Raiders' reported 'talks' with Gruden make little sense


Raiders' reported 'talks' with Gruden make little sense

ALAMEDA -- You knew the second that Mark Davis invited Jon Gruden back to Oakland to light the Al Davis Flame the desirous rumors would start.

And with each demoralizing loss piling up, you knew the fans' call for "Chucky" to replace rookie coach Dennis Allen would grow just as loud.

So imagine how lathered up Raider Nation is now that Pro Football Weekly's Hub Arash told Chicago's WSCR on Tuesday that "Gruden and the Raiders are in talks to bring him back to Oakland."

[REPORT: Raiders 'in talks' with Gruden]

Here's the thing, without getting into a hissing match with PFW, rumors are just that -- rumors, and it's hard to believe that Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie would blow out his handpicked choice in Allen for the rebuilding project at hand after just one year, and replace him with a popular ex-head coach who would instantly become the face of the franchise.

This is not about ego. Far from it. But McKenzie, who was hired by Mark Davis to run the football side of things at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway so Davis would not have to, said on more than one occasion that the Raiders were his "football team" in a sit-down with seven reporters last week.

"This is my football team," McKenzie said. "It’s not a dictatorship by any means but it’s my football team and I’m responsible."

Plus, while rumors flew last week that Gruden was headed to coach college back at Tennessee, his agent Bob LaMonte shot them down to

"I haven't said anything because there's nothing to say," LaMonte told the website last week. "This, to me, is just a fantasy world.

"Jon has made it clear he's committed to ESPN."

Of course, Davis voicing his displeasure with the Raiders' "regression" this season will only add fuel. Until there's nothing left to burn, so to speak.

Allen is currently away from the team as his father Grady passed away Monday night, which makes all of this talk all the more unsavory.


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”