Share this story...
Head coach Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders looks on during warm ups prior to their NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 10, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Latest News

Evans: Raiders week for Broncos is all about Jon Gruden

Head coach Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders looks on during warm ups prior to their NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 10, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Thank god for Jon Gruden. Otherwise, Raiders Week for the Denver Broncos would be boring.

Let’s face it, we try to pump up Raiders Week, but it just seems to fall flat. Of course, that’s the Raiders fault.

A decade’s worth of incompetence has made Oakland into just another team. Yeah, Oakland fan tries hard. They bring up their history and how they used to dominate the Broncos.

Yeah, in the 1960s.

It’s hilarious, really, how the Raiders and Raiders fans live in the past. Team of the decades. Really? How the ‘90s and ‘00s been treating you?

Going back to the Broncos back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998, Denver is 32-14 in their last 46 games against the Raiders.

Yeah, but the ‘60s.

So along comes Gruden. I love the guy. I find him wildly entertaining. I could listen to him talk all day. The whole Chucky persona. The “Spider 2 Y Banana.” Tremendous. Give me more.

But let’s call this for what it is: Gruden is a brand Raiders owner Mark Davis is trying to sell to Raiders Nation.

During Gruden’s last six years as coach in Tampa Bay, he was a below-.500 coach who was 0-2 in playoff games. He won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay arguably with Tony Dungy’s players.

He’s a decent coach who’s like every other coach in the NFL: he’s only as good as the players he’s coaching.

In Oakland, the talent isn’t that good. So, exactly what kind of impact can Gruden really make?

Davis is selling Raiders Nation on the mystique of Gruden, which has all the reality of The Wizard from “The Wizard of Oz.” (Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

Davis is paying Gruden $100 million to con Raiders fans into thinking happy days are right around the corner, that Gruden will deliver because he’s Gruden.

No, he won’t. Because NFL coaches can’t do it by themselves.

Oakland is one of the older teams in the league. They just get rid of Khalil Mack because Mark Davis is cash poor until he gets to Las Vegas and he couldn’t afford to pay the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

It’s not that he wanted to get rid of Mack. He had to. What a bitter pill that has to be for Raider fan to swallow.

I hate to tell you guys, but all Gruden is is a diversion. And you saps are falling for it.

But until Broncos fans can get hyped for the games that matter against the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, we have the Raiders.

The Raiders are just another team. But Gruden is at least entertaining.

So for this week, thank god for Jon Gruden.