Jon Gruden’s return to coaching has somehow been even more of a disaster than it was predicted to be at the time. Having already traded one of the best players in the league before the season, Gruden’s Raiders have started 0-2.
But today’s NFL.com report from Ian Rapoport is yet another example of the problems that can be caused when you bring someone out of the broadcast booth after more than decade away from the league.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden broke down film a certain way when he was preparing for games in the Monday Night Football booth. That method has not changed now that he’s back coaching.
But the manner in which he evaluates personnel — and the people who have his ear — has led to a disconnect in a Raiders building filled with people still trying to adjust to a new way of life.
According to sources, Gruden essentially has his own staff that helps him judge talent and make decisions — most notably confidant and Director of Football Research Dave Razzano — along with a slew of interns and assistants.
Gruden had his own draft board and has his own pro board, separate from those used by others in the organization.
That’s not exactly a recipe for long-term success! Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and his staff can’t be that happy about it, especially given Razzano’s background:
Previously a longtime and respected NFL scout, Razzano rose to prominence as a voice on Twitter with controversial takes that included Von Miller will be a bust and Jake Locker should go No. 1 in the draft. He was dubbed the “rogue scout,” but now has an office near Gruden’s.
And while there is no animosity with GM Reggie McKenzie — quite the opposite — it’s clear to many of the scouts who signed on to work for McKenzie that Gruden is listening mostly to those in his circle.
You really want a Twitter contrarian with a strong voice in personnel moves.
Gruden was given a reported $100 million deal to return to the sideline, so it’s pretty clear where the real power lies in Oakland. But we’re only in Week 3 of Gruden’s first season and we’ve already had a run of odd decisions and a report of a rift in the front office.
Either things will get better as Gruden gets settled in, or things will get incredibly entertaining for outside observers going forward.