Rams' Sean McVay interested in one aspect of Jon Gruden's return to Raiders


Rams' Sean McVay interested in one aspect of Jon Gruden's return to Raiders

It's been a long time since Jon Gruden has had to design an NFL gameplan.

Since leaving the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2008, Gruden spent the last nine years sitting in production meetings with NFL coaches as part of his weekly duties with ESPN.

So, will he implement any of the ideas or schemes he's been studying up on the last nine years?

That's what current Rams head coach and former Gruden assistant Sean McVay wants to know.

"Great coach, great motivator, great leader, great teacher in terms of just understanding the big picture. It'll be interesting to see, will he run the same offense that he was running when I got a chance to work with him in Tampa, or will he now implement some of the different things that he's had a chance to continue to be exposed to over the last handful of years? Either way, hate the fact that we'll have to go against him next year. It'll be fun," McVay said Sunday according to ESPN.

McVay, 31-year-old rookie head coach, was an offensive assistant during Gruden's final year in Tampa Bay in 2008. From 2014 through 2016, McVay served as the offensive coordinator for Jay Gruden in Washington.

Gruden and McVay will indeed face each other during the upcoming 2018 season as the Raiders will host the Rams during an undisclosed week.

Current Rams quarterbacks coach Greg Olson appears poised to switch sides in the battle as he's expected to join Gruden's staff as the offensive coordinator, a role he held in Oakland in 2013 and 2014.

While the Raiders announced the hiring of Gruden on Saturday evening, they have yet to make public his coaching staff. McVay wouldn't commit to Olson taking the job with the Raiders.

"If that opportunity does present itself, the respect we have for coach Olson, that’s something that we’ll allow him to pursue. We’ll see what happens from there," McVay said via ESPN.

McVay heaped praise on the 54-year-old Olson.

"I have so much respect for coach Olson. He’s been a great coach to us. He’s done a great job with us. He’s a guy that I’ve always had a lot of respect for," McVay said.

Jon Gruden, Raiders seeking solid third option behind Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson

Jon Gruden, Raiders seeking solid third option behind Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson

ALAMEDA -- Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson are locked into the Raiders starting lineup. They have been both dynamic and steady during training camp.

Receivers behind them on the depth chart haven’t been so strong.

Head coach Jon Gruden wants better from those guys.

“Hopefully someone can step up and will clearly emerge as the third receiver,” Gruden said Monday after practice. “… We need somebody to step up in that room this week.”

The Raiders will run a game-like practice week heading into Friday’s exhibition against the Green Bay Packers, and regulars will play an extended stretch.

Game performance could lift someone above the rest. The third receiver typically works in the slot, a spot Ryan Switzer manned during the offseason program and early in camp.

Griff Whalen has taken that spot over the last week.

Martavis Bryant is the most talented receiver, maybe in the entire group, but has been slow to absorb the offense and learn multiple receiver positions. Gruden has called him out on that, and has him working primarily with the second and third units.

There will be a competitive battle for receiver jobs, but it’s expected that Bryant and Switzer will end up taking control of snaps behind Cooper and Nelson. That isn’t guaranteed, however. Gruden wants more consistency and production from his wideouts.

“There has been some good and some, I don’t want to say bad, but there have been some ups and downs typical in training camp,” Nelson said. “Sometimes guys come out of the blocks fast and then slow down. Sometimes start slow and then pick it up. The main thing is being consistent.

“Keep reminding them that you can’t let the roller coaster get to you. You’re going to have good days and bad ones. You’re going to run good routes and bad routes. You have to continue to improve and continue to grind. If you do that, you’ll get the results you want.”

The Raiders need more from the slot, which could be an important role with threats on the outside. The competition there is an important one that quarterback Derek Carr is watching closely.

“Yeah, a couple of them are new, fighting for that spot. A couple have been banged up. So, I think we’re all sitting there excited to see what happens,” Carr said. “They’re all, I think, healthy. We’ll see. I think they’re all mentally ready, physically ready. Hopefully come game time, we can sit there and we can evaluate that spot. Because, obviously it’s important.

"When you have guys like Martavis or [Amari Cooper] Coop or Jordy on the outside, you have Jared [Cook] on the inside, someone is hopefully going to get a good matchup on the other side and in the slot, wherever we put them. We have to figure that out and it’ll be exciting. I’m just excited to watch how that goes this week, preparation-wise and then in the game.”

Watch Marshawn Lynch's tee shot that earned him MVP of Klay Thompson's golf tourney


Watch Marshawn Lynch's tee shot that earned him MVP of Klay Thompson's golf tourney

Marshawn Lynch is much better at driving a golf cart than he is at driving a golf ball. 

The Raiders running back, of course, famously took an injury cart for a spin in 2006 after a win when he was at Cal. On Sunday, he took to the links, playing alongside Klay Thompson at the Thompson Family Foundation Golf Tournament in San Francisco.

Thompson gave a look at Lynch's "form" on his Instagram story, and the result was not pretty. 

Courtesy: @klaythompson/Instagram

That won't be considered solid, let alone way too solid, by anybody. Thompson told the Bay Area News Group's Mark Medina that he wants to improve his golf game, and it's probably best if he doesn't turn to Lynch for advice.