Welcome to Las Vegas, Coach Gruden

VegasRaiders_gruden

The Las Vegas Raiders got their guy.

And wow, what an introduction they’re going to when the first kick-off echoes down The Las Vegas Strip.

Earlier this month Las Vegas Raiders team owner Mark Davis announced that none other than Jon Gruden would be taking over as head coach.

He locked down “Chucky” for ten years and all kinds of millions of dollars.

NFL insiders starting sniffing around the hire days before it was made official, leading to Gruden having to make a number of awkward half-denials while covering a game for ESPN, the network at which he’s reported and broadcast football games for almost a decade.

Gruden gained fame for being a young coach who took two different troubled franchises from the depths of long off-seasons to playoff fame.

What makes his story even more unique was that his new employer traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after leading them to three years of playoffs.

A year later, Gruden and the Bucs beat the Raiders in the Super Bowl, leaving Raiders fans once again questioning the decision making of controversial storied owner, Al Davis.

Gruden was eventually fired by the Bucs in 2009, after being eliminated from the playoffs by the … wait for it … Oakland Raiders.

Now, Gruden is back in the black and grey, the team that launched his career, and earned him his nickname.

Gruden’s route back to the sideline is the same many fired NFL coaches take, via the microphone. The opportunity to relate to, and critique, current coaches while analyzing games goes a long way toward impressing potential future bosses with “what they would have done in that situation” comments.

So goes the state of hiring in today’s National Football League.

Fans of the Raiders are no-doubt excited about their new head-guy, who has built a broad following of fans from all teams over the years for his friendly but practical observations of young talent, approachable on-camera demeanor, and in-depth looks at future NFL quarterbacks through his annual Jon Gruden’s QB Camp.

His contract with the Raiders amounts to $100 million, one of the richest ever given in the league. Mark Davis made no equivocations about locking down his new head coach.

Come the 2020-21 season, we’ll see what all the hype is about.

Welcome to Las Vegas, coach Gruden.