Gruden: "I'm Thrilled To Be A Part Of It"

Jon Gruden is already wearing his game face.
The intense, enthusiastic former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders coach was definitely pumped up during an ESPN conference call this afternoon where he was announced as the replacement for Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth.
“I would just like to say how proud I am and that I’m very excited to have this opportunity and how respectful I am of the job,” Gruden said. “I grew up watching Monday Night Football. It gives me extreme excitement. I have big shoes to fill. I’m thrilled to be a part of it and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The former Super Bowl winning coach was asked several questions about how long he might work in television even though his agent stated earlier today that Gruden plans to work as a broadcaster for at least a few seasons. Gruden acknowledged that he “dearly misses coaching,” but doesn’t appear to be in a rush to get back on the sidelines.
“I just want to make a real contribution,” Gruden said. “If I do a good enough job, maybe I can hang in there and keep this job for a while.”
One of the toughest transitions for former players and coaches to make in broadcasting is being willing to be critical as they analyze the game.
“I’m going to try to do a good job,” Gruden said. “Whether that’s being critical or being honest or just being myself, I’m going to do everything I can to be fair and do a professional job. This is different, there’s no question, but the thrill of Monday Night Football encourages me. The lead song to Monday Night Football is in my CD deck. It gets me going. …
“I’ll be honest with you. I love the National Football League. It’s the best competition you can find and I miss it. I’m a very short-term, goal-oriented person. I’m really focused on what’s ahead. This is a great challenge. All I’m going to do is concentrate and prepare myself and be a part of a team, and I’m hoping to have some fun along the way with some great guys.”
Among Gruden’s favorite broadcasters are John Madden and Troy Aikman, noting that he would try to make his points succinctly in 25 words or less.
“I love Pat Summerall,” Gruden said. “Sometimes, you just want to let the players tell the story. You don’t want to say too much or confuse people. … Nobody has handed me a textbook on how to do it, but the most important thing I can do is be myself.
“I’ll try to be as confident and prepared as I can be, have some fun and try not to overwhelm people with what I know. I’ll be enthusiastic, prepared and have some fun.”
Gruden said that he plans to spend time watching a lot of film with Ron Jaworski to prepare for the upcoming season, praising Jaworski and Mike Tirico.
When asked if Matt Millen had been approached about the job, ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson said that the network’s search for a successor to Kornheiser, “started and ended,” with Gruden.
At the start of the call, Williamson elaborated on Kornheiser’s decision to step away. 
“I think the decision was weighing on Tony over the past few weeks since the Monday Night Football schedule came out,” Williamson said. “He did a phenomenal job of keeping up with the demands of the travel and the length of the season. It’s not like this is the first conversation we’ve had about travel.
“He ultimately came back to us and said, ‘I’ve had a great run. The time is right for me.’ We respect that. We thank him a thousand times over for everything he’s done for the network. He gave us everything he had for three years. You have to respect that and you have to move on.”

26 responses to “Gruden: "I'm Thrilled To Be A Part Of It"

  1. It will have been more intresting to see and hear Gruden if The Bucs and Raiders played on Monday night this season.

  2. I can’t understand all the Gruden Hype after seeing what he did as a buccaneers coach, he is not that good, he is a terrible offensive coach and mediocre when it comes to judge talent.

  3. I’m really looking forward to watching Gruden on MNF this upcoming season. As a Bucs fan, I used to enjoy his monday morning pressers, even after losing games. I’ve met him at some events around the Bay area, and the guy really does have a great sense of humor. Best of Luck Jon.

  4. I didn’t realize korny had such big feet. As often as he put them in his mouth, I’m surprised I didn’t notice.

  5. “Among Gruden’s favorite broadcasters are John Madden and Troy Aikman, noting that he would try to make his points succinctly in 25 words or less.”
    Ha, nice one Aaron. 25 words. I get it.

  6. So is it still going to be a live broadcast? Or will there be a 30 second delay to catch the three f-bombs?

  7. An executive VP from ESPN said the search started and ended with Gruden. I guess ESPN has no interest in applying the Rooney Rule to their own house.

  8. I absolutely cannot believe you did not include Gruden’s Favre comments in this post.
    You guys are slipping.

  9. Being a critic is over-rated. Anyone can be a critic, especially if they try to be. The loud-mouthed, superfical booth critics come off poorly, like sour grapes. I think that Madden, Summerall, Aikman, and the best of the lot, stand out because of their enthusiasm and joy at the great plays of the game. Madden would tell you when a lineman made a great block, and why it was great. Aikman points out why an offensive team is having great success. It is the expression of joy and amazement of success, not just the driveling criticism of the wannabes, that makes for great TV. What i hate more than anything is when a play fails and some goof in the booth says “I told you so,” especially because those types never did tell us that.

  10. Thank god they got rid of that ignorant spewing buffoon, Kornheiser. He was an embarassment. It was pathetic listening to his paper-thin observations and his appalling ignorance. Jaws actually had to explain the rules and tactics to him on numerous occasions. Yet he also came across as an arrogant know-it-all, just like in his worthless columns.
    He did like zero game preparation, but adhered to whatever moronic “storyline” the producers shoved under his face. How many times did he babble on about Brett Favre last years? Every single game, no matter where he was, no matter what has happening on the field, that brain-dead, single-minded fraud and phony was prattling on about Brett Favre, Tom Brady, T.O. or one of the three other players whose names he actually knew.
    He is a huffing bag of waste.

  11. Gruden could do the game piss drunk and blinded and be better than the Corn-Holer. Thank goodness I won’t have to listen to that douchebag ruin anymore Monday nighters for me.

  12. Best news I’ve heard today.Now I can turn on the volume and
    listen to the game comenntary.Good riddance Tony

  13. What actually happened:
    ESPN told Gruden he could have the MNF gig if he could get through the entire draft coverage without dropping an F-bomb on live TV. Against all odds, he managed (primarily by saying nothing but F$%K repeatedly during the commercial breaks).

  14. Hallelujah, Korn-hole is gone. He made me wish for the return of Dennis Miller. I think Gruden might succeed at this as it involves the two things he was good at as a coach; running his yap and mugging for the camera. In all sincerity, I think he could end up being better at this than he was at coaching. I forsee in the Year 2018… “EA Sports Jon Gruden Football 2018 – for Playstation 5 and XBox 720.”

  15. Gruden was fantastic during NFL Network’s draft coverage. I’m excited to see him involved.
    I expect him to bring the fun back into televised games. I also expect him to be ruthless to the players he see how there taking plays off.

  16. Just watch the teams he gives “props” too. Maybe this is his segway to a new coaching job. “There are who we thought they were”

  17. Kornheiser is the sports writer who thinks sports is beneath him. I won’t miss his condescending tone, as if we the audience are wrong for caring about the game.

  18. it is about time he is an idiot now just get rid of the other two n i might watch monday night without mute on

  19. Kornhole just knew and raved about the “stars”. That was all he ever cared about. Disgusting really.
    This season I look forward to doing a shot every time Gruden is bleeped. I’m looking forward to being drunk by the end of the 1st quarter.

  20. Yes – now get rid of the other two clowns and I won’t have to watch MNF with “mute” on.

  21. as a pure sports fan, i am pleased to think that we may be blessed with another great announcer to make the games even more timeless when we are watching at home. when i think about the greats, i think of cosell, dierdorf, pat summerall and of course mr college football, keith jackson. i know that those types of announcers are tough to come by and the greats are very few but i do think that gruden does posses the passion for the game that the other greats had. even thinking about the other sports, who out there were truly great? jack buck, marv albert, and mel allen and joe buck for baseball are about all i can come up with. those types of announcers help take the difficulties of every day life and make them go away for a couple hours for us listeners/watchers. its like free therapy. i will not forget to mention madden and harry caray. they were almost like cult classics but you had to respect them.

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