Jon Gruden was forced out of his position as the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach a few weeks ago after a number of his old emails leaked out.
The messages in question were racist, homophobic and misogynistic in nature.
At this point, the source of the leak is believed to be known – albeit not confirmed.
So how do the Raiders, as a team, feel about Gruden no longer being there? This week one of the team’s big stars, running back Josh Jacobs, offered a surprising response following their 34-24 trouncing of the Denver Broncos.
According to him, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia brought a calming presence to the sidelines that had otherwise been lacking.
“Man, the sideline … it was like (there was no) anxiety,” Jacobs said. “It was weird. It was like everybody was calm. You didn’t have somebody cussing at you, or going crazy at the refs. None of that.”
The players felt a big difference.
“It was like, ‘OK, not going to harp on it, next play.’ The guys all kind of motivated each other,” Jacobs added. “You saw a lot of defensive guys standing up and offensive guys jumping off the bench when the defense made plays. I was like, that’s the right type of energy that we needed. I loved it.”
That’s one way to dress to a baseball game. https://t.co/oeBgEan8bD
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 22, 2021
At this point, Gruden’s emails have been litigated, relitigated and re-relitigated. Everyone from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has weighed in. Nobody’s opinion on what transpired will change.
That said – it’s interesting that important parts of the Raiders team feel like its better off without Gruden. That’s new. And it is telling to some degree.
Will the Raiders go on to be more successful without Gruden than they were with him? Time will tell.