Gruden: ‘We are going to get what we deserve'
Silver & Black Illustrated|December 2019
Many people openly questioned Jon Gruden’s return to coaching, and it seemed a legitimate thought considering what the Raiders did last year and their poor start this season.

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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