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This Raiders ‘Hard Knocks’ Preview Will Give You Nightmares, Too
AP Photo/David Zalubowski, FIle

The Oakland Raiders have won the Super Bowl. No, not the actual one like they did three times in the 1970s and 80s. There’s still an entire NFL season to be played and it would take a miracle for that to happen. What the Silver and Black really won is their own version of a world championship with HBO’s “Hard Knocks” filming the team’s training camp to end this miserable offseason.

For a few weeks, quarterback Derek Carr’s new bromance with wide receiver Antonio Brown will be on full display with NFL Films. So can former Alabama star running back Josh Jacobs’ adjustment to the league after the NFL Draft and some other spicy storylines. However, the real star of the circus is definitely going to be Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, and he’s already in midseason form.

Despite going 4-12 last year — his first season with the team — and finishing dead last in an AFC West division with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos, Gruden is optimistic about the future of the franchise before it moves to Las Vegas next season.

How can we tell? Well, just watch this clip about Gruden being into nightmares and wanting his players to end other teams’ dreams.

It’s only July, yet Gruden is out here throwing cliches around left and right. If his schtick isn’t old for you, or it went away after he left ESPN and Monday Night football, just wait until you get a heavy dose of him during the NFL preseason when his team plays the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.

“Everybody right now has dreams, don’t they, guys? I said it to the rookies. Alright, everybody in the NFL, “I have a dream of making it in the NFL. I got a dream of winning the Super Bowl. I got a dream of being of being in the Pro Bowl.’ I’m really not into dreams anymore, okay? I’m into nightmares. You guys with me on that? You gotta end somebody’s dream. You gotta take their job. You gotta take their heart. You guys clear about this NFL now?

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“We’re not trying to go to the Peach Bowl. We’re not trying to go to the Gator Bowl. Or the Bluebonnet Bowl. We’re trying to go to the Super Bowl. Okay? And to do that, you gotta really try end somebody’s dreams. Are you clear on that, Ferrell?

“Okay? I mean that, now. So, get into that.”

— Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden

Gruden, who is in his second stint with the Raiders and also coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is a showman. He’s very entertaining. He wants the cameras rolling when he tells his NFL players, especially the top draft picks, they are not playing college football anymore. He wants the camera rolling in the locker room and when the team scores touchdowns while he fist pumps on the sideline.

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But, honestly, the Oakland Raiders are not the New England Patriots. They aren’t America’s Team like the Dallas Cowboys, either. They are just another team that will struggle to make the NFL playoffs.

However, with Chucky on the sideline giving these speeches, the camera rolling, and owner Mark Davis still cutting his expensive paycheck, the show, and the nightmares, are here to stay.

READ MORE: A $2 Billion Stadium? That’s What the Las Vegas Raiders Will Get

Author placeholder image About the author:
With over 10 years of sports writing experience, Brett has covered some of the top local, regional, and national sporting events in the Heartland for both print and digital platforms. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and resides in Austin, Texas.
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