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Jon Gruden era in Oakland opens with Raiders as underdogs to mentee Sean McVay’s Rams in primetime on his old network

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I ran out of breath reading that headline.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

You knew Gruden’s old network ESPN was going to want to get him on TV in front of his home fans as soon as possible. Even if it meant having a game at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum the day after the A’s play a baseball game.

It may be a happy homecoming for Gruden, but if it is to end well for him, it won’t be easy. He will be facing a tough Rams team coached by the man he once mentored.

Sean McVay’s first NFL job was in 2008 as an offensive assistant under Gruden. McVay was just 22 years old at the time. Last year he became a head coach at the age of 31 and in his first season, he led a juggernaut Rams team that has added some major talent this offseason.

Vegas oddsmakers are putting the Rams as 1.5-point favorites against the Raiders in Oakland on Monday Night Football. And when you look at this Rams team as currently made up, it’s kinda surprising it isn’t a more sizable number.

The Rams were already 11-5 last season. Then they added the likes of cornerbacks Aqib Talib, and Marcus Peters, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Currently the Raiders don’t look to have improved as a team with the exception of perhaps the coaching change.

All eyes will be on Jon Gruden in the Monday Night opener as he will take the field in front of his beloved Oakland fans as Raiders head coach for the first time since he was traded to Tampa 15 years ago. If that euphoria is to last, they’ll have to get through arguably their toughest test of the season right from the start.

See the entire schedule here.