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Jon Gruden met with Marshawn Lynch, scoffs at reports to contrary, says ‘he’s our back’

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Dallas Cowboys v Oakland Raiders Photo by Don Feria/Getty Images

I’ve pretty much stayed away from the rumblings Marshawn Lynch supposedly ‘blew off’ a meeting with Jon Gruden this offseason. Mostly because it’s important at times not to give any credence to things that have no reason for existence.

Even after Marshawn Lynch’s agent angrily shot down the false reports and ultimately elicited an apology from the person who spread them.

But once Gruden himself addressed it in the appropriate mocking fashion - which means the word of it reached him - it was time to acknowledge it.

You see, as far as alibis go, Gruden has a pretty ironclad one that debunks the idea that there was any such meeting even arranged for Marshawn to ‘blow off’ – they’re not allowed to arrange meetings, per the CBA, as he told the Mercury News Wednesday.

“You’re not allowed to do anything,” Gruden said of the strict rules regarding coach/player contact. “You’re not allowed to coach your players. I’ve called several players, introduced myself. I think that’s legal. I’m not having contact with everybody. I’ve had people call me to tell me that Marshawn Lynch didn’t show up to a meeting that we had. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s being written that’s not even true. We’re not allowed to have any real contact. It’s pretty clear on what the rules are. All you’ve got to do is read ’em.”

Oh, and that said, he HAS met with Marshawn, just as he said in his introductory press conference he was looking forward to doing.

“I bumped into him,” Gruden said of meeting Lynch. “Some of these players that live locally do come to the facility to get a workout, see the trainer. I’ve been downstairs and met several guys. I have talked to Marshawn briefly.”

As to whether Marshawn is in the team’s plans this season, Gruden was non-committal, but hopeful.

“I don’t know… We’ll see,” He continued. “We’ll keep everybody posted. Right now, he’s our leading ball carrier. He’s our back, and we’re counting on him. Hopefully we get an opportunity to work together. That’s a man that has a lot of respect in this league as a player and I certainly have respect for him also.”

Funny thing is, he had some rather similar words about Michael Crabtree that seem to suggest he’d like to have Crabtree back.