Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden – Media Availability – August 21, 2021


Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden – Media Availability – August 21, 2021


(Opening remarks)

“The game wasn’t always pretty, but I’m really proud of our players. We got here Tuesday and we’ve been in a hotel. We’ve had great camaraderie, we had to compete with the Rams for a couple days on the practice field, and a lot of people got a chance to compete. It will be a great film for us to look at. I’d like to say (CB) Nate Hobbs did a great job for us, we have a fine young defender there. I’ll be happy to answer any questions I can.”


(On injury updates with LB Javin White and LB Nicholas Morrow)

“There’s a concern, obviously with Nick Morrow and his foot. He’s being evaluated. Javin White looks like he hurt his knee. So, we were out a couple linebackers. (LB Darron) Lee couldn’t play tonight, so we are light at linebacker right now, it’s a concern.”


(On LB Nick Kwiatkoski’s injury update)

“He’s going to be ok. We think he’ll be ready to go this week, but he couldn’t go tonight.”


(On LB Javin White)

“I don’t want to come to any conclusions, but we’re going to evaluate him, he’s going to get the x-rays, but we are concerned.”


(On what pleased him the most about the way the offense and defense played tonight)

“I just like the way they compete. We’re playing a lot of different guys. Some guys are playing a little bit more, I think, than they ever expected to play these first two preseason games. I like our grit. I think we have some tough guys. I thought (QB Nathan) Peterman was victimized a couple times with the tipped interceptions. I like the way he competes and runs around, and I just like the energy on our sideline. Our young people have gotten better. They’ve found a way to win two football games no matter what the stakes are.”


(On CB Nate Hobb’s performance)

“Yeah, if you watch it carefully, he played nickel to start the game and did excellent there. And then we moved him outside. We had some corners where (CB) Damon Arnette couldn’t go tonight. (CB) Keisean Nixon went out early. So, he went outside, played very well, and made some impact plays. I don’t usually give out game balls for preseason victories, but (CB) Nate Hobbs got one tonight, well deserved.”


(On if Hobbs has surpassed his expectations)

“Yeah, I would. I’d say that I’m really proud of him and really excited to see what he does in his future. We tried to summarize him a couple days ago. He has the it factor, he rarely makes the same mistake twice, he loves football, eats it up and he’s one of the energizers of our defense. He walked in here and has given us a lot of skills that we can utilize, certainly.”



“He got kicked, came out of the game on the same play Javin got hurt on, and I just liked the way he came back into the game. He showed great energy out of the stack and chased down a quick screen for a critical stop. He’s a work in progress and is getting better and better, and (Defensive Line Coach) Rod Marinelli is in his grill most of the time. But I did like the way he finished and his effort was outstanding when we needed it the most.”


(On S Tra’von Moehrig’s consistency)

“He has made some plays. He has a range in the back end, he can be in a race or tackle. I think he’s a guy that can make the open field tackles against some of the great performers in pro football. We still have a lot to prove there, but we do like the progress he’s made. We’re young back there, obviously Nate Hobbs and Moehrig – they’re going to get a lot of playing time early in this league. And thank goodness we have (Defensive Back’s Coach) Ron Milus, I think one of the best secondary coaches, and we’ve seen progress from both those guys.”


(On if he made it a conservative effort to run to T Alex Leatherwood side)

“A little bit. We were happy with (T Alex) Leatherwood. We wanted to see them do a couple more things tonight. He was the only starter really that went. We didn’t let (C) Andre James play, but we liked what Alex is doing. I think he got a couple of series and most of the first quarter and faired pretty good.”


(On what he thought of DT Darius Philon)

“He’s in the mix for a lot of playing time. He can play nose, he can play three technique. We’re going to get (DT) Gerald McCoy on the grass this year for the first time. So, with (DT) Solomon Thomas, (DT) Quinton Jefferson, (DT Darius) Philon, McCoy, we have a chance to improve our inside rush, which is something that we have to do in this league. I think Phylon has done well, consistently well, and another big play tonight.”


(On what went into the decision to not play QB Marcus Mariota)

“He’s just not ready to go, physically. He competed against the Rams, but he’s limited. We’re not calling plays for him right now with the lack of limitation. He’s got a quad strain. We think he’s got a chance to play against the 49ers. The way he plays, we do not want to get him out in a live situation and let him cut it loose. He’s just not ready to go. He was ready tonight on an emergency basis, but right now he’s just not ready to go.”


(On if the third preseason game still feels like a dress rehearsal)

“I don’t know about that. Right now, we’re going to look at our injury situation at linebacker. We’ve had great practices. We had two really good practices against the Rams. We got to look at the health of our team most importantly. We got to see who’s on the bubble, who we really need to see to make this football team. We would like to get some of the guys a few reps, but at the end of the day, I think health and keeping the right 53 is at the top of our list right now.”


(On the bubble being a good thing to have)

“It is. We’ve seen the emergence of some of our young players. With Gerald McCoy coming to get some at-bats and (LB) Divine Deablo returning, (CB) Isaiah Johnson’s going to jump in and play this week, (S) Karl Joseph didn’t play tonight, we’re hoping to get him on the grass next week. So, we’ve got a lot of guys to look at. (QB Marcus) Mariota hasn’t been able to play. So, with that being said, we want to continue to see who the backup running back can be. We don’t know how long (CB) Rasul (Douglas) is going to be out. So, we’re going to continue to do what we think gives our team the best chance to showcase their skills and keep the right guys.”


(On that status of G Richie Incognito)

“We think he has a calf strain. We hope he’s ready for the opener. We don’t believe it’s serious, not an Achilles tendon related at all, but it’s a calf injury and we’ll keep you updated. But right now, he’ll be out for at least a week or so.”