But Ditka suggested it won't be easy for Gruden, who will be officially introduced as the Raiders coach Tuesday after a nine-year absence from the sidelines.
In 11 years of total head coaching experience to date, Gruden has a regular season record of 95-81-0.
Just like when he hired Hayward native Jack Del Rio to coach, and then brought back Oakland's own Marshawn Lynch to play running back last season, Davis is betting a splashy hire that harkens back to the glory days will keep Raider Nation on board, even as he starts packing the moving trucks.
Although he hasn't coached since 2008, his return is viewed as one that should help the Raiders' struggling offense. During that tenure, Gruden was the first coach to take the team to a 12-4 season winning their first division title since 1990.
On Sunday, the Oakland Raiders made the worst-kept secret in the National Football League official by announcing the hiring of Jon Gruden as their next head coach.
Charles Woodson, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Mike Haynes, Howie Long, Jim Otto, James Lofton and Rich Gannon are among the Raiders alumnus in attendance for Jon Gruden's introductory Press Conference. Clearly, the Raiders head coach plans on having an in-depth conversation with his team about specifics.
Gruden will obviously lean on McKenzie and his staff for much of the draft intel this year, but how will his style and opinion impact what the Raiders do strategically, if at all?
That's why everything about this feels like it is more about business than ball. Gruden spoke passionately about his love for the city of Oakland and how he's hoping to deliver two memorable seasons for the fans before the team makes the move to Las Vegas. Okay, when was the last time Gruden developed a young quarterback? You finally found your franchise quarterback of the future and he's got a $125 million contract. "But here I am and I'm ready to get to work".
Davis said he spoke with Gruden on Christmas Eve in Philadelphia, the night before the Raiders played at the Eagles. So when the Raiders said that they complied with the Rooney Rule by interviewing Tee Martin and Bobby Johnson, they were really just covering their posteriors. "I don't care how hard Derek has worked before, he's going to have to change his work habits to fit in". It wasn't a realistic option, not with Gruden seemingly content as ESPN's top color analyst. I know I have a lot to prove, and I'm eager to prove that I can do it.
When asked about the reported deal, Gruden quipped that he doesn't have a guarantee that he will be alive for another 10 years.
"I don't have a guarantee to be alive for 10 years, just so people know", Gruden said.