Raiders

Raiders

Antonio Brown’s last week has been well documented. He returned to Raiders training camp after roughly 10 days away on Aug. 13, a week back from Tuesday’s episode of “Hard Knocks.”

His recovery from frostbitten feet, increased activity in walk-throughs and pregame warmups and his ongoing helmet issues were all chronicled by NBC Sports Bay Area and others in great detail. So was his decision to leave the Raiders Napa training camp complex and skip Sunday’s practice, which prompted the general manager Mike Mayock’s “all-in or all-out” proclamation.

The third “Hard Knocks” episode didn’t tread tons of new ground, though unique access provided two interesting conversations with head coach Jon Gruden.

The first came with agent Drew Rosenhaus on the day Brown came back from rehab with a foot specialist. The second occurred with Brown himself on Saturday, the eve of Brown’s second departure from Raiders camp.

Let’s look at what he heard from Rosenhaus first, which focused on the helmet issue and the powerful agent admitted some missteps.

Rosenhaus: After nine years and you kick ass and you don’t have any injuries…I’m not saying that we handled it the right way, but he’ll kick ass for you. He’s going to help you win a lot of games.
Gruden: Yes, yes he will.

Brown has been emotional about this helmet issue and is passionate about wearing his preferred helmet. He has, according to NFL Network’s Mike Silver, gone so far as to paint the helmet he likes in Raiders colors despite it coming from outside the team.

 

Brown has worn a different helmet Thursday before the exhibition at Arizona and again for Tuesday’s practice, at least, but he doesn’t like it.

“It’s one of the new, approved helmets, and he really doesn’t like it,” Gruden said Thursday, a quote that aired on the show.

Later, Brown confirmed his dissatisfaction with the helmet.

“Is this an ugly lid or what?” Brown told a teammate.

While Mayock had to play bad cop on Sunday, Gruden has owned the good cop role in this whole Brown saga.

[RELATED: AB's latest helmet grievance likely heard Friday]

He did so after a Saturday walk-through in Napa, when the Raiders thought he was with the team to stay.


Gruden: I’m really impressed you know all the formations.
Brown: I’m a professional. I would feel like a slapd--k if don’t know what the f--- to do, right?
Gruden: Do your feet feel all right?
Brown: Once they get hot they get a little burning, but for the most part I feel good. When it gets hot, I have to take my shoes off.
Gruden: Why don’t you go to a cryochamber and…
Brown: F--- that. I’ll never do that again. Thanks for supporting me, Coach. My f-----g head, the feet, the people after me ...
Gruden: I’ve been there.
Brown: You’ve been a constant support, Coach.
Gruden: If you have any problems … I have problems …
Brown: We’re in this together
Gruden: I know you have a lot of people in your ear because you’re like a corporation that has kind of gone global. But, at the end of the day, let’s keep the sh—simple. Football comes first. Everything else comes way behind right now.