Mark Davis jokes he’d rather fire Jon Gruden than have Raiders on ‘Hard Knocks’
The Oakland Raiders are among the five teams eligible by criteria set forth by the NFL to appear on the upcoming season of “Hard Knocks,” and Mark Davis joked he would rather go to extreme measures than appear on the show.
Along with the Raiders, the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins are candidates for “Hard Knocks,” HBO’s long-running training camp reality series.
Davis, the Raiders owner who lured Jon Gruden back into the coaching ranks with a jaw-dropping $100 million contract, sarcastically said he’d rather cut ties with the coach he signed to a 10-year deal than have the Raiders’ offseason covered in the upcoming season of “Hard Knocks.”
“I’ll just fire Jon and then hire him back [after another team is chosen],” Davis said this week at the NFL owners meetings, via ESPN.
Gruden’s thoughts on Davis’ hard-line stance clearly made in jest?
“I’m all for whatever he wants to do,” Gruden, piggybacking on Davis’ zinger, said Tuesday night.
The Lions and Raiders have had an amusing back-and-forth during the offseason in which each team has proposed the other appear on the show. After Lions head coach Matt Patricia suggested Gruden would be perfect for the series, the Raiders coach replied by pointing out that Patricia’s beardwould make for fascinating television.
The Raiders obviously have no shortage of intriguing story lines that would play well on “Hard Knocks,” including the presence of the charismatic Gruden, eccentric Davis and enigmatic wide receiver Antonio Brown.
NFL teams not surprisingly regard having to appear on “Hard Knocks” as a nuisance, as evidenced by what last year’s team said about the situation before begrudgingly accepting their fate. Davis is inclined to feel the same way.
“It would be disruptive,” Davis said. “We’ve got a lot of business to take care of, get ready for the season. I appreciate that they might think we’d be great TV, but we got something to accomplish.”
Raiders officials expect an announcement on which team will appear on “Hard Knocks” potentially by the end of this week.