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Raiders’ Jon Gruden Says Players “Dying” to Play for Team

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It’s been a bizarre season for the Oakland Raiders, and a controversial start to the second stint of head coach Jon Gruden, one that has involved a number of trades that have waved the white flag on the season, and upset fans in the process.

But Gruden claims that, despite the hiccups, players are eager to play for the Raiders.

“I got a cellphone just like you and everybody else. I get a lot of phone calls from people that are dying to come play here. I’m just telling you. They’re dying to play for the Raiders,” Gruden said, during a recent interview with Fox Sports.

“And to have salary-cap space and to have a chance to talk to the people that you really want to wear the silver and black, the guys you really want to wear the silver and black and represent this team, that’s exciting.”

The Raiders are off to a 1-5 start and are in a clear rebuild, and Gruden has come under criticism for his management of a team that started the season with playoff hopes and a few young building blocks, such as Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, to build around.

 

AFC

Broncos Hire Ed Donatell As Defensive Coordinator

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The Denver Broncos will hire former Chicago Bears defensive back ED Donatell to be there defensive coordinator. The Move reunites Donatell with Vic Fangio, the head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Donatell coach under Fangio led defense s from 2011 through 2018 as defensive back coach. So the two are definitely know each other well. Donatell has been a defensive coordinator in the league before running, the Packers defense from 2000-2003 and in the Atlanta Falcons from 2004-2006.

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Browns Targeting Chuck Pagano for Defensive Coordinator

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With Freddie Kitchens officially at the helm as head coach, the Cleveland Browns are now focusing on his building his staff.

According to the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, the Browns are interested in former Indianapolis Colts head coach Check Pagano for their defensive coordinator job.

Pagano had interviewed for head coaching vacancies this offseason, and is drawing interest as a defensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

The report goes on to say that Kitchens is really interested in adding Pagano to his staff.

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AFC

Texans’ Demaryius Thomas Wants To Continue Playing Career

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Houston Texans veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who they acquired via trade from the Denver Broncos mid-season, plans to continue his playing career, and would like to stay in Houston.

“My main priority right now is getting back healthy. I can still play, man. I’m not thinking about retirement. I just don’t know where it will be,” Thomas said, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

“I told them I would love to finish my career here, but we’ll see…This is what we have to deal with as players and guys in the locker room. I hope my appearance and being around the guys and talking to a couple of guys helped. I don’t want to say I helped that much play-wise, but leadership-wise, I think I helped.”

Thomas played in 7 games for the Texans following the trade, and caught 23 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

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