Is the Raiders’ move for Jon Gruden just an expensive grab at the past?

Oakland’s new coach has always been known for his scary intensity. But has age – and a long spell in the TV booth – softened what made him great?

This was in the summer of 2000, back when Jon Gruden was still the impossibly-young coach of the Oakland Raiders fighting a team owner stuck in the past. We were walking across a threadbare field at the team’s training camp – a makeshift operation set up behind a country hotel – and he kept shaking his head at the tufts of grass that looked like islands in an ocean of dirt. His face was a mix of disgust at the shoddy conditions and pride for the way he made the best of them.

“Look at this,” he said with a laugh.

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