ALAMEDA, Calif. — Al Davis needed a certain glint in his eye when Jon Gruden’s name came up that day in October 2008.
Sure, the news conference was exactly about Davis’ firing of Lane Kiffin and bettering Tom Cable as interim head coach of the Oakland Raiders, however, Gruden’s name was uttered, like it ever had been.
“Jon was a fantastic trainer,” Davis declared almost seven years after trading Gruden into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two first-round draft picks, a couple of second-rounders and $8 million.
“But don’t forget, I required Jon [if ] no body else even knew who he was. Jon’s first two years, he had been in tough. He won a major game that kept him alive. You know that which game that was?”
“Wheatley will not go down” #RaiderNation
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) December 28, 2018
Yeah, history — with a few tweaks, of course — has a funny way of repeating itself because the Raiders see the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
This had been from the regular-season finale from the Chiefs at 1999, the ending of Gruden’s second season, that the then-wunderkind trainer was on the superbly impetuous Davis’ chopping block. And just why not?
Back in 1999, with a new quarterback in Rich Gannon still learning his system (seem comfortable, Derek Carr fans?) , Gruden’s Raiders were packed with fits and starts, never winning more than two in a row and never losing consecutive matches, either.
Truly, Gruden, then the tender 3-6 years of age, led to Kansas City with the Raiders only 78 along with also his job at stake.
Gruden at 2018 — due to this 10-year contract depended upon him by the overdue Davis’ son, Mark, in January — is perhaps not coaching for his occupation on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Not with the younger Davis telling ESPN.com at November,”Having Jon Gruden here was the endgame for me. Jon’s going to function as the equilibrium here. Jon’s going nowhere. That is just the way it really is.”
But there are similarities.
The Raiders could play spoiler from the Chiefs, just as they did in’99.
“We’re playing great football in December, and we’ve one opportunity left, and it’s really against the team we despise the most, right, guys?” Gruden told that the Raiders within their triumphant locker room when they be at the Denver Broncos on national tv on Christmas Eve.
“they do not like us, either, so that it’s going to be lots of fun.”
As much pleasure as Gruden and the Raiders needed on Jan. 2, 2000?
Subsequently Marquis Walker obstructed Daniel Pope’s punt, and Kenny Shedd picked the football up and returned 20 yards for an Oakland touchdown. After which Gannon warmed up, hitting Zack Crockett, Napoleon Kaufman along with Tyrone Wheatley for touchdowns as the Raiders came right back for a 28-24 halftime lead.
The magnificent”Wheatley will not go down” 26-yard touchdown operate on which the Raiders running back seemingly bounced off all 11 Chiefs defensive players put the Raiders up 35-31 overdue in the next quarter.
Still, the Raiders had to rally to force overtime.
The Chiefs failed to touch the ball again. The Raiders got the ball first in overtime and drove into the Kansas City 15-yard line. Afterward Nedney drilled the game-winning (rules at that time needed the first team to score in OT that the victor) 33-yard field-goal after 4 hrs, 47 minutes of white-knuckle football.
Not only did Gruden rescue his job by giving the Raiders their first triumph in Arrowhead Stadium since 1988, however, Oakland additionally denied that the Chiefs that the AFC West title and knocked them out of the playoffs.
Even the 2018 Chiefs have clinched a playoff berth, but the Raiders may knock them by the summit’s No. 1 overall seed and then force them to play wild-card weekend.
“You only set the Kansas City Chiefs tape [for the players],” Gruden said . “They realize that Kansas City is directing the division and offers an opportunity to lock up home field. They have a very talented football team, best album in [the [ AF-C ].”
Earlier this month, the Raiders dropped to the Chiefs 40-33 after closing within 33-30 with more than half an hour to play.
“We know that if we did not turn the ball three or four times the previous time, we were immediately with them at the fourth quarter,” Gruden said.
Back in 2000, they went 12-4, directed the NFL in scoring with 479 points and hosted on the seminar title match. Then they jumped to a 103 beginning in 2001 before losing three straight to close, and so they advanced to the divisional round after beating the nyc Jets.
Subsequently came the match against New England.
“The Tuck Game,” Davis that the Elder rued,”was that the undoing of a lot of things.”
This had been the previous match Gruden trained for the Raiders before in 2013.
What’s that about everything is old is new again?
“I presume we have been eager to complete this season with as much authority because we can,” Gruden said. “I am quite proud of how our guys have been playing.”