Raiders take advantage of Lions to get Gruden win in preseason opener
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. — Jon Gruden jawed at the officials, worked closely with the quarterbacks and was once again adored by the Oakland Raiders fans.
It was as if he had never left the Coliseum.
Jon Gruden was a winner in his return to the sideline for Oakland when the Raiders got a touchdown pass from Connor Cook in a 16-10 victory over the Detroit Lions late Friday night on the West Coast.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I saw some recognizable faces that had gotten a little bit older…. Like I said all along, this is a great responsibility. The nostalgia has worn off. We have to do something with the opportunity. But it was sure great to see the Raiders fans.”
Gruden was welcomed back warmly to the Coliseum for his first game here as Raiders coach since beating the Jets in a playoff game Jan. 12, 2001. Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay after that season and has spent the past nine years as an ESPN analyst.
Raiders owner Mark Davis lured Gruden back to the sideline with a 10-year contract worth a reported $100 million following a disappointing six-win season under Jack Del Rio.
The Gruden era appeared to get off to a rousing start when Marshawn Lynch ran 60 yards for a TD on the third snap, but the score was called back on a holding penalty by rookie tackle Kolton Miller.
“I was really ticked off after watching that get called back,” Gruden said. “Chucky came out for a brief moment tonight.”
Oakland settled for a punt on the only drive with starting quarterback Derek Carr, but scored three times in five drives with Cook at the helm.
The Lions also welcomed a new coach in Matt Patricia, who opted to rest star quarterback Matthew Stafford, who got enough work in two days of joint practices against Oakland.
“We got a lot of good work in this week,” Patricia said. “He took a lot of reps and he saw a lot of different looks. That was the goal, to come out here and be able to get some of those different team tempo plays and have it scripted and a little controlled.”
Matt Cassel got the start and went 10 for 18 for 81 yards, leading Detroit to one score on three drives, with Ameer Abdullah capping it with a 1-yard TD run. Jake Rudock finished 12 for 19 for 84 yards.