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Keyshawn, Gruden reuniting in Tampa this weekend

Keyshawn Gruden Getty Images

Ten years ago, they won a Super Bowl together in Tampa.  Nine years ago, the coach sent the player home with pay for the rest of the season.  Last year, shots were fired via their mutual airwaves at ESPN.

Today, ESPN announced that former Bucs coach Jon Gruden and former Bucs receiver Keyshawn Johnson will attend Sunday’s anniversary celebration of the only championship team in franchise history.

The announcement, of course, makes no mention of the ugly history between the two men, or of Johnson’s on-air remarks from last season regarding his belief that Gruden “messed with” the receiver’s “psyche.”

Gruden later acknowledged the remarks without mentioning Johnson.  “I had a guy on SportsCenter say he couldn’t get along with me the other day on TV,” Gruden said.  “So I know how it feels.  You’ve got to have some thick skin, and you’ve got to know when things get tough there are going to be some negative things said.”

Gruden may need to thicken his skin some more before Sunday.  Shaun King, who was a backup to Brad Johnson in 2002, called Gruden “inherently dishonest” last year.  After Gruden was fired, former Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice labeled Gruden a “scumbag.”  In both cases, no one from the 2002 Bucs team — or any other Bucs team — came to Gruden’s defense.

These are things that perhaps should be kept in mind by any NFL owner who decides to join in the Bob LaMonte-inspired Jon Gruden land rush.

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16 Responses to “Keyshawn, Gruden reuniting in Tampa this weekend”
  1. metalhead65 says: Dec 7, 2012 1:32 PM

    the only thing a owner will take into account is that he won super bowl whether the players liked him or not. and not whether a certain internet hack likes him or not.

  2. myroncopesflask says: Dec 7, 2012 1:35 PM

    I thought Meshawn was banned from Tampa?

  3. goodguyattorney says: Dec 7, 2012 1:47 PM

    The Bucs have made some of the worse moves on NFL history. While drafting Bo Jackson #1 overall (never signed) and waiving Doug Williams out of spite (Super Bowl MVP) rank up there, firing Tony Dungy was the dumbest. Dungy would have won a SB at Tampa – maybe two.

  4. steelerben says: Dec 7, 2012 1:49 PM

    A football coach that was dishonest? I’m shocked.

    I’ve never seen a coach lie.

    Except for Sean Payton. And Bill Belichick. And Andy Reid. And Lane Kiffin. And Nick Sabin. And Bobby Petrino…

  5. milkmandanimal says: Dec 7, 2012 2:02 PM

    The Bucs won that Super Bowl because Gruden’s playcalling overcame their lack of talent on offense and he was smart enough to stay away from the defense and let Kiffin handle it. Dungy wasn’t going to do all those playcalls on offense. Gruden delivered that win to Tampa. Is he an absolute jerk who I’m glad was fired? Lord, yes, he alienated all sorts of players and people didn’t want to play for him, but Dungy wasn’t necessary. Kiffin had the defense, they needed an offensive mind.

  6. S.Nevada says: Dec 7, 2012 2:12 PM

    MeShawn or MeAngelo? Give me MeAngelo.

  7. azarkhan says: Dec 7, 2012 2:17 PM

    They may hate Gruden but I bet they love that Super Bowl ring. Ditto Giants players and Tom Coughlin.

  8. liner1900 says: Dec 7, 2012 2:21 PM

    This guy says we should have kept Dungy in hindsight, after winning a superbowl the year after we fired him??!! What would Dungy have done in Indy without Manning? Dungy had his chances to win one in Tampa. He lost to Philly twice in the playoffs and scored a grand total of zero touchdowns. He was widely successful on one side of the ball, and a huge failure on the other depite all the high draft choices on offense.

  9. desal2ds says: Dec 7, 2012 2:37 PM

    He won a Super Bowl with those players who hated him. Who cares. At some point you have to give somebody some credit. Billy Martin won WS with Reggie Jackson. It happens

  10. cuda1234 says: Dec 7, 2012 2:57 PM

    Everyone knows that Gruden won with Dungy’s team while tearing it apart and mortgaging the future on aging vets like Charlie Garner, Jake Plummer, and others.

    Dungy turned around the worst team in all of pro sports and made them an annual 10-win playoff team. It only took Jonny-boy a couple of seasons to undo it all and the Bucs STILL haven’t recovered.

  11. nfloracle says: Dec 7, 2012 3:28 PM

    Any owner who hires Gruden should have his head examined. The guy’s such a phony on TV with all his laudatory nonsense for every player and coach on the NFL circuit.

  12. legacybroken says: Dec 7, 2012 4:03 PM

    Cuda, most of the players were actually selected on Sam Wyche’s watch and the real brains behind those teams were the MacKay, Angelo, Ruskell tandem in the front office. Also while Dungy coached we were considered underachievers despite all our talent. Gruden a great coach came in and got the team over the humo. Unfortunately MacKay mortgaged the future to win the Super Bowl and left us in cap hell afterwards. Gruden’s failures was in his ability to restock the team with draft picks. Gruden is a poor young talent evaluator hich is why if someone hires to be Head Coach it would be wise for them to have a good talent evaluation guy as GM.

  13. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 7, 2012 4:04 PM

    Gruden knew everything Oakland ran offensively. Regardless of how good the Bucs’ D was — and it was very good — saying Dungy this, Gruden that is irrelevant besides the fact that Gruden knew most of the Raiders’ play calls before they even ran the plays.

  14. rcali says: Dec 7, 2012 4:10 PM

    Is the “Keyshawn Johnson Fanclub” number still sitting at 1?

  15. manningbowl88 says: Dec 7, 2012 5:14 PM

    didnt gruden lead the sorry sacks to a superbowl W with johnson as QB??!?

    and id argue that johnson is inherently annoying as hell and a big mouth..im sure gruden doesnt like u much either and shaun king LMAO.. i forgot all about u until that comment

    cant say much about rice he was a beast

  16. aboselli says: Dec 7, 2012 6:20 PM

    Wasn’t it Simeon Rice who downplayed Pat Tillman’s decision to quit the NFL and enlist in the military, insinuating he wasn’t even very good so who cares?

    So he’s a great judge of character.

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