Programming note: Coverage of Jon Gruden's introductory press conference from Alameda starts today at 11:50 a.m. on NBCSportsBayArea.com
Donald Penn has played for Jon Gruden before. He’s one of a few active players with that to his credit. His second stint starts now, with Gruden officially the Raiders next head coach.
The Raiders left tackle expects the same level of intensity he experienced during the 2007-08 seasons in Tampa Bay, even with Gruden nine years older and wiser.
“Me knowing coach Gruden and his mentality, and the excitement and energy he’s going to bring, he’s only coach in the NFL who brings that kind of excitement,” Penn said Monday, during an appearance on NFL Network. “You guys hear him on Monday Night Football and it’s clear how excited he gets for football. It’s going to trickle down through the building.”
Penn lamented Jack Del Rio getting fired following a 6-10 season, but believes the Raiders could emulate another Bay Area coaching transition. The Warriors made a move away from Mark Jackson, and immediately started winning championships.
“I kind of look at it like Steve Kerr when he came to the Warriors,” Penn said. “He’s coming in to a great situation where he has a lot of good pieces in place already. He’s not going to have to do too many things outside tweaking some things here and there.”
Gruden should have say in roster tweaks, and two new systems installed this offseason.
Penn spoke with Gruden recently, and said incumbent Raiders will be ready for his coaching style, motivated to improve on last year’s disappointment.
“I told Coach Gruden that he’s about to walk into a room full of hungry dogs,” Penn said. “We’re hungry, mad and upset. We aren’t okay with how we played last season. I’ve talked to Derek (Carr) and I’ve talked to (Khalil) Mack. We had our bar set high, and we failed to reach it.”