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Jon Gruden welcomed back to Oakland Raiders 16 years after exit

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

(ALAMEDA, Calif.) — The Oakland Raiders rolled out the red carpet to welcome Jon Gruden back for a second stint as Raiders coach sixteen years after his exit.

Gruden was officially introduced in an elaborate introductory news conference in the team’s performance center on Tuesday.

Gruden was introduced by owner Mark Davis, nearly 20 years after Gruden was hired by the late Al Davis as an unproven coach.

“I think I was deep down somewhere [wanting to coach again],” Gruden said. “You know, I was at a point in my life where I wanted to be with my family. My sons were at an age where I had a chance to coach in high school, be around them. But this place, this man [Davis] right here, has a lot to do with why I’m here today.

“The timing is right. It really doesn’t have anything to do with the contract. I just want to be a part of the Raiders again. I want to finish my coaching career as an Oakland Raider, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Gruden coached the team from 1998 to 2001 until he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I just, in my heart, I feel this is the thing to do,” Gruden said. “This is what I want to do. This is the organization that I want to be a part of, and I am all in. I only live one time. This is something I feel deeply, strongly about, and I am going to do everything I can to hire a great coaching staff and put the Raiders back on track.”

Gruden said he has hired an offensive coordinator (Greg Olson), a defensive coordinator (Paul Guenther) and a special-teams coordinator (Rich Bisaccia).

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