The Raiders are having another bizarre offseason despite most of their activities taking place virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, coach Jon Gruden had special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia lie to players on a video call by telling them Gruden had been hospitalized with the coronavirus. It was an apparent ploy to get them to take the illness seriously.
While Gruden’s intentions might have been OK, his method of getting the message across was questionable. NFL Network correspondent Mike Garafolo’s overwhelmingly positive spin of the incident was odd, too.
One more on the #Raiders from Inside Training Camp on @nflnetwork: Jon Gruden’s attempt to “crush” COVID-19 included assistant Rich Bisaccia tricking the players into thinking Gruden had coronavirus. But it wasn’t a mean-spirited prank. There was a serious message behind it. pic.twitter.com/I832Zy5g2a
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 5, 2020
It would be interesting to get the inside perspective of players on the call to determine how Gruden’s strategy was actually perceived.
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The upcoming season will be the Raiders’ first in Las Vegas. They are still trying to replicate their 2016 success (12-4 record, wild-card berth) while hedging their bets on quarterback Derek Carr with the signing of Marcus Mariota. Carr was excellent in that campaign but suffered a late-season injury and hasn’t been regarded the same since then.
The Raiders are slated to make their Vegas debut in Week 2 against the Saints.
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