Skeptics Eat Crow: Jon Gruden Croons Over the Raiders Once Again

Jeanette RaideretteCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2010

I remember going head-to-head in a debate not too long ago with a few people who seem to think that Jon Gruden bashes the Raiders any chance he can get.

It's time for those who believe Gruden is a Raider hater to shut their mouths as Gruden croons over the 2010 Raiders.

Gruden stated Wednesday, in an ESPN conference call, that he feels strongly about the Raiders being able to take the AFC West.

"The Raiders should be excited, I don't just say this being former a Raider (pronouncing it 'Raiiiiider') myself, but I do like their defense. If you look at their front seven, I know all the years I was coaching, I'd love to have that group. Adding guys like (Kamerion) Wimbley, (John) Henderson, trading for Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, getting (Rolando) McClain in the first round. That's a good front seven. (Nnamdi Asomugha is) arguably one of the top corners in all of football. I like everything about their defense. And I think I should. These are talented football players."

Gruden also added, "Jason Campbell, between he and Bruce Gradkowski, will do the thing they need to win there with this defense ... protect the ball."

Jon, you rock! Can I have your autograph?

Is his claim possible? Yes it is. The Broncos and Chiefs really aren't that much of a threat. It is all up to knocking the proverbial chip off the Chargers' shoulders.

Raiders fans clearly aren't the only ones seeing this as a possibility.

Ron Jaworski reported the Chargers as being the most overrated team in the NFL, and I happen to agree.

Their team is already weakened, while the Raiders have gained strength.

Gruden also sang praises for our special teams.

"They have maybe the best punter in history. And I'm not kidding you. His statistics make Ray Guy look normal. Shane Lechler is an equalizer. Janikowski can put points on the board. They're going to be outstanding in the kicking game, very good on defense."

Lechler is outstanding at getting the ball deep in the opposing team's territory. Janikowski can, and will, solidify games in the fourth quarter with only minutes remaining by achieving that game winning field goal. Special teams is solid.

Gruden even praised the offense (which even I have lacked in doing).

"If they can take care of the ball, run the ball and develop a couple of these young offensive linemen, and I've heard good things about some of their sleepers that they have in camp, I think they can win the division. I really do. I like the Raiders a lot."

There you have it, skeptics! How would you like that crow: rare, medium or well-done? It's time for you to have a meal courtesy of the Raider fans and Jon Freakin' Gruden!