With the season almost mercifully over, the Raiders can take a breath and examine the surroundings and landscape of 2018. While no one expected this abysmal outcome, the coaches and playing still have much to say, regarding the team.
Gruden, on Doug Martin’s 2019 return, courtesy Scott Bair:
“Hopefully we can keep him around here,” Gruden said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s a heck of a football player.”
Despite a draft filled with more explosive, younger, and presumably cheaper players, Gruden wants to stick with Martin. Meanwhile, has Martin done anything in 2018 to deserve a shot at a 2019 spot? With a fanbase accusing the organization of both tanking and relying on veterans to carry the mantle, the statement signals the status quo. While the Raiders have multiple first day picks, Gruden will continue the penchant for this approach.
Gruden, commenting on Donald Penn’s return, also to Scott Bair
“I don’t know how close he is officially, but he is making progress. Hope to have him on the field before the season is over.”
Normally, Gruden draws the ire of the fans, tired of his apparent double talk. However, this feels genuine and true. Gruden speaks highly of Donald Penn. Not just in the player sense, but the human being realm. That is to say, Gruden respects Penn’s accomplishments and achievements during his career. Moreover, Gruden believes that if Penn can return to the team for at least a game, he can leave the field on his own accord. With Penn’s career seemingly winding down, having him on the field one more game could serve as a heartfelt goodbye. In a season of miscues, Gruden said the right thing.
Derek Carr on injuries after the Ravens game to Matt Schneiderman
“If I can possibly stand up, I’m gonna finish with them”
After entering the concussion tent, Carr battled through injuries. Granted, we all heard his quotes about messing up draft hopes by winning. Yet, the concern remains Carr’s health, which surfaces as a seasonal issue. If the Raiders do see Carr as the guy, sitting him would not hurt. If they allow him to take poundings in meaningless games, what purpose does that serve?