Two former Philadelphia Eagles have reunited in Las Vegas.
During his head-coaching tenure, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden (it’s hard to remember not to call them Oakland sometimes) has been a guest in both the home and visiting locker room at Veterans Stadium. The man we affectionately once referred to as “Chuckie” spent three seasons (1995-1997) in the “City of Brotherly Love” as the Philadelphia Eagles‘ offensive coordinator. That helped him earn the job of head coach of Oakland’s football team.
There he racked up a 60-57 win-loss record including the playoffs, but things ended with him being on the wrong side of a “tuck rule” call and his eventual traded (yes a trade) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take over for Tony Dungy who had built the “Bucs” to a level of respectability but would be dismissed as he led Tampa to playoff appearances but was unable to close the deal with a Super Bowl win.
They’ve ticked us off sometimes, but Randall and Gruden, in some ways, will always be Philadelphia Eagles.
Gruden’s Bucs sealed the deal in Super Bowl XXXVII and hung losses on the “Birds” in both an NFC Championship Game, the final game ever played at Veterans Stadium, and the first-ever regular-season game at Lincoln Financial Field, two moments “Birds” fans would like to forget but can’t. His run with former Eagles head coach Ray Rhodes also led to the end of Randall Cunningham‘s era in green.
Rhodes and Gruden brought the “West Coast Offense” with them from the San Francisco 49ers, and Cunningham struggled to learn its nuances. Rodney Peete would take over, and after leaving Philly, Randall would retire, do some soul searching, return to the NFL for one final run. How’s that for landing on your feet?
Three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings would give “Birds” fans a reason to cheer for the guys in purple. “Scramblin’ Randall” never won that elusive Super Bowl, but he led one of the most prolific NFL offenses of all time. His spot in NFL lore was cemented. These days, he’s an ordained Protestant minister, and beginning here very soon, he’ll be spending some time with those Las Vegas Raiders as a team chaplain.
Who would have guessed that back in 1995? Life takes us all in some very unique directions, but regardless of what your theories on Randall, Gruden, or the Raiders are, this one should make you smile. We don’t often say the words, but some Eagles are Eagles forever. We keep up with what they’re doing and how they’re doing, and even though most of us will never don the “silver and black”, it would still be nice to see good things happen for both Randall and Gruden. They still feel like Eagles sometimes.