Chucky’s back! Gru­den flashes old self in re­turn to side­line

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY JOSH DUBOW

Jon Gru­den jawed at the of­fi­cials, worked closely with the quar­ter­backs and was once again adored by the Oak­land Raiders’ fans.

It was as if he had never left the Coli­seum.

Gru­den was a win­ner in his re­turn to the side­line for Oak­land when the Raiders got a touch­down pass from Connor Cook in a 16-10 ex­hi­bi­tion vic­tory over the Detroit Lions on Fri­day night.

“It was awe­some,” Gru­den said. “I saw some rec­og­niz­able faces that had got­ten a lit­tle bit older. I saw some old friends who mean a lot to me. Like I said all along, this is a great re­spon­si­bil­ity. The nos­tal­gia has worn off. We have to do some­thing with the op­por­tu­nity. But it was sure great to see the Raiders fans.”

Gru­den was wel­comed back warmly to the Coli­seum for his first game here as Raiders coach since beat­ing the Jets in a play­off game Jan. 12, 2001. Gru­den was traded to Tampa Bay af­ter that sea­son and spent the past nine years as an ESPN an­a­lyst.

Raiders owner Mark Davis lured Gru­den back to the side­line with a 10year con­tract worth a re­ported $100 mil­lion fol­low­ing a dis­ap­point­ing six-win sea­son un­der Jack Del Rio.

The Gru­den era ap­peared to get off to a rous­ing start when Mar­shawn Lynch ran 60 yards for a touch­down on the third snap, but the score was called back be­cause of a hold­ing penalty on rookie tackle Kolton Miller.

“I was re­ally ticked off af­ter watch­ing that get called back,” Gru­den said. “Chucky came out for a brief mo­ment tonight.”

Oak­land set­tled for a punt on the only drive with start­ing quar­ter­back Derek Carr but scored three times in five drives with Cook at the helm. An­them – Lynch once again sat dur­ing the na­tional an­them. He sat for the an­them all of last sea­son but never gave a rea­son for his de­ci­sion. No other play­ers on ei­ther team demon­strated dur­ing the an­them, with the Lions all stand­ing to­gether with locked arms. Rook­ies – Raiders sec­on­dround pick P.J. Hall got a sack and bat­ted down a pass in the first half. Oak­land un­drafted free agent Chris War­ren III ran 13 times for 86 yards.


Jon Gru­den saw old friends at Fri­day night’s ex­hi­bi­tion opener, and fans at the Coli­seum caught a glimpse of the old “Chucky.”

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