Jon Gruden praises 'best player I've ever coached' after wild win on MNF

By , Audacy Sports

Raiders coach Jon Gruden had high praise for tight end Darren Waller after Las Vegas' thrilling season-opening win on Monday Night Football.

Speaking with reporters after the Raiders' 33-27 win over the Ravens, Gruden was asked about Waller's performance, which was shaky early on -- including a pair of drops -- before he turned things around in the second half.

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Waller was targeted a career-high 19 times by quarterback Derek Carr, with only 10 going for completions, including one for a touchdown. It wasn't exactly efficient, but Gruden said he had no regrets about it.

"We threw it 60 times, and if you threw it 60 times, you would probably target him 29 times,” Gruden said, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “He’s the best player I have ever coached, so I am going to continue to look for him.”

Waller, who turned 29 on Monday, seemed to be flattered when reporters relayed Gruden's comments.

“Dang, it’s crazy that he said that," he said.

It's no small praise considering Gruden has coached a handful of Hall of Famers in his long career. Among them, according to