Raiders head coach Jon Gruden addressed the media for the first time since Brown’s helmet grievance came to light on Friday following his team’s 14-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
For the most part, Gruden defended his star. The coach said Brown “didn’t do anything wrong” when he sustained his infamous cryotherapy injury and said the receiver’s helmet is a “personal matter to him.”
Jon Gruden on Raiders WR Antonio Brown: "I support this guy. ...We’re confident he’s going to be a huge factor for the Raiders for years to come." Full transcript: pic.twitter.com/nK9jplvQSO— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 11, 2019
Of course, Gruden probably has to defend Brown given that he unloaded plenty of draft capital to land the volatile receiver from the Pittsburgh Steelers despite a litany of prior issues. And saying anything negative about Brown sure sounds like a great way to extend Brown’s absence from the team.
Brown has reportedly threatened to not play football again unless he gets to wear his old helmet model, as he apparently believes the new helmets interfere with his field of vision. Of course, every other pass catcher in the league now has to deal with that handicap.
For now, Brown is still away from the team while reportedly waiting for a decision on his helmet grievance. His return figures to be the biggest story of this season’s “Hard Knocks,” unless it isn’t.
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