Henderson, Nevada--Tomorrow, Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders face perhaps one of the most challenging days of his second tenure at the helm of the Silver and Black.
At 4 p.m. ET, the National Football League mandates that all teams be down to their 53-man roster. With the Raiders having more depth than they have had in years, that makes life difficult knowing that you will be cutting players who will sign with other teams.
Jimmy Morrissey from the Pittsburgh Panthers is one player who has made a solid push to make the highly touted 2021 roster. The seventh-round draft pick has played exceptionally well this preseason, and on the field and in the locker room, has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches.
On draft night, I predicted that Morrissey would make the 53-man roster and still feel that way. By his grit and blue-collar lunch pail approach to the game, the former Pitt walk-on is a perfect fit in the Silver and Black, and that work ethic has him on the fringe of making his NFL dreams come true.
After practice, I asked Coach Jon Gruden about Morrissey, and he praised his burgeoning young star: "Jimmy Morrissey is like a coach on the field. He's everything that was advertised at Pitt. He obviously came from nowhere as a walk-on to start every single game. He's a gym rat. He loves it. He can make all our calls. He's got good athleticism. Really pleased with his progress. He's put himself in contention to make our team."
Tomorrow will be an exciting day around the NFL, but for Morrissey, it will mean more. Never given anything, everything he has accomplished he has earned by hard work and willpower.
Coached by one of the premier college coaches in America, Pat Narduzzi at Pittsburgh, Morrissey did what he always has, out-working people, listening and performing.
For the pride of Huntington Beach, Pa., just getting here has been a miracle. Not many college walk-ons make the NFL at all, but not many walk-ons are Jimmy Morrissey.
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