The Raiders broke ground in 2020 when they became the first NFL team in Las Vegas. The move has turned into a massive success as the team was No. 1 in the NFL in net gate revenue, generating $119 million, per Front Office Sports. It’s becoming obvious that Las Vegas is a gold mine for the sports world as NBA and MLB teams could also join the market in the future.
In the meantime, the city will be adding an XFL team. The alternative football league to the NFL is being rebooted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia. There will only be eight teams to start and one of them will be in Las Vegas. Though the team doesn’t have a name yet, they’ll have a strong connection to the Raiders.
NFL Hall of Famer and former Raiders defensive back Rod Woodson will be the head coach of the Las Vegas XFL team.
Woodson has been trying to make his name in coaching since 2010 and was a cornerbacks coach for the Raiders in 2011 and 2017. He’s one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history but it remains to be seen how he’ll perform as a head coach. At the very least, he brings a lot of gravitas and star power to the Las Vegas XFL team.
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Woodson Ripped Jon Gruden After Getting Fired
When Jon Gruden was hired by the Raiders in 2018, he mostly cleaned house. There were sweeping changes made to the coaching staff and roster. Woodson was a causality as he was fired upon Gruden’s hiring. Instead of taking the high road, the Hall of Famer ripped into the coach back in 2018.
“I understand Gruden, wonderful on his TV gig, did some wonderful things as a coach, but he only won 53 percent of his games,” Woodson said on Fox Sports 1 . “Ten years, $100 million. I hope Mark Davis has an out. My question would be, how many Super Bowls do you have to win for $100 million? You give that deal to Bill Belichick. But to a Jon Gruden? It’s hard for me to understand.”
Four years later, it’s clear that Woodson was not wrong in his assessment of Gruden. He went 22-31 during his return to the Raiders and resigned after a number of offensive emails were leaked to the media. Perhaps owner Mark Davis would’ve been better off had he listened to people like Woodson.
Woodson Hasn’t Coached Since Raiders Stint
Just because Woodson was right about Gruden doesn’t mean he’ll be a great head coach. He has yet to land another job after he was fired by the Raiders in 2018. That could be due to the way he handled getting fired more so than due to his job performance.
Though the XFL is not the NFL, Woodson will have his best chance yet to show off his coaching ability. If he can build a really good team in Las Vegas, perhaps he’ll start getting NFL looks once again.
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