In partnership with the NFL in the UK


Gruden's spectacular return to the Raiders was confirmed on Tuesday.

Jerry Rice warns Oakland Raiders players about what Jon Gruden is really like

Published Add your comment

Football News

Jon Gruden's return to the Raiders was confirmed earlier this week, with the charismatic coach reportedly signing a record-breaking 10-year $100 million deal. 

Gruden makes his return to Oakland 17 years after he was traded to the Buccaneers, but he hasn't coached anywhere since 2008. After nine years as the face of ESPN's MNF broadcast he has finally been lured back into the coaching world, andaccording to Jerry Rice, his players better be prepared for him.

The Hall of Fame wideout spent one season under Gruden in Oakland and has warned players that they must 'buy in'. 

“He can be your best friend or your worst enemy. That’s going to keep you on your toes. And maybe that was something that the players, they were lacking this year." Rice told ESPN.

"…I hope these players are ready because they’re going to get Chucky. They’re going to get him … Chucky’s going to come out. Either you buy in, or you're not going to be a part of it."

Gruden's intensity is well known. As is his propensity to yell at his players and coaches. His link to the Chucky doll from the 1988 movie 'Child's Play' came from his resemblance to Chucky when he gets fired up on the touchline.

As a motivator, few have ever been better and this young crop of Raiders stars will soon discover that. 

Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and co will get chewed out publicly when they mess up, that's the way Gruden has always operated. 

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals

Future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson endorses both Rice's claims, and Gruden's methods. The eight-time all-pro safety played four seasons under the effervescent head coach and said that the players need to be ready for how demanding he is.

"Yeah, he's coming for them, man," Woodson said. "... if you don't respond, you've got to go. You're all-in or nothing."

Woodson also noted Gruden's celebrity status, saying:

" thing that will probably take them by surprise is the star-like quality that Gruden has and the relationship that he had with the fan base when he was here. They haven't seen that. So he'll be the most popular guy on the sideline."

Gruden had an impressive 38-26 record during his first stint with the Raiders before being traded to Tampa Bay in 2002, leading the Bucs to their first-ever Super Bowl win in his first season in charge.

New Orleans Saints  v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

He now faces a stern test to turn around a promising young roster coming off a disappointing 6-10 season, whilst managing the difficulties of a fanbase that knows it's team is disappearing to Vegas shortly. 

However, the fans have already united around Gruden who was an enormously popular figure throughout his time in Oakland. His time in the broadcasting booth was well spent and it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone if he where to be an instant hit. 

His intense coaching style does clash with players though, so it will be interesting to see how this young group adapts to the style of their new, high profile coach.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

NFL Playoffs
NFL Draft
Oakland Raiders

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport - NFL Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again