Promising start for Gruden Part II as Raiders beat Lions

OAKLAND — It was almost perfect.

The Raiders first possession with Jon Gruden calling plays at the Coliseum opened with two short completions and a 60-yard power run for an apparent touchdown by Marshawn Lynch.

As is often the case in early August, the Raiders couldn’t pull off the storybook beginning Friday night in a 16-10 exhibition win over the Detroit Lions. Rookie left tackle Kolton Miller was called for holding, essentially wiping out the first drive.

“I was really ticked off after that play was called back,” Gruden said. “I just got to the stadium. I’d just called my (third) play. Chucky came out for a brief moment tonight.”

In truth, “Chucky,” the Gruden alter ego named after the doll in the 1988 slasher movie, appeared to come out less than in his previous incarnation. He flashed his wicked look a time or three, but at age 54 Gruden appears to be internalizing a little more than he used to.

It should be noted, however, that Cindy Gruden, Jon’s wife, laughed out loud when that theory was suggested to her following the game.

As much as Gruden is looking to put tales of the 1998 through 2001 seasons behind him, the coach looked almost humbled during pregame and said as much afterward.

“It was awesome. I saw some recognizable faces that had gotten a little bit older,” Gruden said. “Saw some old friends that mean a lot to me. This is a great responsibility. The nostalgia’s worn off. We’ve got to do something with this opportunity. But it was sure great to see the Raider fans.”

Gruden’s first trip on to the field since Jan. 12, 2002 (a 38-24 playoff win over the Jets) came at 6:30 p.m. with many fans still filing in.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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