Jay Gruden’s rise won’t limit Jon Gruden’s MNF role


The decision of the Redskins to hire the younger brother of Jon Gruden to be the team’s coach raises an interesting question regarding Jon Gruden’s primary employment.

When the Redskins land on Monday Night Football, will Jon be welcome at the practices and production meetings involving the team Jay Gruden’s team will be playing?

While the situation could indeed create some discomfort, ESPN plans to make no adjustments when the Redskins are playing.

“Jon is our Monday Night Football analyst,” ESPN said in a statement forwarded to PFT. “If we have the Redskins, he will call the games. We will be transparent about their relationship. Jon is a professional and will call the games objectively.”

That doesn’t address whether issues will arise when Jon Gruden wants to sit down with, for example, the Cowboys’ coaching staff or to interview key players or to watch a walk-through. The family relationship will indeed create concern that Jon will share with Jay information he acquires via his special access.

As far as we know, it wasn’t an issue when ESPN had Bengals games on Monday Night Football during Jay Gruden’s time as offensive coordinator. It happened twice; against the Ravens in 2012 and against the Steelers in 2013.

Still, the connection is more obvious now that Jay Gruden coaches the Redskins and Jon Gruden has a unique position to obtain information that could be shared among brothers. While we’re willing to give the Grudens the benefit of the doubt on this one, the ultra-secretive and mega-paranoid men who coach NFL teams may not be quite as understanding.

72 responses to “Jay Gruden’s rise won’t limit Jon Gruden’s MNF role

  1. I don’t care about ESPN having access to practices and/or interviewing the coaching staff. What I care about is my head exploding as Jon gushes over his brother on national TV now that Jay is the head coach of the Redskins.

    Which is why I won’t be watching any MNF game that features the Redskins in 2014.

  2. As a long time Bucs fan let me say how happy I am that Jon is in the MNF booth and not on our sidelines.

    As for Jay I’ve been a longtime fan as he was the first ever QB for the Tampa Bay Storm back around 1990 or so and I used to go to a bunch of games then. Anyways he did coach under Jon in Tampa as well but I never really knew what he did. As for how Jay’s offense will fit with the Redskins, I can only hope that Jay is willing to get away from the West Coast stuff. Unlike Jon, Jay is more flexible and I think he’ll be creative with RGIII and hopefully won’t try to fit him into an offense that wastes his talent.

    Anyways best of luck to Jay, I have no idea if he’ll be a success or not, but I hope he is.

  3. Brian Billick is Mike Smith’s brother-in-law. I have always said this is a conflict of interest. Huge opportunity for him to give up info on the other team if he wanted to do so. Fox doesn’t seem to care though.

  4. oh no, jon will never tell jay what he saw in an opposing teams walk-thru

    a walk-thru only consists of the entire game plan; what plays are going to be run & what defenses are going to be called

  5. So the other teams will lose sleep over it and it will be their problem but not Jay or Jon’s problem. If you don’t like it, then hire Jon as your HC and that will solve that problem, or tell your HC it is their job to not let Jon become relevant to your success. You are hired to figure out how to win amongst ALL circumstances, and Jon hanging around is in fact a circumstance. So go and win, or you won’t be the HC for long, figure it out however you can but stop trying to find or invent excuses in advance. That’s all the last HC did.

  6. He already trashes the Redskins every Monday night game now… What’s he going to do now that his lil bro is the coach? Suddenly speak highly of them? Doubt it.

  7. Meanwhile the Browns twiddle their thumbs. They are hoping that Mike Zimmer, Jim Caldwell, and all of the divison rivals lose important coaches. That is so when they hire a nobody coach we still have a chance to go 4-12. And I am a Browns fan. Just sick of this lack luster crap. When the team left for Bmore we should have just bought a team from another city. For the love of God it sucks to be a Browns fan.

  8. Jon better walk the line cause when his brother is out of a job in a couple of years he’ll need to help him get back into coaching.

    Once again the Danny has got his man! Breaking past trends of failure and going to the champion of the Arena League via CINCINATI to get his man! Just like in the past the poor guy is already a dead man walking!

  9. I don’t understand why, if Jon wanted to coach, he wouldn’t get a heat coaching job. Teams seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for coaches these days, and a Super Bowl winning coach that obviously still wants to be part of the game is doing MNF (poorly).

    Why wouldn’t the Skins, for example, want a quarterback guy like Jon Gruden as their coach while RG3 is trying to figure out what kind of player he wants to be?

  10. Won’t be a concern for too long. After Jason Garrett completes another year of blowing 20+ pt games and mismanaging everything he touches fans of the NFL will be able to enjoy Chucky Vs. Chucky II games twice a year.

  11. Can anyone with real knowledge truthfully address this?: When listening to a couple of talk show hosts, one of them once said the following “I mean, its amazing how these guys keep all that knowledge in their heads–they are often told what plays may be called and when in the pre-production meetings.” His on air partner asked him what he was really saying and he quickly backtracked, but ever since then I have noticed over and over these NFL announcers seem to call a play right before it is run as in “now watch out here, they usually hit Gronkowski on a wheel route out of the backfield” and boom, it happens, often right before a touchdown. I know they watch tape, but this happens so often I wonder what they are really told.

  12. Then again, stranger things have happened. You don’t know that Jon Gruden if he got some important tips on what the Giants run, that he wouldn’t tell his brother. How could you prove it?

    Sorry but if I were playing the Redskins on Monday nite, Jon Gruden would respectfully be denied any access to my team.

    You think Belichek up in New England was the only one doing that? Tony Dungy did it when he was the coach of the Colts and he did it against the Bengals. Fact.

  13. Here is an easy fix: don’t schedule any Redskins primetime games. Nobody outside if DC wants to watch that mess. And most people in DC don’t want to watch it either.

  14. Let’s be honest. Jay Gruden will be long gone by the time the Skins are ever on MNF again.

  15. ohioteamsusuallysuck says:
    Jan 9, 2014 2:23 PM
    Redskins won’t even be on mnf next season so why does it matter?

    Don’t bet on it….

    Monday Night Football

    10/21/2013 – Vikings @ Giants

    aka – a true definition of the battle of fruition

  16. ” Jon is a professional and will call the games objectively.”………………when will he start doing this? When you have an analyst who loves every player, coach, water boy on down the line, how can you claim he is objective???? What nonsense by ESPN…..again.

  17. I quit listening to the espn game coverage about one year after gruden started being their “objective analyst”. Much easier to watch the game and listen to broadcast on radio………….or watch the game in silence.

  18. Sure ESPN says this…

    But anyone with a brother, older or younger will disagree with that statement.

    The love for a brother runs deep. And whenever the time comes that Gruden commentates a game of Jays, I’d bet my bank account that every ounce of blood in Jon is pulling for his brother.

    Whether he makes it known or seen or not has yet to be seen.

  19. To those who said the easy solution to such a conflict would be to simply not put the Redskins on MNF (mostly in part because they were terrible in 2013), there’s a major flaw with your idea: the Redskins have, like it or not, a major national following. They play in a major media market, so they consistently draw big TV audiences, no matter how bad they are. I think it’s safe to assume they will have at least 1 MNF game next season, possibly 2.

    Also, doesn’t the NFL try to put every team on MNF during the season at least once anyway? I know they do that with the Thursday night games, but I think the same is true for MNF.

  20. Gruden does not criticize anyone, he sucks as an analyst.

    He sure as hell will not be critical of his brother.

    I’m also in the group that mutes ESPM MNF.

  21. Eagle fans will be sad if the Redskins aren’t on Monday Night. Their greatest wins come during the regular season, against Washington, on Monday night.

    After that, not so much… #norings

  22. Who really knows. Blood is thicker then water. But I think both of the Gruden’s are pretty upstanding men. I think the both have pretty high morals(from what i’ve seen) and just don’t see a chance of this happening. Hate that the world has come to such a place where this has to even be brought up. I mean the day after he’s hired and we’re talking about this sorta negative stuff?

  23. Anyone on the westwood one radio broadcasts are infinitely better than John Gruden and Mike Tirico.

  24. The league rule is every team gets at least 1 primetime game per year. With that being the case the only announce crew that should be calling a Redskin game is Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock.

  25. whether or not his brother is a coach won’t have any impact… he will still gush over every single player, coach, play call and play as if it were jesus christ himself playing the game. and then he will bash the refs. same old john on MNF

  26. Troy Aikman and Moose Johnston are life-long Dallas Cowboys and do a fairly decent job. Does Fox make adjustments when their broadcasting? This is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  27. uangerme says:
    Jan 9, 2014 2:24 PM
    He already trashes the Redskins every Monday night game now… What’s he going to do now that his lil bro is the coach? Suddenly speak highly of them? Doubt it.

    Uh, were you even watching the MNF game this year? Despite the Eagles making the Washington Team look silly, he constantly went out of his way to praise them, specific players, etc. He always does that, no matter how one-sided a game gets. Stop being such a homer.

  28. It’s called ethics and integrity. And unless you have reason to show otherwise, I think you’re heading down a path that is unfair and insulting of both men.

  29. In theory Jon Gruden could have done this for years. He’s been calling Bengals games
    and could have been just as much a mole for Cincy if he were so inclined.

    He sure didn’t help with that 44-13 shellacking they took on MNF last year.

  30. I love it when Baltimore Browns fans try their best to stoke a rivalry with the Redskins – as if any Redskins fans cares two hoots about the Baltimore Browns.

  31. Jon Gruden doesn’t bother me at all on MNF. But when ESPN announces that they are going to put Tebow on MNF, it will be all over for me. I’ll never click on an ESPN channel again. Not ever. And they will do it, just watch, just as soon as Gruden tires of the gig or is called back to coaching.

  32. musicman495 says:
    I love it when Baltimore Browns fans try their best to stoke a rivalry with the Redskins – as if any Redskins fans cares two hoots about the Baltimore Browns.

    theres no rivalry. 1 team is relevant, 1 team is not


  33. You guys are the biggest bunch of Tuesday morning former cut-from-JV quarterbacks I’ve ever been exposed to in my life. The NFL, Redskins, and ESPN know how to make billions. You just keep leaving blog comments about how Jay Gruden and whoever else are going to screw up. You’ll still be nobodies. And Tim Tebow will still be more popular on merit than you.

  34. Bob Griese did many games when Brian was quarterbacking, including when he was the starter for the Broncos. And Jon has been announcing games for a while now… he never did a Bengals game when Jay was on staff?

  35. Seriously, look up Jim Haslett on pro football reference…then click on the team name of the teams he was coaching and it gives you their defense rank right at the top. You can quickly go down the list. He inherited the Saints in 2000 which produced 10th ranked defense in points allowed. He was finally fired and out of coaching for one season until the Rams names him head coach in 2008 where he lasted one season going 2-10 and fielding the 31st ranked defense. Then he went to Washington and here are the ranks:
    2000 10th (Fletcher in STL)
    2001 27th
    2002 26th
    2003 14th
    2004 27th
    2005 28th
    2006 28th
    2007 31st
    2008 31st
    2009 NOT A COACH
    2010 21st
    2011 21st
    2012 22th
    2013 30th

    His average minus the season in which he walked into a competent defense that worked despite him, seasons 2001-2013 is….drum roll….

    What does this guy do to keep his job? It is absolutely shocking to me!

  36. Is this an actual debate. The NFL coaching fraternity is so incestuous that everybody has worked for everybody, and half of the coaches in the league have a son or brother on another team’s coaching staff. But yea, Jon Gruden is going to be banned because he has a brother coaching the other team.

  37. You are such a drama queen MF. This is no different then when Jay was OC of the Bengals.

    It’s the best weekend of football. You really have nothing better to write about then this?

  38. The funny thing is that the Redskins not only made a bad decision about their Coaching choice, but they set themselves back a few more years on top of the whole thing. They just fired a Coach that grades out better than the one they hired. Personally, I was pretty sure that if the team was going to start over, that they would have gone and dipped into the College Ranks before taking on another Coordinator to Head Coach problem. Its too bad, I was kind of hoping that the Redskins would take back that weak and undeserving division… Welcome back to the bottom of the league Redskin Fans, you’ll be back at the bottom again next year, sitting right beside my favorite team. Well at least you’ll finally be getting rid of that joke QB RGIII. If their is any Quarterback in the league that is undeserving of a starting job it’s him. His ego is bigger than the car he drives. RG1-2-3 and out is more like it.

  39. Jon Gruden is one of the most over rated coaches of all time. People love him for that one superbowl, but fail to see all the bad coaching and personel decisions made after that. He rode Tonys team, and then when he made it his own, they started to fall apart.

    Jay may be the better of the Grudens when it comes to potential as a headcoach.

  40. When has Jon Gruden ever been objective in the booth? He praises everyone and doesn’t criticize (much). He slobbers all over Peyton and Brady.

  41. When the Redskins land on Monday Night Football?

    Do many teams deserve to???

    We saw enough of the Nation’s Capital’s barf bag special.

    Just make them appear once on MNF and then one more time on Thursday Night Football.

    After all, Sunday Night (technically) is flexing night.

  42. Jon Gruden wouldn’t do something like share one teams secrets with another… Nah, he wouldn’t, right Raider fans??

    Gee it would be unethical to use inside information to benefit one team over another. Wink, wink.

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