Raiders HC Jon Gruden conference call (10.28.20)

Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden conference call

On Raiders QB Derek Carr’s success this season: 

“He has played really good for us, and I think he has been playing really good for us for a while. To answer your question, I think we have improved as a supporting cast. We have some guys that are in their second year now playing in the system with (Raiders TE Darren) Waller and obviously (Raiders FB Alec) Ingold and (Raiders RB Josh) Jacobs. Some of these guys, (Raiders WR) Hunter Renfrow have some experience – (Raiders TE) Foster Moreau and we have added (Raiders WR) Henry Ruggs (III) certainly and (Raiders TE) Jason Witten, some guys have come over and helped us. We get our line healthy, I think he can play even better. He is doing a lot of things well. He is seeing the field well, he is taking care of the football and he is putting points on the board and moving our team.”

On how Waller has improved this year: 

“You would love Waller. He is really smart, and he is so talented. He is one of the top two or three physical talents that I have coached in my career, and I can honestly say I have coached some great, great talents. This man can play wide out. He can definitely go outside the numbers and play like a receiver. He can come in line and pass protect against defensive ends. He can run after the catch. He has great stamina. He is really smart. He loves football. He is a pleasure to coach. I think his experience in the system and his working relationship with his teammates and Derek Carr really accentuate everything that he brings to the table.”

On how he can get a feel for the Browns when they have had such disparate results the past two weeks: 

“I think that is the NFL. You see that in a lot of situations right now. I think everybody is still finding themselves. I do know this about Cleveland, they have taken the ball away 14 times on defense. They have an impact player in No. 95 (DE Myles) Garrett. They can score on any possession. They have balance. I think they are an up-and-coming team. I think the offensive line improvements under (offensive coach) Bill Callahan are obvious and the addition of (T Jack) Conklin and their first-round draft choice (T Jedrick Wills Jr.). There is a lot of upside here with this team. Like most of us, there are some growing pains and there are going to be some bumps in the road. I like to how hard they play. I think (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski has done an excellent job with his staff, and maybe they have learned some lessons. We will see. We are anxious to compete with them, I know that.”


On what it is like for a team to lose a player of WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s caliber: 

“It is tough, no doubt. By the way, I hope I hope he is doing OK. He is one of the faces of the NFL, not just the Cleveland Browns. There are two things you can do. You can fold your tent, you can take it negatively and ‘We are done’ or you can look within the roster and say, ‘Hey, it is your turn to step up. We are going to need more from you and you and you.’ When I watched them play last week against Cincinnati, I felt that that was the path that they took. The ball distribution, the balance and their ability to hang in there and come from behind and win was really impressive.”

On evaluating QB Baker Mayfield on film:

“I just have to say, he is in a new offense and they are all in a new offense, and there is going to be some transition. The Baltimore Ravens, early in the year while you are having these transitions, can be tough on you, like they are everybody. The same with the Pittsburgh Steelers. There RE going to be some tough, tough snaps. I like my commercials better than his by the way, I will say that (laughter).”

On preparing for Garrett:

“We have a thing we call it a ‘factor grade,’ not just the sacks. Everybody counts sacks. That is like the only thing they count anymore is sacks. This guy forces fumbles. He causes other sacks for other people. He is good against the run. He bats passes down. His arms are up in the air. He forces inaccurate balls. He has a factor about him. His presence is felt a lot. He can play left end, right end or they can push him inside, and he is a factor wherever he plays. I wish we had Garrett, and I look forward to seeing him. I always look forward to competing with the best ones.”

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