Head coach for the Oakland Raiders Jon Gruden has never been one to shy away from calling out the NFL if he feels like it’s necessary. His team has a game on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers and Gruden wasn’t subtle about his feelings about the new tradition.
“I hate this. I don’t believe in this Thursday football,” said Gruden to the media. “I’m not going to be on my soap box any more than that. It hurts us. It hurts both teams. We take a lot of pride in getting our guys ready to play. We need a little time to do that.”
Thursday Night Football has become bemoaned by many as it is seen as too quick of a turnaround for NFL players. Teams only get a few days in between games, which isn’t enough for some players’ bodies. Unfortunately for Gruden, these games probably won’t stop anytime soon. At least the team will get a long week of preparation once they get past the Chargers.
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Gruden’s Still Ripping on Referees
The only thing Gruden likes more than calling out the NFL is calling out the referees. He’s not one to make excuses, but he hasn’t been a fan of how the refs have been utilizing instant replay.
“I don’t understand the whole instant replay formula,” said Gruden about his most recent attempt to challenge a pass interference call. “I’m not going to get fined here today, but I don’t understand it, you know. I thought that’s pass interference. We got a guy upstairs that works for us that wore the white hat in the Super Bowl three times. He told me it’s pass interference.
“We had an offensive pass interference in Green Bay that… no way it’s pass interference… But when I listen to people tell me they’re going to overturn the call because it’s the wrong call, I believe in the process. And I still believe.”
Gruden has been trying his best to take advantage of the new rule that allows coaches to challenge pass interferences calls. He’s tried many times and has yet to win one yet. It doesn’t look like the referees have any intention of overturning pass interference calls when challenged. Gruden would be wise to save the timeout next time.
Team May Appeal Maxx Crosby Fine
The Raiders aren’t just having problems with the refs in terms of not winning challenges, the team has also been getting many penalties. One of the worst culprits on the team is rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby, who has already been fined several times this season for illegal hits. His latest ones came against the Houston Texans, but the team may have Crosby’s back.
“We’re looking into the fines to see if we agree and whether we appeal those fines,” Gruden said. “Jon Runyan is in charge of that and we’re trying to play within the rules.”
While Gruden isn’t sold that Crosby should’ve been fined, he did acknowledge that the rookie needs to play smarter.
“Maxx has got to use better etiquette at times and common sense. We don’t want to harness his energy, that’s for sure. That’s what’s going to make him a great player.
Crosby has been one of the team’s best defensive players and much of that is due to how much effort he plays with. That edge that he has helps him quite a bit, but it also gets him in trouble. He’s going to need to learn how to toe the line unless he’s planning on getting fined more and more.
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