The Raiders barely began training camp before coach Jon Gruden gave the "Hard Knocks" crew absolute gold.
With the NFL Films crew's cameras rolling, Gruden implored his players not to think about nightmares rather than their own dreams. No, he wasn't telling them to channel Jack Skellington or Freddie Krueger -- fans in the Black Hole surely have already beaten them to it, anyway -- but to try to ruin the dreams of the experienced players ahead of them on the roster.
NFL Films posted the exchange on Twitter on Friday, perhaps to whet the appetite of fans waiting for the man who once introduced "Monday Night Football" viewers to the "turkey hole" to make his "Hard Knocks" debut on Aug. 6.
For Gruden's rookies, being a Raider means becoming someone's nightmare.
Your first taste of this year's #HardKnocksNow, our behind-the-scenes looks at @Raiders training camp. pic.twitter.com/a0rCxPezM1
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) July 26, 2019
"I'm really not into dreams anymore, OK?" Gruden said as the rookies looked on. "I'm into f---ing nightmares. You guys with me on that? You gotta end somebody's dream. You gotta take their job. You gotta take their heart! Are you guys clear about this NFL s--t now? We're not trying to go to the Peach Bowl. We're not trying to go to the Gator Bowl, or the Bluebonnet Bowl. We're trying to go the Super Bowl. Okay? And to do that, you gotta try to end somebody's dreams."
The last Bluebonnet Bowl was played in 1987. No. 4 overall pick Clelin Ferrell was born in 1997. That reference is extremely on-brand for a coach who showed his team game film from the 1970s during training camp last year.
Gruden ended the clip asking if Ferrell was "clear on that," while the rookie edge rusher reacted off-camera. Although the Clemson product was the team's highest draft pick, it's clear Gruden wants him -- and the rest of his players -- to compete for their spots.
The veteran coach wants his players to be nightmarish in those competitions, but Friday's clip made clear that the Raiders' appearance on "Hard Knocks" will be anything but. Well, at least for the audience.