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chenyan94  
#1 Posted : Thursday, September 13, 2018 8:56:58 AM(UTC)
chenyan94

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Joined: 7/24/2018(UTC)
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As much as he tries to downplay the significance Aldrick Rosas Jersey , Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden is fully aware Friday's exhibition game against the Detroit Lions will be anything but an ordinary preseason contest.

It's been 17 years since Gruden last roamed the sidelines at the Coliseum with the Raiders. He came back in 2004 with Tampa Bay and again in 2012 as a television analyst.

Gruden's iconic status among Raiders fans promises to make this time different. Much, much different.

"I am looking forward to it," Gruden said Wednesday after the second of two joint practices with the Lions. "I'm looking forward to it big-time. I've got some things obviously I've got to work out. So I've got to work myself through calling plays again and managing some tough situations. I'm anxious to see if I can do it."

Gruden developed a cult-like following during his first stint as the Raiders coach from 1998-2001. Those feelings didn't wane when Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay by late owner Al Davis and only strengthened when the coach went into the television booth.

Gruden showed his appreciation in 2009 while in town to broadcast a San Francisco 49ers game when he held a party at Ricky's, a Raiders sports bar not far from the Coliseum.

Gruden held another party at Ricky's three weeks ago to celebrate his return and paid for dinner and soft drinks for the fans. About 600 people showed up.

"It's an honor to be here and it's a great story, but I also just want to do everything I can in order to try and help this team win again," Gruden said. "I love the Raider fans. I love Oakland and that's the primary reason I'm standing here."

Lions coach Matt Patricia developed a friendship with Gruden while he was defensive coordinator in New England and the Raiders coach was working at ESPN.

Gruden's return, Patricia said, is good for the NFL.

"If you meet with him, you're gonna find a guy that absolutely loves football from its core, all the way out, every aspect of it Frank Gore Jersey ," Patricia said. "He loves to coach and I think he loves to be around the players. I think it's great for the game. I think it's great for the Raiders organization."

The rest of the storyline around Friday's game is fairly antiseptic.

Quarterback Derek Carr and the rest of Oakland's starters will only play a series or two, with the majority of playing time being doled out to the rookies and fringe players on the roster.

"This game is not about Derek Carr, not yet," Gruden said. "It's about finding the right 53 men, and I think you saw it today, we've got a lot of contenders. There are a lot of guys that have put themselves on the brink of making this football team and we've got to make sure we give them every opportunity to showcase their skills."

Notes: Former Raiders Warren Sapp and James Jones attended practice, along with ex-Lions coach and current NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci. . LT Donald Penn continues to rehab from offseason foot surgery and is getting closer to getting back on the field. "Our trainer is pleased with the progress that he's made," Gruden said. "Hopefully that time is soon."

If you want to get an insight into what makes Eli Manning tick, watch the two-time Super Bowl MVP work with kids at a summer football camp.

Talking about football to three or four dozen attentive young players is something the New York Giants quarterback enjoys, whether the topic is hydration, catching passes Marcus Williams Jersey , doing things in practice so they become second nature in games, focusing or simply just getting better.

Manning doesn’t talk very long. He gets his thoughts across and gets to the stuff he wants to do. He gets a ball from the coaches at the Offense-Defense camp at Kean University and starts throwing little seam routes to players.

After a water break, there is a 7-on-7 drill and Manning hooks up with a receiver deep for a touchdown that will be someone’s lifetime memory.

”It’s fun to see them get ready for their upcoming season,” the 37-year-old Manning said. ”They are out here practicing trying to get better and it’s fun. Hey, I was that kid not too long ago. You kind of still feel you are that kid in the sense of getting ready to go play a game and play football and improve.

”For these guys it’s not about going to college. It’s about being a good high school player. Hey, I want to be a good NFL player. It’s whatever league you are in.”

By Manning’s count, he will be starting his 23rd training camp when the Giants report for workouts in roughly two weeks. It will be his 15th season with New York, and this one should be interesting.

The Giants have a new coach in Pat Shurmur, a new offense and defense and a revamped roster.

Manning knows there are going to be a lot of questions. Can the team overcome last year’s 3-13 record that led to the firing of Ben McAdoo and the hiring of Shurmur? Can they get back to the playoffs? Can he still function being closer to 40 than 30?

They are legitimate questions, but Manning is more concerned with today.

”I am not concerned with two years or how long I play, I am concerned about this year Jimmie Ward Jersey ,” Manning said.

”I am focused and excited about having a great year this year, making good decisions, running this offense, getting our team ready. That’s the focus. That’s the concern. That’s all. I am excited about it. It’s good when you are not worried about the hoopla and all the other things going on. I am worried about doing my job and winning football games.”

Manning has been getting ready for this camp like any other. Training has become a year-round job and the techniques are different.

When he was a youngster in New Orleans, hydrating meant going for a swim and drinking a soda. Now, the hydration starts a week before camp begins. Liquid is taken before, during and after practice, something that he imparts to the players as a spokesman for Gatorade the past 14 years.

Still, he insists training camp is fun, especially the competition.

”That’s the great thing about football,” Manning said. ”What you did last year doesn’t matter Wes Schweitzer Jersey , whether good or bad. It’s all about what you can do this year. I am excited about the guys we have, the new coaches. I have been texting with the guys and everyone is excited to get rolling and see what we can do this year.”

The new offense should be interesting. The line seemingly has been solidified with the addition of left tackle Nate Solder and guard Will Hernandez, the second-round draft pick. Running back Saquon Barkley, the second overall pick, has the potential to be a game breaker.

Receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who is coming off a broken ankle that ended his season in early October, has looked good in some videos from California, where he has been running around shirtless with fellow wide out Sterling Shepard and Barkley making one-handed catches.

”I know they will have to make some adjustments. We do practice with our shirts on with the Giants,” Manning quipped.

Manning said the Giants worked hard in the offseason and he is excited to see what happens this year.



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