One more on the #Raiders from Inside Training Camp on @nflnetwork: Jon Gruden's attempt to "crush" COVID-19 included assistant Rich Bisaccia tricking the players into thinking Gruden had coronavirus. But it wasn't a mean-spirited prank. There was a serious message behind it. pic.twitter.com/I832Zy5g2a
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 5, 2020
The coronavirus is no laughing matter, but Jon Gruden can’t help but be amusing.
The Raiders coach apparently made his team think that he had coronavirus on a recent Zoom call, in an attempt to scare his players into understanding the seriousness of the situation. Here’s how NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tells it:
“The Raiders players logging onto a Zoom call last week expecting to see Jon Gruden, instead they saw Rich Bisaccia the special teams coach and the assistant head coach. Bisaccia told them, ‘Guys, coach Gruden has COVID and he’s at the hospital now and he’s being taken care of.’ The players were taken aback, ‘Whoa!’
“They shortly thereafter told them, ‘You know what, we’re just putting you on a little bit.’ And it wasn’t a joke. What it was was the team illustrating to the players that this could happen at any moment to anybody. Mind you, this was a couple days before Doug Peterson of the Eagles tested positive.
“The point to the players was you’ve got to stay ready, everybody has got to stay ready, because this virus that Gruden himself said they want to crush, could pop up and it doesn’t discriminate.
“The players really took it to heart from what I’m told and now going forward know that everybody has got to be on the ready because of the world we are living in right now.”
Even during a pandemic, Jon Gruden remains the most bizarrely entertaining coach in football.