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Jon Gruden Might Actually Be Good

The Raiders are 2-0 after pretty impressively defeating the Saints in their first game in Las Vegas, and I have to put my hand up and admit that I might have been wrong about Jon Gruden.

When Gruden returned to coaching, after 10 years away and 16 years since his last playoff victory, I thought it was going to be an unmitigated disaster. I was supremely skeptical that he would connect with a new generation of players and a 10-year contract felt like a gigantic buyout waiting to happen. Trading away his best players in Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper as the Raiders went 11-21 in his first two years back emboldened my point.

But in watching the Raiders closely on Monday night, I saw a team full of exciting young players executing a sharp game plan. Did you ever think you’d watch a primetime game where Derek Carr overwhelmingly outplayed Drew Brees? Jon Gruden and the Raiders might actually be Good.

Look how happy the team was last night:

Reflecting on that Mack trade, which Gruden was universally panned for in the media, this morning Albert Breer talked about the great players who wound up Raiders as a result of it:

The Raiders play the Patriots on Sunday at 1:00 pm in a game that is all sorts of interesting. If Gruden pulls that one out, all of a sudden people are going to be talking about the Raiders as legitimate contenders.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

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