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Jon Gruden jawed at the officials Authentic Chase Edmonds Jersey , worked closely with the quarterbacks and was once again adored by the Oakland Raiders fans.


It was as if he had never left the Coliseum.

Jon Gruden was a winner in his return to the sideline for Oakland when the Raiders got a touchdown pass from Connor Cook in a 16-10 victory over the Detroit Lions on Friday night.

"It was awesome," he said. "I saw some recognizable faces that had gotten a little bit older. I saw some old friends who mean a lot to me. Like I said all along, this is a great responsibility. The nostalgia has worn off. We have to do something with the opportunity. But it was sure great to see the Raiders fans."

Gruden was welcomed back warmly to the Coliseum for his first game here as Raiders coach since beating the Jets in a playoff game Jan. 12, 2001. Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay after that season and has spent the past nine years as an ESPN analyst.

Raiders owner Mark Davis lured Gruden back to the sideline with a 10-year contract worth a reported $100 million following a disappointing six-win season under Jack Del Rio.

The Gruden era appeared to get off to a rousing start when Marshawn Lynch ran 60 yards for a TD on the third snap, but the score was called back on a holding penalty by rookie tackle Kolton Miller.

"I was really ticked off after watching that get called back," Gruden said. "Chucky came out for a brief moment tonight."

Oakland settled for a punt on the only drive with starting quarterback Derek Carr, but scored three times in five drives with Cook at the helm. Cook threw a 7-yard TD pass to Ryan Switzer in the second quarter and led Oakland to a pair of field goals by rookie Eddy Pineiro. Cook finished 11 for 19 for 141 yards.

The Lions also welcomed a new coach in Matt Patricia, who opted to rest star quarterback Matthew Stafford, who got enough work in two days of joint practices against Oakland.

"We got a lot of good work in this week," Patricia said. "He took a lot of reps and he saw a lot of different looks. That was the goal, to come out here and be able to get some of those different team tempo plays and have it scripted and a little controlled. Just thought it was a good opportunity tonight to have the other guys go out and compete."

Matt Cassel got the start and went 10 for 18 for 81 yards, leading Detroit to one score on three drives, with Ameer Abdullah capping it with a 1-yard TD run . Jake Rudock finished 12 for 19 for 84 yards.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Lynch once again sat during the national anthem. Lynch also sat for the anthem all of last season but never gave a reason for his decision. No other players on either team demonstrated during the anthem Authentic Richard Rodgers Jersey , with the Lions all standing together with locked arms.

ROOKIE REPORT

Lions second-round RB Kerryon Johnson showed good burst, running for 34 yards on seven carries and adding four catches for 33 yards.

"To me, didn't make enough plays at the beginning, didn't make enough plays at the end," Johnson said. "I still have work to do. We still have work to do. It was the first game. First-game jitters out for everybody."

The Raiders also had a strong performance from a second-round pick with DT P.J. Hall getting a sack and batting down a pass in the first half. Oakland undrafted free agent RB Chris Warren III ran 13 times for 86 yards .

INJURIES

Raiders CB Antonio Hamilton limped off twice in the second half with an apparent ankle injury.

HELMET FOUL

There was one penalty under the new rule prohibiting players from leading with their helmets. Oakland S Karl Joseph was called for the infraction on a tackle against Abdullah in the second quarter.

OFF THE DIRT

Pineiro's second field goal came at the end of the first half after Gruden called for a run that set up Pineiro's 48-yarder off the infield dirt. Pineiro added a 45-yard field goal off the dirt in the fourth quarter. The Raiders will play at least one regular-season game this season with the infield dirt in place for Oakland Athletics games.

"I remember when we drafted (Sebastian) Janikowski, it was like being on a foreign planet for him when he got here and started kicking off the dirt," Gruden said of Oakland's first-round pick in 2000. "We did manage to get him a couple of looks."

NEXT UP

Lions: Host Giants on Aug. 17.

Raiders: Visit Rams on Aug. 18.

Miami Dolphins 14th-year veteran John Denney first saw his future career path in eighth grade, when he bent over and looked between his legs.


His coach was putting together a place-kicking team at practice, and Denney volunteered to try out as a long snapper.

"Whoever was interested lined up and started snapping the ball at a tire hanging from the uprights," Denney said. "Beginner's luck, I hit the chain holding the tire and it knocked the tire off the chain. At that age, that got everybody in a frenzy."

Those cheers might still be the loudest Denney ever received for doing his job. All long snappers toil in anonymity 鈥?unless they make a mistake, and Denney doesn't. That's why he has been with the Dolphins since 2005 Authentic Rick Leonard Jersey , four years longer than any other active player.

At 39 he's among the oldest players in the NFL.

"It has been a ride, that's for sure," Denney said following a recent practice. "I would never guess 14 years later I would still be on this field in the same place. I won the lottery."

Is the hardest part of the job the drudgery of training camp in steamy South Florida?

"For everybody else, yeah," Denney said with a chuckle. "My position is different."

That's for sure. Long snappers spend much of practice off to the side with the place-kickers and punters, often watching and chatting. It's not bad duty for $1 million a year, which is Denney's salary this season.

But as with any specialist, there's pressure. Denney is expected to be nearly 100 percent accurate, and has been. When asked to tabulate the misfires, Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi paused to search his memory.

"In my nine seasons with him, I think we had confusion once on a field goal," Rizzi said Tuesday. "Brandon Fields (the holder) wasn't looking, and John hit him in the face mask.

"To have to sit here and think about it is a credit to him."

And while the 6-foot-5 Josey Jewell Jersey Broncos , 242-pound Denney doesn't log as many snaps as an every-down player, he does run downfield under punts, and wins raves for staying in shape.

"The guy is in unbelievable physical condition," coach Adam Gase said. "He's the ultimate pro."

Denney doesn't look his age, but he'll turn 40 in December.

"Wow. I didn't know he was going to be 40," said running back Frank Gore, who's a mere 35. "He does work hard, though. During the offseason he works very, very hard."

That includes snapping drills. Sometimes Denney recruits his 11- and 13-year-old sons to help, and hikes in the backyard.

Like everything else, practice makes perfect.

"If I give you a ball right now and you look between your legs and everything is upside down, it's not natural," Denney said. "It's a matter of working at it to a point it becomes natural."

Denney played linebacker and offensive line in high school in Charlotte Browns Game Jerseys , North Carolina, and was a three-year starter at defensive end for Brigham Young. All the while he groomed his skills as a long snapper, which is how he made the Dolphins' roster after going undrafted.

He played in every game as a rookie, and each year since he has played in all 16 games 鈥?208 in total. That's by far a team record for consecutive games, and tied for third among active NFL players.

The streak will likely grow, although Denney has nominal competition in training camp from undrafted rookie Lucas Gravelle. It's one of the few times the team has brought in another long snapper to compete with Denney, but he said he always feels like he's fighting for his job.

"Regardless of whether there is another body in camp, they have a list on a board somewhere with the next five best long snappers available," he said. "It's not like you're ever in the clear."

That accurately describes life in the NFL. As usual, Denney is right on target.

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