The Raider Nation has been dreaming about the return of Jon Gruden essentially since the day Al Davis traded him to Tampa Bay 16 years ago.
Sweet sixteen. It seems like Chuckie in on the cusp of coming back. Nothing could harsh the high of Gruden coming back, right.
Well, we think we found a blemish in the Gruden homecoming party. There have been several reports that Gruden’s offensive coordinator will be none other than Greg Olson.
The Nation is aghast. They’ve done the Olson trip. It was a bummer.
Olson was the Raiders’ offensive coordinator in 2013-14 under former head coach Dennis Allen. He didn’t do a great job.
However, that doesn’t mean he is a bad choice by Gruden. In fact, I think it is a strong decision by Chuckie. Why?
Well, take a drink, get warm; I’ll tell you.
Like everything with the Gruden addition, it revolves around quarterback Derek Carr. Carr, 26, regressed in his fourth NFL season, months after signing a five-year $125 million extension that kicks in this season. The Raiders need Carr to get it back together.
That will be Gruden’s chief task. Having Olson in the building will help. Carr is going to have his fourth coordinator in five NFL seasons. That is daunting. However, the fact that Olson is the new coordinator, it actually keeps the number at three.
Carr broke into the league with Olson as his offensive coordinator. They had a good relationship as Carr did with subsequent OCs Bill Musgrave and Todd Downing.
The fact that Olson is working with him will be soothing to Carr. It’s a familiar face during this transition.
Olson can also act as the good cop to Gruden’s Matt Damon in ‘The Departed’. Gruden is famous for getting salty with his players, especially his quarterbacks. Olson can help Carr stay focused when the head man goes all Chuckie on him.
There is a chance Rich Gannon will make his coaching debut as Carr’s quarterback coach. Like Gruden, the former Raiders’ MVP quarterback can get nutty. Olson is more like Carr’ the nice-and-easy type.
If you’re still nauseated by the idea of Olson roaming the Raiders’ sideline again, well, take another belt, and remember this – Gruden will be calling the plays.
Olson will not be the chief offensive general in Oakland like he was the last time. He will be there to give Carr a familiar shoulder to lean on and he will help Gruden as he did when he was an assistant to him in Tampa Bay.
This is not 2014. This is a new world in Oakland and Olson has a place in Chuckie’s world. So, relax, the Gruden hiring is still very much a cool thing.