Jon Gruden credits Warriors' Kevin Durant for 'laying it on the line'


Jon Gruden credits Warriors' Kevin Durant for 'laying it on the line'

ALAMEDA -- Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has been glued to his television along with the rest of the Bay Area watching the Warriors try to overcome difficult circumstances and win a third straight NBA championship.

He shared in the triumph of Golden State's dramatic Game 5 victory over the Raptors to push the NBA Finals back to Oracle Arena, and the heartbreak seeing Kevin Durant return from injury only to succumb to another far worse in severity.

Gruden mentioned the Warriors' best-of-seven series unprompted in opening his Tuesday press session during Raiders minicamp.

“Send my best to the Golden State Warriors,” Gruden said. “What they did last night and what they’ve done with all the adversity and the injuries, it has been a blast to watch.”

Durant’s injury tempered Gruden’s excitement, as it did for all Warriors fans watching the do-or-die contest won over the host Raptors in Toronto.

“It’s terrible what happened to Durant last night,” Gruden said. “It’s a credit to him, though, for giving his all and laying it on the line. I can’t compliment him enough and wish him the very best.”

Gruden and most Raiders to take the podium Tuesday were asked about the delicate decisions of playing athletes recovering from injury, especially in important games. That happens a ton in NFL football, a violent sport where aggravations and further injury happens frequently despite best efforts to return players to permanent health.

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"That’s what your training staff is for,” Gruden said. “We have a great training staff and a great strength [and conditioning] staff. Obviously, the player’s input is big in this. We try to right by the player whenever possible.

“…There are a lot of bad things that happen in sports, but we try to use the expertise we have to make the best decision possible with the player in mind."

Jeremy Hill joins Raiders, veteran running back confirms on Twitter

Jeremy Hill joins Raiders, veteran running back confirms on Twitter

It looks like the Raiders have added a veteran running back to their mix. 

Jeremy Hill tweeted Sunday morning "I'm a Raider." NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Raiders hosted Hill for a workout and planned to sign the running back. 

Hill, 27, didn't play last season after tearing his ACL in the first game of the 2018 season. He had four carries for 25 yards as a member of the New England Patriots before his season came to a crashing halt. 

The former second-round draft pick also only played seven games in 2017. His last full season was 2016, when he rushed for 839 yards and nine touchdowns for the Cincinnati Bengals. 

If healthy, Hill can provide a powerful backup option to Josh Jacobs and bring depth to the Raiders' running backs room. He always has had a nose for the end zone, and packs a punch at 230 pounds. 

There's no doubt Hill comes with health concerns, and fumbling always has been an issue, but he seems well work the risk for the Raiders.

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Henry Ruggs, Lynn Bowden key to Raiders' jump in offensive production


Henry Ruggs, Lynn Bowden key to Raiders' jump in offensive production

Absent the ability to actually see his team on a football field, it’s impossible for Raiders coach Jon Gruden to fully appreciate how the offseason addition of some prominent offensive players will lead to improved efficiency in the Red Zone.

Let alone explain in precise details how the speed and explosiveness of first-round pick Henry Ruggs and the versatility of second-round pick Lynn Bowden will translate to more production inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. And in turn, push the Raiders’ scoring average from the 18.8 per game of the last two years to the 24-plus points they need to be a viable playoff contender.

“I’m not going to make any predictions about Ruggs or Bowden until I see them live over the next few weeks,” Gruden said.

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal