Raiders

Jon Gruden wishes Patriots 'good luck' with Antonio Brown as Raiders turn page

Raiders

OAKLAND -- It's been a whirlwind week for Jon Gruden and the Raiders. 

Well, a whirlwind six months, really. 

After Antonio Brown's short, drama-filled tenure ended Saturday with his release, the Raiders had to turn the page quickly to Monday's night's season-opening game against the Denver Broncos at the Coliseum. 

Considered the page turned, as the Silver and Black put together a near-flawless performance in a 24-16 win that featured quarterback Derek Carr, new No. 1 receiver Tyrell Williams and rookie running back Josh Jacobs carrying Oakland to an important AFC West win.

Fans serenaded the Raiders with "F--k AB" chants after every big play and score. But the Raiders are tired of hearing about he-who-must-not-be-named. After all, he is a Patriot now. 

"What happened here the last couple days may have been, you know, big news to some, but there were no distractions," Gruden said when asked about the last five days of Brown drama. "I think you could tell that tonight, our team was ready to roll.

"I'm never going to bring it up again," Gruden said. "That incident, whatever you call it, had nothing to do with our team's focus or preparation. That's it. End of story."

But that wasn't the end of the story. Gruden had one more thing to say about the barrage of craziness that Brown unleashed on the Silver and Black. 

 

"As much as people talk about it, I mean, my god," Gruden said when asked if the Raiders surprised people with their showing without AB. "Man, I feel like someone smashed me in my temple on the side of the head. Get over it, man. It's over. You know? We were good in the preseason without him. We're going to be fine without him. And we wish him the best. 

"You know, we gave it a shot," Gruden said before delivering his Vito Corleone-esque final line in the Brown saga. "Now New England gets their turn. Good luck to them. I can't deal with it anymore." 

The Raiders were used to Brown being in the news but not being on the field. He missed most of training camp due to frostbitten feet and two helmet grievances with the NFL. So, it wasn't a shock that the Raiders racked up 357 yards of total offense in the win over the Broncos, with Williams playing the role of No. 1 receiver. 

"I'm not surprised, honestly," Williams said of the Raiders' performance. "Whether he was here or not, we felt like we were going to come out and do that no matter what. So, it's not surprising."

At some point over the past month, Brown decided he no longer wanted to be a part of the Raiders. Whether or not Williams, Carr and the offense proved he made a mistake with their showing Monday isn't something that's on the Raiders’ mind. 

"He plays for the Patriots now, so I ain't concerned about that," Williams said. "We just prepared. Do what we normally do. Just work. it is what it is."

[RELATED: Raiders fans blast Antonio 'Clown' during opener]

Williams had six catches for 105 yards and one touchdown, and Jacobs toted the rock 23 times for 85 yards and two scores in his NFL debut. The Alabama rookie touted the company line when asked about his now-former teammate.

"I guess it just was what it was," Jacobs said. "As an offensive unit, we knew that we had a lot of guys. We trusted our scheme. We trusted the players. We knew that we was going to be all right. Obviously, he's a great player, things like that, but we was just set on showing that we are still capable of winning games." 

Jacobs also took comfort in one of the mottos from his time in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 

"It wasn't really emotional for me because it's just like, it's always been like, 'Next man up,' it's always been like that since I was at Bama. So it was more like fun," Jacobs said. 

The Raiders had a lot of fun Monday night. No Antonio Brown, no drama. Just smiles, touchdowns and a win.