Jon Gruden on Getting Amari Cooper Involved: 'Easier Said Than Done'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2018

Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden stands on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
John Hefti/Associated Press

Amari Cooper's first game under Jon Gruden was a bust, with the wideout finishing with a disappointing one catch for nine yards.

Gruden said he'll look to change that in Week 2.

"We'll have to get Amari going this week...easier said than done," Gruden told reporters Tuesday. 

Gruden's return to the Oakland Raiders after a decade in the broadcast booth was borderline disastrous. The offense showed an almost complete disregard for the wide receivers, with tight end Jared Cook and running back Jalen Richard receiving a majority of the looks.

Gruden's defense also recorded only one sack and failed to pressure Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, less than two weeks removed from trading top pass-rusher Khalil Mack.

After posting 1,000-yard seasons each of his first two years in the NFL, Cooper fell off in a major way in 2017. He finished with just 48 grabs for 680 yards and seven touchdowns as the Raiders offense fell toward the bottom of the pack.

Oakland brought Gruden back with a 10-year, $100 million contract to help revive the offense, particularly quarterback Derek Carr. The plan didn't work against a talented Rams defense, with Carr throwing three picks and abandoning throws down the field.

"Coop can vertical. He can get vertical. There's no question he can get vertical," Gruden told reporters of Cooper's downfield ability.

There wasn't much positive to say about the Raiders' performance Monday. So any positive change will be a massive upgrade against the Denver Broncos next week. 

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