Jon Gruden

Monday Night Football analyst turned Oakland Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden seems to excel at giving quotes that don’t make him look great. The latest example on that front is about 33-year-old receiver Jordy Nelson, who the Raiders cut Thursday. That came after Gruden raved about Nelson last August, and even more notably, after the Raiders gave Nelson an early bonus in December and Gruden said “Yeah, he’ll be back.”

Of course, things have changed somewhat since then, particularly with the Raiders hiring Mike Mayock as general manager a few days later and then trading for Antonio Brown earlier this week. But it’s still remarkable to see Gruden so publicly commit to a player, and then see the team outright cut that player a few months later. And this wasn’t the first time Gruden had sung Nelson’s praises. Consider what he said last August:

“I think there’s a lot of guys that are like him in different sports that are able to play at a high level no matter how old they are. I think he’s proven that since he’s been here. I was really pleased with him today. He’s a difference-maker for us.”

There are always players who stand out in camp and then don’t contribute during the season, but Nelson doesn’t really fit there either. His 739 receiving yards were second on the team (behind tight end Jared Cook), and his 63 receptions were third (behind Cook and running back Jalen Richard). And yes, the Raiders need him less now that they have Brown, but it’s still remarkable to see them move on from a player who they already gave an early bonus to, and one who Gruden had issued such a public vote of confidence in. But this is far from Gruden’s first strange comment to the media; consider how he unloaded on a reporter Wednesday for asking about Amari Cooper (who had just 22 catches for 280 yards in six games with the Raiders last year, then posted 53 catches for 725 yards in nine games with the Cowboys after Oakland traded him there):

Other great past Gruden quotes include “You’re not allowed to coach your players” (about changes to offseason contact rules since his last time coaching), “I’m not gonna rely on GPS and all the modern technology” and “I’m trying to throw the game back to 1998,” “We gotta do something to get more pressure” (two weeks after trading Khalil Mack), and “It’s hard to find a great one” (on elite pass rushers, again, after trading Mack). We’ve also seen him yell at Derek Carr on the sidelines to the point where another player had to step in, and we’ve seen his team deliver an incredible lack of effort on multiple occasions. So everything is totally fine in Oakland. But hey, they could maybe solve at least some of these problems if Gruden just stopped talking.

[Bleacher Report]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.