By WG RAMIREZ, Associated Press
HENDERSON, Nevada (AP) – The Las Vegas Raiders have operated with a ânext man upâ mentality since the start of the season while dealing with injury throughout the roster.
Sunday in Denver, the same mantra will apply with their technical staff against the Denver Broncos.
While Jon Gruden tendered his resignation Monday amid emails he sent before he was hired in 2018 containing racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments, longtime special Rich Bisaccia is making his debut as Raiders’ interim head coach.
Additionally, offensive coordinator Greg Olson will be the new voice in the ears of quarterback Derek Carr, calling the games in a clash that pits rivals 3-2 in search of their first victory in October.
âCoach Olson is going to be calling the games and he’s been intimate with Coach Gruden in developing the plan for the game,â Bisaccia said. âI’ve been with Coach Olson in Tampa. We won 10 games and he called every game so I think we will be in the status quo that way. He has a great relationship with Derek. He’s been coaching quarterbacks here for four years.
Olson, who has served as the offensive coordinator for five NFL teams, has experience as an offensive skipper since 1990, when the 58-year-old held the same position at Central Washington. He was the quarterbacks coach at Purdue when Drew Brees was in college.
Olson has coached the NFL since 2003, including a brief stint with the St. Louis Rams from 2006-2007, leading one of the most powerful offensive units of the time. He previously called plays for the Raiders during Carr’s rookie season in Oakland, and established trust with the eight-year veteran.
Olson, who returned to the Raiders as an offensive coordinator when Gruden returned to coach the team in January 2018, received a resounding endorsement from Carr during his weekly media availability.
âI heard his voice through the headphones, I know what he calls the game and I know how he thinks,â Carr said. âWe are in the same room. Every conversation I have had with Coach Gruden, I have had with Oly all this time. And so the three of us, and now Johnny Mo (Senior Offensive Assistant John Morton), we were all together all the time. It’s not going to be anything crazy new, but there are some philosophies that some people have. “
Olson said this week’s process has remained the same despite the lack of a man, Gruden, and staff feel good about the process, thanks to the staff that the unit is surrounded by.
His longtime relationship with Carr certainly helps, as Olson was part of the organization that recruited him. The two kept in touch after Olson was fired by former Raiders staff in 2014.
âI obviously have a lot of respect for the way his career has gone and a ton of respect for him now that I’ve had the chance to be with him again,â said Olson. “It’s a personal and professional relationship, which I think is important in the role I have had with him and for the future.”
Carr said he was not ready to reveal Olson’s secrets, but hinted that the Raiders might take a different look at Denver.
âThe way they call the game will definitely change as they have a new player,â said Broncos defensive star Von Miller. âWhat they do is what they do. They’re not going to come here and be an optional team. They’re not just going to come here and completely change their identity because Gruden is gone. They’re still going to do some of the things they do well. We just don’t know when they will.
One familiar with Olson’s play appeal is Raiders’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who, as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, hired him as their offensive coordinator in January 2015, before taking him on. lay off in October 2016.
âWhat’s great about Greg is the way he uses the staff,â Bradley said. âHe’s so consistent. He has a precise philosophy on how he wants to go about it and articulate things. He knows this team so well, their attacking players and their talent and he will do a great job. I have a lot of respect for him.
NOTES: FROM Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first openly gay active player, returned to training after asking for a personal day on Wednesday. â¦ According to Thursday’s injury report, S Johnathan Abram (shoulder / calf) and DE Yannick Ngakoue (rest / knee) were limited to training; LB Cory Littleton (shoulder) and TE Darren Waller (rest / knee) were full participants; RB Josh Jacobs (illness) and DT Quinton Jefferson (back) did not participate.
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