Jon Gruden frustrated with rule limiting contact with Raiders players

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But despite Crabtree's issues with the previous coaching staff, Tafur says new Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is ready to give the receiver a fresh start.

Regardless of whether Lynch plays for the Raiders in 2018, Gruden and his staff will likely evaluate a deep roster of running backs the scouting combine.

"Oh man, I'm envious of the Patriots, I really am", Gruden said, as transcribed by ESPN.com's Mike Reiss. "And one of the reasons I'm excited to be with the Raiders is to join forces with Lynch, but we'll see what happens. I'm counting on him being part of the football team". "Things did not go well, so we can point fingers at a lot of those types of situations, but we're not going to dwell on what happened previous year, it's all about that we're going to press forward, and get the most out of the guys we got, and get it working".

"He's still a beast that's hard to bring down", Gruden said. "And if Marshawn Lynch is the feature back, I think it would be nice if we serviced him with a fullback". He's got tremendous quickness.

Last month, Gruden had said he was "anxious" to meet and discuss the future with Lynch, who is 31 and under contract for a base salary of $4 million next season but something of a wild-card. We'll keep you updated as we get more information.

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If you think this seems to be a little stone-aged to hear from a forward-thinking guy, I'll grant you that. I don't know these guys. "He likes the bright lights, and he'll be the headliner in our offense".

And this story about him wanting to abandon the analytics of the game - do you really think that Gruden would not use every avenue possible to show the entire football landscape that he is still one of the best coaches in the world. He's still a very good pass rusher.

"Man, I'm trying to throw the game back to 1998", Gruden said.

As for the Patriots, who beat Gruden in the "tuck-rule" game with the Raiders before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2001 season, there is an equal amount of respect. I mean, he's a fullback with speed, but he was injured, it impacted us on special teams and it certainly impacted the offense. That is, in fact, the plot of a novel/movie/play he hopes to write, which will be called "The Football Gods" and will feature coaches of previous generations returning to the field to "fix" the game. We just need to get him some help so he can do the things he does the best more often. We do have some free agents out there.

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