Waller’s backup, Jason Witten, is poised to set an NFL record for games played by a tight end at 271, breaking the record of Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez.
Witten, 38, in his first season with the Raiders and his 17th in the NFL, with the 16 previous years being played with the Dallas Cowboys. Witten didn’t play in 2018 as he took over for Raiders coach Jon Gruden as an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
On Wednesday, Gruden indicated that Witten will probably retire after this season. But Witten later said he will take time to think about his future.
Witten did reflect on his longevity as he is about to make history. He said when he was drafted by Bill Parcells in 2003, the coach had a message.
“Coach Parcells taught me about reliability, dependability and consistency,” Witten said. “Those are the traits I tried to keep.”
Gruden said he thinks Witten can be a great coach some day and even compared him to Hall of Famers Tom Landry and Bill Cowher. Witten said he thinks he would like to get into coaching at some point.
For now, though, the focus is on Game No. 271.