Jon Gruden lauds ‘loyal' Raiders fans for support despite Las Vegas move


NAPA -- You can feel it around Raiders training camp, whether people will admit it or not. 

With their pending move to Las Vegas, there's a chance this is the final time the Silver and Black will host training camp in Napa. Owner Mark Davis has said he's open to returning to wine country to hold camp, but right now nothing is certain. 

The hopeful optimism that normally fills the lead up to kick-off has been mixed with a touch of nostalgia and sadness for the departing Bay Area pirates. 

Still, the crowds have been full, rowdy and supportive as head coach Jon Gruden and the Silver and Black prepare for their Oakland swan song, something Gruden greatly appreciates. 

"It's just great," Gruden said when asked about the fan support. "It just goes to show you, 'Once a Raider, Always a Raider.' We have very loyal fans. It's going to be heartbreaking in some ways, ultra exciting in others to see the future of this franchise. But Raider fans are the best. We appreciate their support and it means a lot." 

Linebacker Tahir Whitehead echoed Gruden's sentiments on Raider Nation showing up in droves to Napa. 

"I expect nothing less," Whitehead said. "It runs deep. Die-hard Raiders fans through and through and that's what I love about them. They never waiver. They might talk a little smack, get on your case a little bit, but at the end of the day they're not going anywhere and that's what I love. They'll be right in that stadium through thick and thin, rooting and cheering and raving about throughout the whole game. We're just going to take it one step at a time."

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Despite the upcoming move to Las Vegas, Raider fans have shown up to Napa in droves, and there's little doubt they'll pack the Coliseum all season long before bidding adieu to the Silver and Black.

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