ALAMEDA — Jon Gruden has thrown himself into personnel evaluation and reconstructing systems of offense, defense and special teams since being hired as the Raiders’ head coach a little over a month ago.

Gruden took a break Wednesday in an exclusive interview with the Bay Area News Group to talk about what has transpired since Jan. 11.

Topics included the process of assembling a staff, his disdain for restrictions of the collective bargaining agreement, his thoughts on players such as Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Khalil Mack and Michael Crabtree and whether the hiring of offensive line coach Tom Cable signifies a commitment to zone-scheme running.

Q: What have you been able to accomplish in your first month on the job?

Gruden: It’s been a little like Groundhog Day. You get up, it’s dark, you leave it’s dark. You do the same thing over and over again. Spent a long time, really, entertaining potential coaches, interviewing coaches, trying to find the best nucleus that we can find. We’re looking for compatibility, trying to find different types of guys from different places. Trying to get everybody on the same page is not an easy thing to do.

No. 2, we evaluated our current players, and it takes awhile to study each player.

No. 3, we looked at our salary cap situation, obviously. And then start to meet and a scheme together. How to get everybody coordinated. How do we put the ball in play, what are we calling formations? What are we calling different blitzes and personnel groupings. It’s been an ongoing process.

The last four or five days, we’ve really focused on some specific free agents that will be available when free agency begins. It’s been a grind.

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Q: Coaches have in their mind a list of …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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