When the Raiders hired Jon Gruden, national and local media exploded with expectations, questions, and opinion. As a result, the microphone often finds its way in front of the coach. To wit, Gruden will talk at length on a myriad of subjects.
Additionally, for anyone that cheers for the Raiders, finding insight and credible content can be difficult. FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Pete Camarillo handle both topics.
What is the best way to process Gruden’s numerous quotes?
Take it for entertainment value and not gospel. We’ve learned in Year 1 of Gruden Part Deux is he has a lot of double-talk and you can’t take his word literally. From “We’re going to find a way to get Khalil Mack back” to “Cooper will be a focal point of our offense”, Gruden-isms are what they are. The man has a doctorate in trolling, and as such, taking his word at face value only leaves egg on your face.
Put simply, don’t process it. Gruden will literally say one thing and contradict himself in the same presser or same week. He’ll talk about Derek Carr being a franchise QB, but then meet with QBS, Huh? He’ll say a guy isn’t being shopped when he is. Moreover, he’ll even go back and show remorse in hindsight just to deflect from his responsibility, cough… the recent comments saying he cried after trading Mack.
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Gruden didn’t have that same energy when the trade went down and Gruden was saying Mack didn’t want to be a Raider. Sometimes it feels like he is blatantly lying to fans and media like we’re idiots or he is really out of touch and believes the vomit he spills. Either way, it’s hard to tell if Gruden is trolling us most of the time. That’s why it is better to just ignore the Raiders’ head coach most of the time. Unfortunately, it’s harder to do that in the offseason when everyone is fishing for sports content, myself included.
What FA would you still like to pursue and why?
You look at the source. What is this person trying to do? Are they an outsider with a unique writing perspective? Are they an insider with inside information that others don’t have? Are they a scout who knows concentrates on traits and development? Are they a coach with experience game planning and scheming? Are they a player that has done what they’re talking about? Are they none of the above? Then they probably fall somewhere in the trash, troll, culture vulture, no clue, clickbaity, wannabe blogger bin. Look at the intention of the creator and that will give you half the value of the content.
My approach is rudimentary, but is based off old-school journalism. If a reporter is there at every presser, every appearance and meeting and is asking questions, said journalist is reputable in my book. Now, his or her writing may be questionable, but the fact they are there to ask Raider personnel questions up front, means they have access. Everyone is going to have a trash take — it comes with the business. Nevertheless, not everyone has access, and having the coach or GM refer to you by first name after a question is asked, means they are plugged in.