"QB Camp" gives a glimpse at how good Gruden could be in the booth

grudenledecomjpg-b593cb2a2b736c03_large.jpgLike most of the folks who have watched it, we were fascinated by ESPN’s recent “QB Camp” special featuring Jon Gruden, who dusted off the role of head coach and conducted a film review session with the four top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft:  Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, and Tim Tebow.  It provided excellent insight into the manner in which coaches and quarterbacks communicate, and it reintroduced us all to “Chucky,” who had traded in his snarling scowl when he stepped into the broadcast booth.

It also made us even more frustrated by Gruden’s ultra-positive shtick when he’s working games.  If he’d bring to football season the same attitude that he employed when dealing with the incoming rookies, Monday Night Football immediately would reclaim the status of appointment viewing that disappeared once Howard Cosell made his exit.

“We criticize, we analyze, we work it,” Gruden said during the show, even though McCoy at times didn’t seem to be happy with Gruden’s scrutiny, which included Gruden making a crack about McCoy’s height and making fun of McCoy’s Texas twang. 

So why won’t Gruden criticize, analyze, and/or work it when rubbing elbows with Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski?

The prevailing opinion is that Gruden wants to return to coaching, and that he’s deliberately being careful not to say anything during game broadcasts that could alienate any owners, players, front-office personnel, assistant coaches, and/or fan bases.  Surely, he wants a bidding war to emerge for his services; burning bridges isn’t the way to make that happen.

Last year, Gruden defended his happy-thoughts approach in an interview with Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports.  “I’ll be honest with you — I’ve been criticized by some for being too
positive, for loving everybody because I’m trying to get this job or
that job,” Gruden said.  “That’s
a crock
.  I love the game, OK —
and I’m enthusiastic because of it.  There are positives about
everybody, and I try to find them.”

Except, of course, when trying to demonstrate to NFL owners and General Managers that he knows how to point out and correct the negatives in a young quarterback.

It’s easier for Gruden to be negative in that context, since he can immediately mend fences with a bruised ego.  If he were to begin breaking down quarterbacking flaws for a national audience at a time when he can’t immediately charm the quarterback into thinking that Gruden is doing him a favor, Gruden would risk the development of hard feelings if the player hears about the criticism from someone else.

So as part of our job to criticize, analyze, and/or work it, we believe Gruden is taking full advantage of his current career in order to maximize his pay and power in his next career, a return to coaching in the NFL.

And we believe that it’s working.

52 responses to “"QB Camp" gives a glimpse at how good Gruden could be in the booth

  1. Perhaps he’s not tearing apart player son broadcasts because that’s not what he’s being paid to do. It’s someone elses job to help those players identify their flaws and work on them. If these teams want to have Grudens services for that then they should pay him to do it. They aren’t just going to get it for free. And what good would it do to the player to only hear his criticism without him them having the time to correct those flaws through working with the player for an extended period of time.

  2. Gruden will be coaching Colt McCoy in Cleveland next year…that would be 2011, obviously not ’10, (providing the dummies don’t get locked out and there is no season).

  3. Mike,
    I disagree. I think Gruden has been unnecessarily confrontational in every one of the staged settings and his comments on McCoy’s accent were unforgivable.
    And I’m NOT from Texas.
    This was a viewer ploy for the 4LN and nothing else.

  4. “Except, of course, when trying to demonstrate to NFL owners and General Managers that he knows how to point out and correct the negatives in a young quarterback.” You call it pointing out negatives (that streak of lawyer coming out) and some might say that Gruden is helping a QB develope.
    In a world that can be amazingly negative and critical- I don’t mind Gruden being poisitive.

  5. I think Gruden’s commentary on MNF is similar to a tenured professor that gets stuck teaching a 100-Level gen ed class. He has to talk so far down to his audience that he loses his soul. Dude needs to be back on the field, at least as an OC. Either that, or you’re just a douche Florio.

  6. czechm8
    I do not agree with you. Chucky was right on. Did you understand that twang call that McCoy made?
    His jokes were just that, jokes about his height. Claussen interview raised some flags when he threw his receiver under the bus for the route his ran saying he didn’t miss the signal but ran a different route.
    People from the south talk like they have something in their mouth and all he was trying to do was to get him to slow the calls down and speak more clearly for players to understand.
    Ironwill,
    John Fox will be coaching the Browns next year.

  7. I agree with IronWill.
    If Mangini sucks, Holmgren goes to Gruden, who is an old friend, to bail him out.

  8. I, too, wish he would speak his mind in the booth. If he did end up with McCoy on his roster he would run into the same problems that got him fired the first time. No QB.

  9. I just watched the QB camp thing that I tevoed and it was great. I think he has a career in doing that kind of thing for every position if he wanted it. All offseason leading up to the draft. The guys funny as hell and knows his stuff.

  10. I think Gruden is good for the game in general. Getting into the young minds and giving these guys a taste of what the NFL is gonna be like. Who cares if someone does or doesn’t want to hire Gruden or not, hes under contract. The only owner that I know wouldn’t hire him would be Al Davis. Hahaha

  11. Holmgren is not going to anyone other than Holmgren to coach that team when they let Mangini go. He’s already said he misses coaching. He’ll be back by week one of 2011, no doubt. You can question his personell decisions, but the guy is a hell of a coach.

  12. Yeah, how funny that they fired Gruden to get to Rahim Morris. Equal opportunity gone awry.

  13. The whole play call thing was pretty cheap. In truth, the first time anyone hears a typical NFL play call, they probably understand about 30 percent of it (or less). The players on the team will know what the play call is, especially since there are lot more players from the South than from California, or wherever Gruden is from. Would Gruden have sat across the table from a Vince Young or a Bobby Layne and said the same thing?

  14. After several of your mentions on how good this was, I finally started searching for it and found the video for QB Camp…
    Holy crap – this is some of the best stuff ESPN has ever done IMHO. I don’t know what Gruden’s future is, but I hope that this kind of stuff is in it.
    Also – now I see why people are falling in love with Tebow during interviews. He really seems like a leader, where as Claussen does seem like a dumb punk and McCoy looks like a little kid.

  15. This was a cynical article…Gruden has been coaching his entire career….
    While he has only been a professional broadcaster for 1 year.
    You don’t think he could just be enjoying himself during gametime? For once?
    Especially since he likely knows that he will soon be scowling and screaming and working 18 hour days ago very soon?
    I miss him.
    Go Raiders.

  16. The Village Idiot strategy eh? I didn’t see that coming. I imagine there’s a masters thesis, at least, in the unintended consequences of Bud Selig.

  17. Gruden would of came back to the raiders if the job is opened. He wants to be a raider again very badly. You want proof? well just look where he went last year, he went to rickys. A raiders bar. Go to rickys.com I think they still have pics. He told me there, “I will be back someday” That week what the dumb media dosent know he went to meet Al Davis and they actaully like each other, Just the media and bspn cant relize that.

  18. i enjoy watching and listening to mnf except when chucky has been a part of the broadcasting crew………. he SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. “czechm8 says:
    April 19, 2010 6:40 PM
    Mike,
    I disagree. I think Gruden has been unnecessarily confrontational in every one of the staged settings and his comments on McCoy’s accent were unforgivable.
    And I’m NOT from Texas.
    This was a viewer ploy for the 4LN and nothing else.”
    Unforgivable? Holy sensitivity, Batman! It was a friggin’ joke. Lighten up, bud.
    It was easily the best show ESPN has had on for a while. They need more of that kind of stuff. Expand it to other positions.

  20. czechm8 says: …his comments on McCoy’s accent were unforgivable.
    Gruden was right about that. I’m from the South and I missed some of what Colt said too. He needs to learn to speak bolder and clearer than that-don’t mumble and have a southern accent for God’s sake. Nothing against Colt tho, I wish him the best- liked how he was with Gruden. I really liked the whole show.

  21. At least he isn’t being prejudiced for one team as some of the other broadcasters are during the games.

  22. The star of the show was Tim Tebow. He seemed to match wits with Gruden and was hard to rattle. McCoy seemed to get annoyed the easiest. Bradford was cool and confident as you’d expect from a guy about to make 60 million.

  23. Gruden to the Brown’s Chatter!!
    Awesome! I heard on PFT that if Holmgren fires Mangini he is going after Gruden as his next head coach!!
    And in 3, 2, 1 ………… ESPU is now reporting that Gruden is in line to become the next head coach in C-leave- Land. I bet they already know what the contract is worth. I love news!

  24. the show was great, love chucky and don’t think that colt was upset about it all. yeah, he ragged on him a bit, but i think he was just trying to get good ol’ boy with him. clausen, on the other hand furthered my belief that he will not be a great nfl qb because he seems to be more about jimmy clausen then about being a qb.

  25. If he can keep the 12th man out of the huddle he’s welcome to come rip t-jack two new a$$holes.

  26. Got to admit Im no fan of ESPN, but the sessions with the rookies was good stuff. Tebow seemed to really wanna listen to the guy, learn from him.

  27. Aloha All,
    It was a excellect show. Well produced with some very good insight into a world most of us have never seen (what “looking at film” really means) —
    Earlier today, Bradford and Suh were on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN’s radio show and Bradford dropped that he actually spent 5 hrs with Coach Gruden, going over film and loved every minute of it… so be careful what you read into the condensed and edited 5 minute broadcast.
    I was an video editor for a few years and I guarantee you, with 5 hrs to pick from, I can make anyone seem anything you want…just like the “reality” TV shows do.
    FYI: Tebow will not be drafted in round one, he will go in the first 10 picks of round 2 and be the talk of the talking heads from Thursday night to Friday night.
    js

  28. how is Gruden making fun of someone’s height? that said, I hope he’s coaching in Chicago next year!

  29. As a lifelong Bucs fan I am jealous that Gruden is breaking down football in the booth and not still coaching my team on the field. He is a future hall of fame coach who has proven himself on the field as head coach of two successful teams, both of which fell into the bottom of the league after they ran him out of town.
    This guy is a brilliant football mind and the future quarterbacks of the NFL that were able to sit down with him will benefit greatly from that analysis if they apply what he suggested.
    From a selfish point of view, I hope he stays in the booth and continues to dominate broadcasting in the same manner that he dominated coaching.

  30. # Phil in Austin says: April 19, 2010 7:41 PM
    The whole play call thing was pretty cheap. In truth, the first time anyone hears a typical NFL play call, they probably understand about 30 percent of it (or less). The players on the team will know what the play call is, especially since there are lot more players from the South than from California, or wherever Gruden is from. Would Gruden have sat across the table from a Vince Young or a Bobby Layne and said the same thing?
    Phil are you inbred? Gruden is from the South you half wit. He was on ESPN radio talking about how twang and inbred he sounded when he was younger and needed to learn to speak like a non southern douche so people could communicate with him. Before that he probably talked just like you and Vince Young’s… You know like special education kids. He probably would have asked Vince Young about his wonderlic score and asked him if he was still thinking about capping himself.

  31. # Phil in Austin says: April 19, 2010 7:41 PM
    The whole play call thing was pretty cheap. In truth, the first time anyone hears a typical NFL play call, they probably understand about 30 percent of it (or less). The players on the team will know what the play call is, especially since there are lot more players from the South than from California, or wherever Gruden is from. Would Gruden have sat across the table from a Vince Young or a Bobby Layne and said the same thing?
    Phil are you inbred? Gruden is from the South you half wit. He was on ESPN radio talking about how twang and inbred he sounded when he was younger and needed to learn to speak like a non southern douche so people could communicate with him. Before that he probably talked just like you and Vince Young’s… You know like special education kids. He probably would have asked Vince Young about his wonderlic score and asked him if he was still thinking about capping himself.

  32. I have to admit, after watching that show I finally saw him as a coach again. I loved every second of it. All these other people interviewing the prospects treat them with kid gloves and thats ok. Finally I got to see how these guys act when someone is ripping them apart for a poor play and I think you can learn a lot more about a player and how he will handle himself when the chips are down in this kind of setting rather than anything else

  33. I watched all four videos on YouTube. I was impressed with the way he gave all of these guys such great insights and was brutally frank about their weaknesses. May have been the first time ever any of these guys has heard criticism. Also, they all looked like little kids without their helmets and pads. There’s something for you, four little kids about to become multi- millionaires. He really busted on McCoy especially about twirpy sounding Texas accent Def. the funniest of all the sessions. He seemed to like Tebow a lot. Gruden is known as a QB’s coach, so maybe there is something to Tebow being considered a first rounder after all. We’ll know for sure in four days.

  34. as a football fan, i sincerely hope gruden pulls chucky out of the bag next season in the booth. if he lent the kind of insight he doled out at ‘QB camp’ to the booth, that would be amazing. his positivity is too contrived. get nasty in there, chucky! that would some seriously compelling tv….can anyone say the following?
    Gruden 2020?
    wise up, jonnie. go the madden route and you’ll die rich and happy. and 15 years later than if you get back into coaching.

  35. The Glazers have done many stupid things but by far the stupidest was firing Gruden and replacing him with this idiotic water boy Radio.

  36. “Dixon29 says:
    April 19, 2010 6:54 PM
    I agree with IronWill.
    If Mangini sucks, Holmgren goes to Gruden, who is an old friend, to bail him out.

    What do you mean “IF?”
    Does a bear shit in the woods?

  37. The irony he NEVER developed a decent QB…especially in Tampa…sure he’s great on TV and with the kids. But at the end of the day I wouldn’t hire him to develop a “professional” QB….

  38. well in fairness, PFT isn’t giving Gruden the benefit of the doubt here – he flat-out said he just tries to find the positives.
    he’s not lying, he’s just following the old adage “if you don’t have something nice to say….”
    can’t fault him for that. the other guys in the booth aren’t afraid to point out players’ shortcomings anyway.

  39. “well in fairness, PFT isn’t giving Gruden the benefit of the doubt here – he flat-out said he just tries to find the positives.” Texas I appreciate your take. However it does NOT represent the REAL Jon Gruden. I challenge anybody to find 1 player that has something good to say about Gruden. Except for maybe Antonio Bryant who didn’t get the benefit of being tossed to the side when Gruden gets a new toy….
    He’s a fake through and through….guys like this are all talk no a55…..

  40. Interview with Earl Thomas was awesome! Lol at his tires getting taken and hung from the goalposts!

Leave a Reply