One of the troubles many West Coast NFL teams encounter is travel, especially when they have back-to-back football games on the East Coast. In each of the past two seasons under Jack Del Rio, the Raiders opted not to fly back home to Oakland when the team had two East Coast games in a row.
After the Raiders played the Buffalo Bills in 2017, they flew straight to Florida instead of going home. In 2016, Del Rio had his team stay in the state after they played the Jacksonville Jaguars and before they played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In each instance they won the second game.
They will no longer stay over with Jon Gruden at the helm.
During the NFL owners meeting on Tuesday, Gruden was asked if he will be staying on the East Coast between road games this season, per the Athletic’s Vic Tafur.
“I want to come home,” Gruden said. “I’m like Dorothy.”
In 2017, Oakland had to travel a league-high 32,876 miles in part because they played a home game in Mexico City. To put it in perspective, the Pittsburgh Steelers only traveled 6,818 miles last season, the fewest in the NFL.
And don’t forget, Oakland’s international game this year involves the team making a trip across the pond to London, not just to Mexico City as they had the past two seasons.