performance, but should be fully healthy once training camp rolls around. Gruden has a reputation for being a no-nonsense coach, which should mesh well with the star quarterback’s tendency to hold himself and his teammates accountable.
While things in the Bay Area are exciting, there are still plenty of things to do before the 2018 NFL season begins. It will be interesting to see what the Raiders do to the roster between now and next season.