Turns out that when Jon Gruden said he wanted to bring back coaching strategies from 1998, he also meant motivational tactics from that era as well. As Gruden and the rest of his Raiders staff coached the North to a 34-24 victory over the South in this year’s Senior Bowl, he decided congratulate each impact player on the field by slapping a sticker of the Raiders logo on their helmet—a move that simultaneously gave players something to work for, while also serving as a bit of a recruiting (or potentially tampering) technique.
One of the more notable recipients of the sticker-slap was Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, who capped off a 10-play, 84-yard drive with a scramble to the end zone. The broadcast captured the moment Jones received the sticker in beautiful slow-motion.
Other offensive players that received stickers included UMass wide receiver Andy Isabella, UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss, Ohio State Terry McLaurin, North Carolina State quarterback Ryan Finley and Wisconsin fullback Alec Ingold. McLaurin finished with three stickers on his helmet and Isabella ended up with two.
The stickers weren’t limited to players on offense, either. Delaware safety Nasir Adderley, USC cornerback Iman Marshall, Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders and Texas edge rusher Charles Omenihu all got slapped in the head with the silver and black as well.
However, just because a player didn’t get a sticker slapped on his head, doesn’t mean that Gruden didn’t get a chance to show his appreciation towards him. Earlier in the week, he served his team a banquet of 2,000 wings to celebrate their hard work in practice.
Given his past affinity for veteran players, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Gruden has been fucking ecstatic over an event celebrating the oldest prospects of this year’s NFL Draft. It almost gets me excited for draft season, and the likely possibility that he’ll push the team to select that Wisconsin fullback with one of their first round picks.