This week, Las Vegas Raiders Coach Jon Gruden added to the storyline involving the Raiders’ team busses that happened after the last Raiders and Chiefs game on October 11.
Before we get into what Coach Gruden said, let’s recap how this whole thing got started back in Week 5.
The Raiders handed the Chiefs their only loss of the season with a final score of 40-32; this was the Raiders first win in Kansas City since 2011.
After the shocking upset, Andy Reid learned that the 6 Raiders’ busses took a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium on their way to the airport.
Per one of my contacts. The Raiders requested the police escort allow them to “take a victory lap” around Arrowhead Stadium in the team buses before they headed up to the airport.
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) October 12, 2020
This didn’t sit too well with Reid.
Reid’s a smart coach; he is using this as bulletin-board material to motivate his Chiefs for the upcoming rematch in Week 11.
In the meantime, Reid is using the media airwaves to let Jon Gruden know what he thought of the bus incident.
“They won the game, so they can do anything they want to do. That’s not our style, but we’ll get ourselves back and ready to play.”
Coach Gruden’s Response
Jon Gruden didn’t seem the slightest bit concerned about adding bulletin board material to the Chiefs’ revenge match.
When asked about the Arrowhead victory lap, Gruden implied that the bus driver instigated the incident by giving the Raiders grief.
“I mean, you can find a smart-aleck bus driver in Kansas City who made some snide comments when we got on the bus. Maybe that’s why we drove around the stadium, to tick him off. You know, this is ridiculous. Next question.”
Raiders Get Chiefs After Bye Week
Raiders 3-0 in AFC West after easy 37-12 win over Broncos. They have won three straight games, are 6-3 and get the Chiefs at home next. Viva Las Vegas.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) November 16, 2020
A bigger issue for the 6-3 Raiders is that they face the 8-1 Chiefs after the Chiefs’ bye week yet again.
This will be the fourth time in five years that the Chiefs face the Raiders after the Chiefs’ bye week.
Andy Reid is 18-3 in the games he’s coached after bye weeks.
Gruden rolled out the sarcasm when asked about this.
“I’m sure that’s just a coincidence. I don’t know. I don’t think about it. The schedule is the schedule. You have to adapt to it and that’s what we’ll do.”
Both Are Former Assistants Under Green Bay’s Holmgren
Underneath all of this banter is a long relationship between Gruden and Reid that dates back to the early 1990s when both worked with the Packers under Coach Mike Holmgren.
Both were gopher-level assistants who speak fondly about their time in Green Bay.
Back in 2018 prior to their first meeting between Reid’s Chiefs and Gruden’s Raiders, Gruden said:
“Yeah, we have a lot of memories…He’s a great friend of mine. Passionate coach. He loves football. He might be one of the few guys I know that likes football more than me. That’s why I treasure him.”
“We were both young and we were able to learn a ton from a great head coach. Jon and I spent a lot of time together, along with Steve Mariucci, we were the youngest guys on the staff. We all kind of bonded and did our thing. We did a lot of the gopher work, which we loved. Great learning experience and great foundation to build on.”
The victory lap, heated rivalry, and long relationship between Gruden and Reid make this weekend’s Chiefs at Raiders game must-see-TV.