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Halfway through Raiders camp and no fights: Jon Gruden uses lessons learned from time with 49ers thirty years ago

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Former San Francisco 49ers wide-receiver Jerry Ric Photo credit should read JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP/Getty Images

There have been a couple minor bouts of jawing in Raiders training camp so far, but surprisingly no scraps. There’s almost always a couple times when players get a little heated and have to be separated. Sometimes it escalates to more than shoving too. Not this camp. These guys have been on their best behavior. Gruden insists upon it.

“We talk about that a lot in team meetings,” Gruden said, adding “Perhaps you’ll see it on Hard Knocks.

“We really believe the etiquette is important. You got to practice in shorts. You got to practice with speed in shorts. And if you know how to do it and you practice doing it and you enforce how you do it, you got a chance to really be good at it.”

A lot of coaches preach no fights. Jack Del Rio did. And yet, inevitably there were still be a few instances. It’s hard to avoid with the mix of seasoned vets and young hopefuls out there trying to distinguish themselves and break onto an NFL roster. But for whatever reason, Gruden has been able to keep the peace.

The 55-year-old head coach said his philosophy comes from his first NFL coaching gig as an offensive assistant in San Francisco some 30 years ago.

“That’s the one thing I took from the 49ers when I was there years ago,” Gruden added. “We had all these Hall of Fame great players and they practiced fast. And they practiced in baseball hats. Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott and there were never collisions. But there was a lot of respect and cooperation and there was a lot of intelligence of how they wanted to get things done. We’ve showed video of old 49er film, we’ve showed good and bad examples of our stuff and around the league and guys are getting better at it.”

I suppose Gruden’s stance is to be passionate, be a ‘grinder’ but save it for the opponent. As luck would have it, the opponent is coming next week when the Rams scrimmage against them in camp. These guys can get their frustrations out then.