Alameda, Calif. — Jon Gruden was welcomed back for a second stint as Oakland Raiders coach with an elaborate introductory news conference.
Gruden was greeted by owner Mark Davis on Tuesday with a video of the highlights from his first tenure in Oakland nearly 20 years after he was introduced as coach as an unproven 34-year-old by late owner Al Davis.
“I feel this is the thing to do, what I want to do,” Gruden said. “This is an organization that I want to be a part of. I’m all in. I only live one time.”
Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998-2001 before being traded to Tampa Bay 16 years ago.
About 50 former Raiders were on hand for the event, including several of Gruden’s former players like Charles Woodson, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Rich Gannon.
Mark Davis said he had been trying to bring Gruden back for six years ever since taking over the franchise following his father’s death and the opportunity was finally right this year. Davis said he got an inkling Gruden might be ready to return when he met with him during the season when the Raiders spent a week in Florida to talk about how to fix the team. It became even more serious when they met on Christmas Eve before the Raiders played in Philadelphia in a game Gruden worked for ESPN.
That led Davis to decide to cut ties with coach Jack Del Rio as soon as the disappointing six-win season ended and finalize a deal with Gruden.
“Everybody knows I’ve been infatuated with him or whatever to get him here, but they really didn’t know how deep our conversations were going, how far along we were in that to make it happen,” Davis said. “Somebody asked me, what was harder — to get the 31 votes to move to Las Vegas? Or to get Jon Gruden? And by far to get Jon Gruden was the toughest.”
Gruden returns to the sidelines after nine seasons as an announcer at ESPN.
Livestreaming steps up
Yahoo Sports will livestream all four divisional playoff games this weekend and the conference championships as an appetizer for next season when every game from the preseason to the Super Bowl will be livestreamed on its sports app.
Watching NFL games on your phone used to be mainly limited to Verizon customers but that changed now that Verizon owns Yahoo. So, now anyone is able to watch football games on the go for free on Yahoo’s app regardless of mobile network.
Fans have to download the Yahoo Sports app on iOS or Google Play and enable location services on their phone.
Jet faces pot-candy charge
New York Jets player Rashard Robinson has been accused of possessing marijuana-laced candy. Authorities say the 22-year-old cornerback was pulled over in Morris County, New Jersey in December and police found “THC infused Peanut Budda Buddah Candy” in Robinson’s possession.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has promoted linebackers coach Don Martindale to defensive coordinator, assuring a seamless transition in the wake of Dean Pees’ retirement.
... Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane says there may have been a misunderstanding of what was said on the field that led to Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue accusing Buffalo guard Richie Incognito of using “weak racist slurs.”
... Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan left team headquarters because of an undisclosed personal matter and did not practice with the team.
... The Kansas City Chiefs have promoted running backs coach Eric Bieniemy to offensive coordinator, filling the job that Matt Nagy left open when he was hired as the head coach of the Chicago Bears.
... The New York Giants have interviewed Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks for their vacant head coaching job.
... Panthers coach Ron Rivera fired longtime offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey two days after a playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints.
... Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels will replace injured Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald in the Pro Bowl.
Atlanta at Philadelphia, Saturday 4:35 p.m. (NBC)
New Orleans at Minnesota, Sunday, 4:40 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at New England, Saturday, 8:15 p.m. (CBS)
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, Sunday, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)