The NFL has been all about Antonio Brown for the past few weeks. With AB now officially on the New England Patriots and the Raiders sitting at 1-0, the drama is starting to be a thing of the past, or at least that is what his former head coach Jon Gruden wants. After the Oakland Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 24-16 at home on Monday Night, Gruden was of course asked about his former player.
“What happened here the last couple days may have been big news to some but there were no distractions, I think you could tell that tonight,” Gruden said. “Our team’s ready to roll. I’m never gonna bring it up again. That incident whatever you call it had nothing to do with our teams focus or preparation. That’s it. End of story. Sorry.”
Well, Danny Kanell and Raja Bell brought it up again. They say while Gruden may not want to talk about it and may not have to anytime soon, this will be a story that is brought up forever.
Kanell said he felt Gruden was patient with the media, and he expected a response more like what Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after his game, which was a simple and aggravated, “Whatever.” Gruden was optimistic about the future without the star wide receiver saying, “We were good preseason without him. We’re gonna be fine without him. We wish him the best.”
Kanell says this demeanor is in part thanks to the Raiders coming out of the night with a W: “All I will say is thank goodness they won. Because could you imagine, like he’s able to smile there because you feel good about yourselves… If they had not won I would imagine Gruden would have had a different response there.”
Bell says while his response and the win was great for the team, what Gruden said was not accurate. “What he said isn’t even true, it was a distraction, it did take over your camp,” he said, with Kanell agreeing. “Yes you won, and it appeared your team was able to compartmentalize and get the dub anyway despite all that, but to say that it had no affect on your team and it wasn’t a distraction for you, I don’t think that’s being completely forthright either.”
They noted that while they go back-and-forth on their stance on the situation, they admit that the Raiders do not come out with a perfect reputation afterwards. “It is going to be on you to some degree,” Bell said. “You are gonna look bad for not being able to make that work.”