The Oakland Raiders have officially welcomed back Jon Gruden as head coach.
Following a introductory press conference on Tuesday, the man they call "Chucky," returns to the silver and black after more than a decade on a monumental deal. The contract is reportedly for 10-year, $100 million, which would make this one of the longest coaching deals in NFL history.
"Obviously this is very emotional for me," said Gruden during the press conference. "I never wanted to leave the Raiders [after the 2001 season], I never thought I'd be back, but here I am and I'm ready to get to work."
"I love the Raiders. The brand is global," he continued. "Everywhere I went as a Monday night football analyst the Raider Nation would come out of the ground."
The NFL community, northern California and Raider Nation across the world is buzzing and with his return, here are three things to know about Gruden:
Gruden's career in the NFL started in 1990 as an office assistant for the San Francisco 49ers. A year later, he returned to the college ranks as a wide receivers coach for the University of Pittsburgh before returning to the NFL in 1992 as an office assistant for the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers decided to promote Gruden as the wide receivers coach from 1993-94. Then, from 1995-97, he got his first offensive coordinator opportunity as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, helping the team to two 10-6 records and playoff appearances.
In 1998, late Raiders owner Al Davis hired Gruden for his first head coaching gig -- becoming the youngest head coach, at the time, at 34 years old. He spent four seasons (1998-2001) in Oakland going 38-26, while leading the team to back-to-back AFC West Division titles in 2000 and 2001, including a AFC Championship game appearance against the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
After the 2001 season, Gruden was traded by the Raiders to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he stayed from 2002-08, when he was fired. However, during his stint with the Buccaneers, he collected a 57-55 record and became the youngest head coach in history, at the time, 39, to win a Super Bowl.
He currently ranks top 50 for most total wins by a head coach and has a 95-81 regular season record.
The list of current head coaches who were assistants under Gruden included Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams (who's now the youngest coach in NFL history) and his brother Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins.
2. Super Bowl Champion
Speaking of the Buccaneers, this may be a touchy memory for Raider Nation because Gruden's Super Bowl victory came at the expense of them.
After losing 16-13 to the New England Patriots in the infamous ‘Tuck Rule’ 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff game, previous owner Al Davis decided to trade the coach to Tampa Bay for multiple draft picks and cash consideration.
Well, it wouldn't take long for these two to see each other again as they would meet the following year in 2002 at Super Bowl XXXVII.
Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski scored the first points of the game with a 40-yard field goal, giving them a 3-0 lead, and from then on it was all Tampa Bay. The Gruden-led team then scored 34 unanswered points, stifling an Oakland offense led by regular season MVP quarterback Rich Gannon. The final score was 48–21.
Suffice it to say, Raider fans are still irked by the way things went down.
At age 39, he was the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl in NFL history before his former assistant Mike Tomlin led the Steelers in 2009 to a Super Bowl victory at just 36-years-old.
3. Gruden's QB Camp on ESPN
After being fired from Tampa Bay in 2008, a year later Gruden was hired as an Monday Night Football analyst on ESPN.
While giving countless classic broadcast moments covering games, one of his main staples "Gruden's QB Camp" was also a big hit. The series started in 2012 and was centered around Gruden talking with NFL Draft quarterback prospects about development, IQ, throwing mechanics and more.
Throughout the series he sat down with the like-of Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, DeShaun Watson, Jameis Winston, Jared Goff and many others. Current Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr was among those draftees to attend the camp and who knew he'd be sitting down with his soon-to-be head coach.
Also, check out the full introductory press conference below or on ABC10's Facebook page.
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