Through his many years as ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst, Jon Gruden readily expressed his appreciation for the way football used to be played.
None of that was Gruden playing to a character. It’s all him.
During his first training camp in his second stint as the Oakland Raiders’ head coach, Gruden has complimented practice clips of the 2018 Oakland Raiders with deep cuts from football’s past.
“I’m just trying to make some points,” Gruden told SF Gate. “There were some guys that played the game that were pretty good. I think they love it. They love seeing Barry Sanders. I think they love seeing Joe Montana in a two-minute drill.
“You only have them for so long, you try to keep their attention span … You can make some points, show some great routes and also teach them a little about some of the people that came before you.”
For many current Raiders, such clips may (sadly) be the first time they’ve seen Montana throw a pass.
And while Gruden has left the training and nutritional thinking of 1964 in 1964, the Xs and Os and spirit of the game are timeless to him.
“Look, we’re not running a 1964 operation here,” he said. “But there were some things that happened in 1964 that were pretty damn good. And if you don’t think so, go ahead and have a nice day.”