Report: Day after loss to Raiders, Jaguars owner speaks to players

Report: Day after loss to Raiders, Jaguars owner speaks to players

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Several people familiar with the situation say Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan made a rare appearance in front of the team a day after one of the most embarrassing losses in coach Gus Bradley's four-year tenure.

The people say Khan's message Monday night was "why are we not winning and what can we do to fix it?" The people spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because details of the meeting have not been disclosed.

The people say Khan's open forum allowed players and coaches to ask questions and exchange thoughts about what's gone wrong for a team that was expected to make a significant jump this season.

The Jaguars (2-4) play at Tennessee (3-4) on Thursday night.

Jon Gruden knows firsthand why Saints NFC title loss 'will sting forever'


Jon Gruden knows firsthand why Saints NFC title loss 'will sting forever'

MOBILE, Ala. – Jon Gruden reached out to New Orleans head coach Sean Payton after the Saints lost the NFC championship on Sunday, largely due to a blown no-call on an obvious pass interference violation.

The Raiders head coach knows all too well both Payton and the pain felt after losing a chance to advance in the playoffs due to an officiating mistake.

Gruden was, after all, victimized by the Tuck Rule. The New England Patriots beat the Raiders back in the 2001 AFC divisional round largely because of a call that negated Tom Brady’s lost fumble, which would have essentially secured a Raiders victory.

“That’s one of the reasons Sean and I have talked,” Gruden said Monday during Senior Bowl week. “What do you say to your team? It’s tough. You lose a game like that, it’s tough. It’s tough to lose a game, period. It’s tough that it came down to that.”

Gruden has strong feelings on instant replay, but didn’t want to comment on whether pass interference calls should be reviewable. By rule, the egregious non-call in the L.A. Rams’ victory over the Saints wasn’t allowed to undergo a review.

Payton was despondent after the overtime loss to Los Angeles, saying the NFL told him shortly after the game that pass interference should have been called.

While the Tuck Rule Game happened 17 years ago, Gruden and several Raiders involved in that game are still bothered by the end result. That’s why Gruden believes the Saints might not ever get over such a loss.

“No. I don’t think so,” Gruden said. “If you really want to dwell on it, you won’t ever get over it. It’s the last time that team will ever be together. It will never be the same. Those guys fought long and as hard as they could. It will sting forever.”

Gruden and Payton have discussed the Saints’ situation already, and will again down the road.

“Sean and I worked together a long time ago (in Philadelphia), and I was involved in a playoff game that ended in quite dramatic fashion,” Gruden said. “So is he, now. He and I will have a couple of hot dogs and a couple Cokes and talk about it at some point in the future, I’m sure.”

Gruden isn't the only Raiders still sore over the Tuck Rule Game. Charles Woodson caused the fumble that was negated, and it still bothers him greatly. The Raiders were awesome that year, and had a real chance to win the Super Bowl if his big play had stood as a fumble. 

When Jon Gruden, Raiders expect some clarity on Marshawn Lynch's plans


When Jon Gruden, Raiders expect some clarity on Marshawn Lynch's plans

MOBILE, Ala. – Marshawn Lynch hasn’t played football in a while. There’s no telling if he’ll play football again.

The Oakland native and Raiders running back only played six games last season before a groin injury ended his campaign, the last of his contract with the Silver and Black.

There’s no telling if Lynch will return to the Raiders. He is, after all, an enigma.

Lynch doesn’t say much, and marches to his own drum. Even head coach Jon Gruden didn’t have an idea what Lynch wanted to do.

Clarity, he believes, should come relatively soon.

“When we get back after the Super Bowl, we’ll have a lot better indication of his health and his desires, of what he wants to do,” Gruden said Tuesday during Senior Bowl week. “If he wants to play I’m sure somebody, like me, would want him back.”

Lynch doesn’t speak publicly about much, and has given no indication about whether he would want to return. He largely rehabbed on his own after landing on IR.

Lynch could drift back into retirement. He enjoyed during the 2016 season, though he was his physical, at-times dominant self after returning to the game. He said several times during his Raiders tenure that he enjoyed playing in the East Bay, which also increased visibility for his charitable works in and around Oakland.

The Raiders don’t yet have a home stadium for the 2019 season, but it’s certainly possible Lynch would be less interested in a return if the Raiders played outside Oakland city limits, even if they remained in the greater Bay Area.

Gruden would like to know Lynch’s plans relatively soon, so he can decide on a proper course of action for his running back position. It’s possible Doug Martin will return after a strong 2018, but he’ll deserve a raise. The Raiders could draft a young, physical rusher for early downs as well. That need would become more pressing if Lynch doesn’t return.

We should have a better understanding of Lynch’s plans in coming weeks.