Raiders coach Jon Gruden expresses 'hate' for Thursday Night Football

Raiders coach Jon Gruden expresses 'hate' for Thursday Night Football

ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Jon Gruden walked into his Monday press conference looking pretty beat. He had either been up a long time or was late getting to sleep, clearly exhausted from nonstop prep work.

There would be no break after his meeting with the media, not with the L.A. Chargers coming to town for “Thursday Night Football.”

Gruden isn’t thrilled about the compacted week, with little time to prepare for such an important game. Don’t forget Gruden’s the type of coach to enter a practice week with a massive game plan loaded with options for every scenario. It’s difficult to get it all done in such a short span.

That says nothing about the physical toll of playing two games in five days. The Raiders are banged up at several spots without much time to recover.

That’s why Gruden doesn’t care much for the concept of playing on a Thursday night. Teams have traditionally played on Thanksgiving, but regular Thursday games were instituted in the mid-2000s and were shown on NFL Network.

Most teams don’t like playing in these games, especially those that have to add travel to an already compacted week. The games are generally sloppier due to the lack of turnaround time for practice or recovery. Gruden made it crystal clear he’s no fan of this game.

“I hate this,” Gruden said. “I don’t believe in this Thursday football. I’m not going to be on a soapbox any more than that. It hurts us. It hurts both teams. The preparation … I take a lot of pride in getting our guys ready to play. We need a little time to do that, but a lot of people disagree with me. It will be a challenge.”

The Raiders are 4-4 entering this game with the Chargers, who beat Green Bay at home on Sunday afternoon. This game is part of a three-game homestand where the Raiders are trying to surge back into the playoff hunt.

The Chargers are doing the same, starting to roll after two straight wins against teams from the NFC North.

[RELATED: Gruden deserves credit for first half]

A win would be huge for both teams, with a Tuesday practice and a Wednesday walk-through before suiting up for real on Thursday night at Oakland Coliseum. Teams typically chip away at these Thursday night games, doing as much advance work as possible. That has been complicated by incredible in-season Raiders roster turnover and the fact Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Wisenhunt was fired just last week. It’s hard to track tendencies and play usage when there’s a new guy making calls.

The Raiders will handle an adverse situation as best they can and try to get a win against a tough AFC West opponent more talented than their record suggests.

Raiders' Mike Mayock says move to Las Vegas beneficial for free agency


Raiders' Mike Mayock says move to Las Vegas beneficial for free agency

Las Vegas has long been a city where Americans go to escape the mundane aspects of their lives and dive head-first into the debauchery and freedoms that come with “Sin City.”

Once the 2020 NFL season kicks off, there will be a new mode of entertainment for those who descend on The Strip, as the Raiders will open up play at Allegiant Stadium and re-brand as the Las Vegas Raiders.

Primarily known as a vacation destination, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock is confident the organization’s new zip code can help attract some of the best free agents the NFL has to offer.

“I think first and foremost, we go from a 13-percent state tax in California to a zero-percent state tax in Nevada,” Mayock told's Eddie Paskal. “The players and their agents are very aware of that.”

In addition to the financial savings, Mayock says the new digs for the Silver and Black will be on par with the best organizations in the NFL.

“I've heard more comments about what our new stadium looks like. You know, that black exterior, the sleekness of it. People are fired up about the Raiders in Vegas.

“I think there's a real excitement about Jon Gruden leading the Raiders into Las Vegas and it extends financially, extends to our facilities, we're gonna be a first-rate operation in every single facet and I think that energy will trickle through into free agency.”

[RELATED: Raiders can fill holes with these 15 Senior Bowl prospects]

Will free agents indeed flock to Vegas to join Gruden and what was a 7-9 team in 2019?

The front office certainly thinks so.

Police: Antonio Brown a suspect in alleged battery outside Florida home


Police: Antonio Brown a suspect in alleged battery outside Florida home

Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown is a suspect in a felony battery case stemming from an alleged incident outside his Hollywood, Fla. home.

Brown and his trainer, Glen Holt, allegedly battered the driver of a moving truck, Hollywood police said Tuesday.

Holt was charged with one count of felony burglary and one count of felony battery. Police attempted to speak to Brown regarding the situation but were unsuccessful.

Police hoped to contact Brown in order to determine whether to bring battery charges against him.

The receiver hasn’t played since Week 2 of the NFL regular season after being released by the New England Patriots. Prior to that, Brown spent training camp with the Raiders before demanding his release following a bizarre sequence of confrontations with management.