Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden is excited to have safety Johnathan Abram available as he sees him as a big part of the team's defense for the years to come. Abram, who was selected by the Raiders at No. 27 in the 2019 NFL, was limited to only one game in his rookie season due to a torn labrum.
The Raiders kicked off this year's season with a 34-30 win over the Carolina Panthers and Abram had a team-high 14 tackles. "John Abram did a great job. He made a lot of tackles. He made some good physical tackles, made some one-on-one tackles which is impressive.
Showed good range, took good pursuit angles. Played with great energy. We are really excited about that. We didn't have him at all last year. I thought [Damon] Arnette did some decent things. Obviously, he gets beat on the double move.
You can't have that happen in that situation. [Trayvon] Mullen had his ups and downs," Gruden said, per the team's website.
Gruden sees promise in his young secondary
The Raiders allowed the Panthers to score 30 points but they came up big when the Panthers had a drive for the win.
"I just loved the way we finished," Gruden claimed. "It's a long flight, 3,000 miles, it's a hot day. We were in the hotel; we weren't allowed to leave. We got out there, we fought hard for 57-58 minutes.
Offensively, we took a drive the distance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. We finished the drive. And defensively we finished the game with a critical fourth-and-1 stop. So, we fought through a lot of ups and downs.
We lost key players; we lost the lead but we didn't lose the game. And that's a character builder if anything." The Raiders allowed 388 total yards of offense to the Panthers and Gruden underlined they have got to do better.
"Anytime you watch a game like that and the quarterback has time to get to his second and third look, get to the checkdowns, it's not good enough. And our players know that. They're capable of better." On Monday, the Las Vegas Raiders host the New Orleans Saints -- one of the most gifted offensitve teams in the NFL.
"We're young. We did some good things but also made some critical mistakes that we have to fix before Drew Brees gets to town, that's for sure," Gruden acknowledged.