But after going 3-0 with wins over the Lions, Chargers and Bengals, Oakland was in prime position for a playoff push and were nipping at the Chiefs heels for first place in the division. Gruden talked about the importance of the homestand and a variety of other topics during his daily meetings with reporters covering the team:
Q: How important was going 3-0 on the homestand after coming back from that long road trip?
A: We came off one of the most incredible road trips ever in the history of the NFL. We played not only on the road, we played in foreign countries and across the world it seemed like every week. We came back, and we did what we had to do if we wanted to try to get in this thing. We still have a long way to go. We’re building our team. I’m going to keep emphasizing that. We’re not a finished product by any stretch, but we’re competing hard and we’re finding ways to win. Our fans are superb. They really helped us out.
Q: After every home win you run to the Black Hole. Why is that important to you?
A: That’s what I coach for. I love people. I love football and they love it more than anybody. People can make fun of me and say whatever they want, but when we win, I’m going down there. And when we lose, usually I stick around the parking lot, hang out with the guys and try to get them ready for the next home game. I like to share my joy with some joyous Raiders fans as much as possible.
Q: What makes this fan base different?
A: I can say I’ve been fortunate to be in some great places, great traditional places like Notre Dame. I grew up at South Bend, and I got a chance to coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers. They all have great fans, but there’s something about these people. They’re nuts. They’re the closest thing to me that I’ve ever seen. We have that in common.
Q: Do you have an identity now? Basically, a team that is fighting every week and it’s never going to be easy?
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WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Starting Tackle Kolton Miller is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Wanted: Defensive coordinator
The Raiders didn’t wait long to begin their search for a new defensive coordinator, and it’s becoming clear that Jon Gruden has already narrowed his list down.
Raiders' good, bad, ugly
Raiders’ good, bad, ugly
NEWS & NOTES
The Raiders had one of the easier schedules in 2020 and got only eight wins to show for it. Things won’t get any easier in 2021, either.
Looking back at 2020 season
The 2020 season will absolutely be remembered for being one of the strangest and most disappointing in franchise history.
Gruden feeling the heat?
“I know there is a big bull’s-eye on my chest, certainly. If the people want to use that as an incentive, then so be it. I worked for Al Davis in 1998. That was pressure. I was 34 years old. I’ve dealt with pressure before. I don’t really feel pressure. I love the excitement and thrill of competing, and I can’t worry about things I can’t control in that regard. I know people will want to step on me and beat me, and that is just the way this league is.”
From the SILVERANDBLACK.com Message Boards
S&BI continually scans the message boards across Raider Nation to see what Raider fans are talking about now that the 2020 season has ended for the Raiders. We chose some of the better posts and present them here.
Checklist for 2021
Now that the 2020 season has been put to rest for Las Vegas, the Raiders have shifted their focus to what figures to be a busy offseason as they prepare for 2021.
AFC WEST ROUNDUP
The Chargers fired coach Anthony Lynn after four seasons.
‘We have to be a much more detailed football team'
Like so many Raiders fans, coach Jon Gruden found himself searching for answers after the Raiders’ second-half collapse that cost the team a spot in the expanded playoffs.
SIM SETTLEMENTS 2
Tune up Fallout 4’s settlement system.
G-Men return to The Queen City
Joe Judge’s team will be faced with a difficult test when they travel to Cincinnati to take on 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and the Bengals. After finishing with the league’s worst record in his first season as a head coach, Zac Taylor now appears to have his team heading in the right direction. The Giants must put a lot of pressure on Burrow and keep him in the pocket in this matchup. The first overall pick in this year’s draft is having an impressive rookie season and has already torched plenty of defenses so far in 2020. Offensively, Daniel Jones needs to take advantage of the vulnerabilities in the Bengals’ secondary. This area of their defense is not exactly their strongest, so Jones should take some deep shots with Darius Slayton and Golden Tate. With Cincinnati drafting Burrow, it appeared as though veteran A.J. Green could be in position for a huge bounce-back season. However, Tyler Boyd has really emerged as the top receiving option in the Bengals’ offense. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham must have a good game plan for taking Boyd away. Here are TGI’s keys to victory against Cincinnati:
This is not your same old Bills
This isn’t your same old Buffalo Bills. And if you needed more proof, take a look at the most pivotal moment from Buffalo’s Week 4 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Breaking down the two Las Vegas deals
The Dolphins did a lot of work on Lynn Bowden Jr. before the 2020 NFL draft, intrigued by what he could bring to the offense based on his athletic ability and his background as a college quarterback-receiver.
Will The Offense Boom Or Bust?
The Washington Redskins offense was an absolute disaster in the first half of the season.
Is Callahan A 2020 Candidate?
Whenever the head coach is fired after five games and an (0-5) start, his coaching staff knows that sand is slipping through the hour glass of an NFL season even more quickly.
Bills Trade Wr Jones To Raiders For Pick
Zay Jones’ turbulent time with the Buffalo Bills came to an end on Oct. 8 when the Bills traded Jones to the Oakland Raiders for a 2021 fifth-round pick.
Gruden Latest Coach To Go
The end came before dawn just hours after owner Dan Snyder exited FedEx Field in a hurried motorcade following another ugly loss.
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