Sportress of Blogitude

Jon Gruden explains why he’s ‘envious’ of the Patriots

New Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden on Wednesday admitted to being “envious” of the New England Patriots due to the organization’s longstanding commitment to excellence, which of course is a slogan used by the Raiders.

Speaking Wednesday from the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Ind., Gruden showered praise upon the Patriots, pointing out how the organization is unparalleled with its single-minded dedication to perfection, a philosophy that has long been heralded as “The Patriot Way.”

“Oh man, I’m envious of the Patriots — I really am,” Gruden, who got a close look at the team over his years on “Monday Night Football,” said at his 9:30 a.m. news conference, via ESPN. “The Patriot Way — finding players that are versatile. Finding players that can adapt on a weekly basis to win a game. They don’t care how they beat you, either. They’re not afraid to use the 60-minute clock to beat you in the final seconds. And they’re not afraid to blow you out, either.

“But they can morph themselves into a two-back team; they can come out with five receivers and play no-back formations. It’s just a pleasure to watch them adapt them every year — to the new rules, and to the new men on their roster and coaching staff.”

Gruden noted, however, that while the biggest names on the team get most of the credit, every Patriots employee deserves credit.

“It all starts with [coach Bill] Belichick and Tom Brady, certainly,” Gruden added. “But the people behind the scenes there deserve a lot of credit.”

Gruden of course is not the first, nor will he be the last, NFL head coach or executive to profess profound admiration for how the Patriots organization goes about its business.

It merits noting that despite rumors of internal strife — highlighted by rumors of a power struggle involving Belichick, Brady and owner Robert Kraft — the Patriots nevertheless made it to Super Bowl LII. The ability to rise above such distractions is obviously something Gruden will try to emulate with the Raiders.