Raiders Legend Howie Long is known for his leadership and loyalty to the team, but he was still disappointed with the way that the team’s front office handled Jon Gruden’s departure. He had a message for Raider Nation following the game on Sunday.
The jon gruden is a football coach who was recently fired from the Oakland Raiders. He was replaced by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, Jon Gruden. However, since his firing, he has been accused of stealing information to use in his new job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Raiders of Las Vegas enjoyed a week unlike any other in NFL history. The Jon Gruden controversy enveloped their organization, making football an afterthought for a while. The squad had to concentrate before facing the Denver Broncos in a key division matchup. Raiders legend Howie Long gave a strong speech to the team and its supporters before the game, and then the players went out and delivered for their “Raider family.”
The Jon Gruden debacle was a once-in-a-lifetime diversion.
Following disclosures that their head coach, Jon Gruden, wrote an email in 2011 using a racial cliché to characterize NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith, the Las Vegas Raiders played with a cloud over their heads in Week 5. The squad performed badly and was defeated 20-6 by the Chicago Bears.
Following the game, a trove of emails surfaced that revealed Gruden’s habit of using racist, sexist, and homophobic language in emails spanning from 2011 through at least 2018. Gruden stepped down as head coach of the Raiders on Monday Night Football, a program he co-hosted for nine seasons.
It was one of the most rapid collapses in sports history, and it put Las Vegas in an unparalleled position in terms of football.
Rich Bisaccia, the special teams coordinator, was named interim head coach, and the squad rallied around one another in preparation for the crucial Week 6 divisional rivalry game against the Denver Broncos.
The whole story engulfed the NFL, and everyone seemed to have an opinion.
Gruden’s comments and emotions were unanimously criticized by pundits. The Raiders’ internal response, on the other hand, was more complex.
People who have had a personal connection with the coach throughout the years don’t agree with everything he says, but they do show concern for him. According to The Athletic, tight end Darren Waller said he understands the want to “cancel” Gruden, but added, “I want to give mercy and let [Gruden] to learn from what they may have done.”
“I love the guy, I detest the sin,” quarterback David Carr said, summarizing his emotions.
For everyone in Raider Nation, it was a difficult and trying week.
Howie Long, a former Raiders star, sent a message to his ‘Raiders family.’
Howie Long | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/Howie Long
FOX NFL Sunday presenter Howie Long is one of the most well-known members of Raider Nation. The defensive end spent 13 years with the team. As a member of the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, he was named to eight Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams, as well as winning the Super Bowl in 1983.
Long also sacked the quarterback 91.5 times with the Raiders, earning him a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Long gave a poignant message to his ‘Raider family’ before of Sunday’s game as a major Sunday pregame show co-host. He began by discussing the issue and what it implies for the only NFL team for whom he ever played:
The Raider family had a difficult week. You might call Jon Gruden’s emails disgusting, nasty, or disappointing, and you wouldn’t be incorrect. Not only did his actions harm a lot of individuals, but he also left a football club scrambling to save its season. Having been drafted and playing for the Raiders for 13 years, I’ve always known them to stand for diversity, inclusion, and progress — all of which have been demonstrated by people like Tom Flores, Art Shell, Amy Trask, and Carl Nassib — and which I believe the organization still believes in today, beginning with [owner] Mark Davis. And I am certain of it.
On the Jon Gruden Scandal, Howie Long says
Long went on to explain what the scenario implies for the current Raiders, who are set to play in Denver:
But, for the time being, [GM] Mike Mayock and Rich Bisaccia, as well as the players in that locker room — including, yes, Mark Davis — must move on from Jon Gruden’s poisonous mess and unite around one another.
The Raiders’ Howie Long
It was the perfect encapsulation of Raider Nation’s tumultuous week. The only thing left after the speech was to watch how the Raiders reacted on the field.
The Raiders of Las Vegas set fire to the Denver Broncos.
The scoreboard read 34-24 as Coach Bisaccia stepped off Empower Field at Mile High. That 10-point spread didn’t do justice to the Raiders’ dominance against the Broncos on Sunday afternoon.
Midway through the first quarter, the game was tied at seven when the Raiders embarked on a 24-3 surge to put their opponents away.
Carr had a fantastic day as the team’s offensive leader. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. On the opposite side of the ball, the Raiders defense sacked Teddy Bridgewater five times. They also intercepted him three times and recovered a fumble by Denver.
The Broncos scored two garbage-time touchdowns late in the game to get within ten points, but it was never really close.
After the game, Maxx Crosby put it up best. “There are always weird things going on in this industry, particularly with the Raiders,” the star DE told ESPN. “There is no doubt about that. There has always been something going on here since I arrived. But the people that work in this building are tough.”
The Raiders showed resilience and produced a feel-good victory for the “Raider family,” just as Long had anticipated in the hour leading up to the game.
It remains to be seen if the victory was the result of sheer energy from a crazy week or a step toward regaining their playoff chances. When the club hosts the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7, the answer will start to become apparent.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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