Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden says he didn't have it bad in Oakland

TAMPA — When Jon Gruden thinks back on his four seasons guiding the Raiders, the memories don't reflect any of the awkwardness of his 11th-hour departure in 2002 to coach the Bucs.

In fact, Gruden says his experience in Oakland working for owner Al Davis was positive — contrary to popular opinion.

"We had a lot of good players, and a lot of people perceive me to not have had a great experience there," said Gruden, whose team closes out the regular season against the Raiders at 1 p.m. Sunday. "I had a great experience there, and we won 40 games or so … in four years. (I had) a chance to run out there with Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice and Tim Brown and got to know Lester Hayes and hang out with Jim Plunkett and Ted Hendricks.

"And I still have a lot of respect for Al Davis. I learned a lot there. And their tradition, whether you want to admit it or not, is rare. They have really quite a tradition there, and I was fortunate to be a part of it."

The Bucs put a dent in that tradition with a 48-21 victory over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, capping Gruden's first season coaching the Bucs. The teams last met in 2004 in Oakland, where Kerry Collins engineered a 30-20 victory over Tampa Bay.

But the Raiders (5-1 overall against Tampa Bay in the regular season) have not had a winning season since their Super Bowl loss to the Bucs and enter Sunday at 4-11. Meanwhile, the Bucs need a win, coupled with a Philadelphia victory over Dallas, to qualify as a wild-card team.

Asked this week what has happened to the Raiders, Gruden said, "I don't know. Again, they've had a lot of change there at different positions, and I can't really comment on it. I haven't been that close to the situation. But knowing them out there like I do, they'll be back."

Brooks hurting: LB Derrick Brooks, limited all last week with bruised ribs, was held out of practice for a second consecutive day Thursday with a hamstring injury. Today's workout is the final practice of the week.

Brooks was able to play last week after missing Wednesday and Thursday practices. He has never missed a game because of injury, playing in 223 straight. Brooks has started 220 straight games, second most among active players behind Jets QB Brett Favre.

Times staff writers Stephen F. Holder and Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden says he didn't have it bad in Oakland 12/25/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 26, 2008 8:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.