I have to agree with Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead; Jon Gruden's "QB Camp" segments on ESPN are outstanding.
Is the kind of work you rarely see from the WWL: In-depth, focused, intelligent reporting with just a pinch of humor. I kind of feel a little dirty agreeing with Jason on this, mainly because Jason kind of has a rep for being a douche in blog circles. He is also an insufferable Jets fan, and I think this warps his overall knowledge of football. Many of Jason's pontifications on the great sport are just plain dumb, like the one he did in 2008 about the Colts.
All that said, he is right about Gruden's ESPN TV work being much improved. I still like him on MNF. He actually knows something about the sport I'm watching, and he often makes a few interesting points. This is in stark contrast to Tony Kornheiser, who, despite 20 plus years of covering the NFL as a writer and TV analyst, knew nothing about the game.
However, despite me agreeing with Jason about Gruden's TV work, one part of his little write-up needs addressing (emphasis mine):
So how is this guy not a head coach in the NFL? These clips are more inspiring than the Ultimate Warrior’s entrance music.
Well Jason, there is a very clear reason why Jon Gruden is not coaching in the NFL in 2010: He isn't a good coach.
Aside from the fact that whoever hires him will need to give him total autonomy over their team (this includes coaching and player personnel decisions) along with more money than any coach currently coaching in the NFL, the reality is that Jon Gruden did not have a lot of success coaching in Tampa Bay.
He did win a Super Bowl his first year there (2002), coaching a team built by Tony Dungy and then-GM Rich McKay. Dungy was fired by the schmucks known to the world as "the Glazer family" because it was viewed that he could not "coach offense," and was limiting the Bucaneers chances to a championship. Thus, the family traded draft picks to Oakland in exchange for offensive guru Jon Gruden. This was done against the advice of McKay, who wanted to hire Marvin Lewis and not waste the draft picks the Glazers eventually sent to the Raiders for Gruden.
After winning the Super Bowl, Gruden brought in Bruce Allen and eventually muscled McKay out of the organization. The results were, from 2003-2008, the Buccaneers did not win a single playoff game. Not one. In fact, in the two post-season games the Bucs played in from 2003-2008, they averaged just over 11 points a game. During his tenure in Tampa Bay, the Bucs offense was never better than the offenses Tony Dungy coached, even though Gruden had a better stable of QBs at his disposal.
Offensive guru, my ass.
Also, with McKay gone, Gruden and Allen went on to make some pretty terrible decisions with their draft picks. Guys like Dewayne White, Michael Clayton, Davin Joseph, and (unfortunately) Gaines Adams were all first day picks that busted. Meanwhile, veteran players like Simeon Rice and Keenan McCardell made it clear that Gruden was a serious grudge holder to the point where he would get vindictive. Rice called him a "scum bag." It's certainly no secret that many veterans hated Gruden's guts.
So, when you factor all these things together, that Gruden:
- Is not a good offensive coach
- Has a tendency to piss off your veterans
- Drafts poorly
- Has a rather unimpressive coaching record, especially within the last nine years
It is very easy to see why Jon Gruden is not coaching somewhere. He isn't that good, and other people in this league who are assistants deserve a better shot than this blowhard re-tread.
Now, before some idiot Bucs fan comes in here and starts blabbing nonsense about how firing Dungy helped the Bucs win, I simply point to an article written two years ago by Joe "shake n bake" Baker and tell such people to shut up. Here is a bit from that excellent article:
Now about those playoffs, with the Bucs Dungy's playoff record was 4 appearances, 2-4 with 2 losses in the first round. Gruden's playoff record in 3 appearances stands at 3-2 with 2 losses in the first round. Gruden's Bucs have made the playoffs one less time, won only one more game there and failed in the first round the same number of times. Without the all time great defenses that Dungy had built Gruden is 0-2 in the playoffs.
Bucs fans will never admit this, but the Glazers made a big mistake firing Tony Dungy. Gruden is not in Dungy's league in terms of coaching. Not even close. Also, many players in Tampa Bay (Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, etc.) credit Dungy with that Super Bowl more than Gruden. When Dungy left Indianapolis, the league practically elected him to Canton right then and there. Players he coached, and players he coached against, all came out and praised him. Hell, even f*cking Belichick issued a press statement praising Dungy. When Gruden was fired from the Bucs, many players came out of the woodwork to take shots at him, and very few came to Gruden's defense.
That tells you all you need to know, doesn't it.
Again, this is the kind of stuff I expect people like Jason McIntyre to know. He doesn't, and it is for that reason he comes off as kind of a douche. Then again, maybe I do as well. But, unlike him, my opinions are right. So, I guess I'm a step up in that I am a conceited douche.
Also, ESPN is being a prick and not allowing us to embed the video to our site. Because of this, I refuse to link to to them. Maybe this means I'm a vindictive as well as conceited douche.