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Jon Gruden Tried to Send a Message to the Raiders by Tricking Them Into Thinking He Had COVID

Jon Gruden apparently tried an approach to getting his team to take coronavirus seriously which only he could. Gruden had assistant coach Rich Bisaccia begin a Raiders team meeting on Zoom in his position and tell the team Gruden had contracted COVID-19.

The only caveat? He hadn't.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that the message behind Gruden's antics was to show his team that something like that could happen to anybody and that they needed to be prepared. And while I suppose I understand what Gruden was going for, having your team believe, however briefly, that you're in the hospital with COVID when you're just waiting to pull the "gotcha" on them doesn't seem like the way to send a message right now. And what good does it do when the shock value you're going for only lasts a few minutes anyway?

Playing for Gruden has to be endlessly tiring. I honestly don't know how any professional athletes, many making millions every season, go through six months of meetings and practices with a guy who more closely resembles a prototypical overzealous high school coach than a Super Bowl champion. And more power to him, because his style has obviously worked — at least once upon a time — but it takes a certain personality to be able to put up with that all the time.

So next time you hear a report that Gruden is in the hospital, wait a few minutes to make sure he doesn't pop up on Zoom to tell you it was just to send a message.