Jon Gruden looking forward to meeting Marshawn Lynch for first time

From ESPN - January 10, 2018

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Is there room in the Oakland Raiders locker room for both Chucky and Beast Mode?

It's a question we posed on Tuesday, before Jon Gruden was welcomed back with a lavish media conference, and it's a question Gruden himself would like an answer to in the not-too-distant future.

Gruden, you see, has never met Marshawn Lynch. Not as the coach of Lynch's favorite boyhood football team in Oakland during Lynch's early teen years. Not as a broadcaster on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" the past nine seasons, when Lynch became an NFL household name.

"I asked for Marshawn Lynch in production meetings and I never got to meet him," Gruden said during his news conference amidst laughter because, yes, Lynch avoids controlled interactions with the media like he does would-be tacklers in the open field.

"So I am anxious to sit down with Marshawn and meet him. We will talk about his future and the Raiders. I ca not wait. He came back to the Raiders for similar, I think, reasons that I did. I think he loves Oakland. I think he loves the Raiders and guys like him interest me, so I am looking forward to talking to him."

No doubt Lynch marches to the beat of his own drum, and he can be seen as a distraction in a young and impressionable locker room.

But he was also the Raiders' most productive offensive player in the second half of a disappointing 6-10 season after coming out of a one-year retirement.

Project his stats from his last eight games over a full 16-game season and Lynch has 1,250 rushing yards with 10 rushing TDs. His 50 missed tackles forced over the whole season were the sixth-most of any running back in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.


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