In his short time as an analyst, former Raiders and Bucs coach Jon Gruden has developed a reputation for being overly positive in his remarks about any and all teams, coaches, and players. It’s widely believed that Gruden eventually will return to the NFL, and that he’s being careful not to unleash his Chucky persona under circumstances that could make it harder for him to get a job in an industry with only 32 possible head-coaching positions.
But he apparently slipped out of character last week, directing at Panthers linebacker Jon Beason some rare criticism during Thursday during the ESPN broadcast of the game between Carolina and Baltimore. Beason, who is in the process of moving from middle to weakside linebacker in the Carolina defense, didn’t like it.
“It was a little slippery out there and I slipped on one play where
Gruden referred to me as a fish out of water,” Beason said, per Steve Reed of CarolinaGrowl.com. “I
appreciate it. It’s just a little added motivation, more fuel to the
fire. When I see coach Gruden I’ll let him know how I feel about it.”
Because the Panthers collectively played like a school of beached barracudas last year, Beason and Gruden won’t see each other at all during the 2010 regular season; Carolina has no Monday night games.
Still, Beason’s reaction proves that coaches who still want to get back in can never reach their full potential in the broadcast booth.