Exclusive Q&A with Raiders’ Jon Gruden: His first 30 days in office

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 potential assistants. You can’t get them all, some are under contract with other teams. But did you come close?

Gruden: A lot of the guys I coached with are head coaches now or coaching at different places. I feel great about the guys we were able to get. Rich Bisaccia is some I’ve got history with. Edgar Bennett (wide receivers), Mike Trgovac (defensive line), I’ve got a lot of history with those guys. Have a lot of people that I know well. Paul Guenther (defensive coordinator), I have history with him and am really excited to get guys like Tom Cable …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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