Following Oakland's 34-3 loss to the 49ers, Gruden doubled down on his statement Thursday saying he sees players "after every game we play that want to be Raiders."
The Oakland Raiders are 1–7 in the Jon Gruden era so far, but Gruden is still optimistic about the future of the franchise. Even after the Raiders suffered their seventh loss of the season at the hands of the 49ers Thursday night, the coach doubled down on his claims that people are "dying" to come play for Oakland.
"I see players after every game we play that want to be Raiders. That's been the case my whole life," Gruden said following his team's 34–3 loss in the Battle of the Bay at Levi's Stadium. "The brand of the Raiders is an exciting one and I think a lot of players, no doubt, do want to play for us in the future."
Gruden's claims echo those he made in an interview with FOX Sports' Howie Long that aired before kickoff Thursday.
"I got a cell phone just like you and everybody else," Gruden told Long. "I get a lot of phone calls from people that are dying to come play here. I'm just telling you. They're dying to play for the Raiders."
While he wouldn't name players when pressed by reporters Thursday night—Gruden says he's "made a lot of friends in this business over the years"—the 55-year-old coach did say that he doesn't believe his current players took his comments to mean that they were not good enough.
"The Oakland Raiders is a great organization. I know it's not looking pretty right now," he added Thursday night. "I've heard a lot of negativity over the last six or seven months, and rightfully so. But we're going to build a championship football team here. I know a lot of people as players, as fans, just in general, want to be a part of this."
The Raiders take on the Los Angeles Chargers next on Nov. 11. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. ET.