Wide receiver Zay Jones joined the then-Oakland Raiders via a trade with the Buffalo Bills in 2019. But in 1.5 seasons with the team, his contributions have been minimal. That didn’t stop him from re-signing with the Raiders this offseason, and Jon Gruden may be the reason why.
In a recent interview with the team, Jones said that he’s had fun being coached by Gruden. He credited Gruden with reigniting his fire and love for football.
Jones said that football was beginning to feel more like an unenjoyable job before he met Gruden. Now he enjoys playing the game again thanks to the Raiders head coach.
“It’s a lot of fun [being coached by Gruden],” Jones said. “I’ve said this to many people I’ve talked to, Gruden has kind of reignited that fire and that love, for me, with football again. Football’s something that early on in my career, felt like a job a little bit. But Gruden has brought that passion that’s just like, ‘I enjoy playing this game again. I enjoy being out here.’
“And he brings so much history of the game. He’s someone that can tie in Jerry Rice to Randy Moss to Fred Biletnikoff to someone more modern-day. And he just puts it all in this melting pot of film and it’s just fun. It’s creative. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s laughter, it’s jokes, but you can also get yelled at at the same time. So it’s a mixture of both.”
New number. Same @zayjones11.
How the WR is adjusting to Vegas, what he likes about working with Coach Gruden, and speaks on the new additions to the roster. pic.twitter.com/OhuyLGSCs6
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) June 30, 2021
Zay Jones was a second-round pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2017 NFL Draft. And over his first two seasons he was making solid contributions to the team. In 2018 he had 56 receptions for 652 yards and seven touchdowns.
But the Bills decided to trade Jones during the 2019 season, getting a 2021 fifth-round pick from the Raiders in the deal.
Since joining the Raiders, Jones has 34 receptions for 301 yards and one touchdown. He became a free agent after the 2020 season but re-signed with them on a one-year deal when free agency began.
Maybe he’ll have better luck on the field this year. But if he doesn’t, at least he’ll enjoy his time with Jon Gruden.