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Posts Tagged ‘jon gruden’

REAR ENTRIES: Working On My Night Posts

September 20, 2012 at 08:11pm by Scott   •  16 Comments »

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STROUGHTER TO IR?: According to Rick Stroud, the Bucs are about to sign a wide receiver named Chris Owusu off of San Diego’s practice squad, which means he’ll have to hit the Bucs’ regular roster, which means they’ll have to remove someone from that roster to make room for him. And Stroud suspects Sammie Stroughter will be moved to IR.

Stroughter, a seventh-round pick from Oregon State in 2009, had served as the Bucs punt returner before injuring his right foot in Sunday’s game against the Giants. In four seasons, he caught 60 passes for 639 yards and one touchdown.

But injuries have plagued Stroughter. He broke the same foot last season in a game against Seattle and appeared in only six contests.

Suddenly, the bottom half of the wide receiver depth chart is looking a lot different than even a week ago. Jackson, Williams and Benn are still in place, but instead of Stroughter and Parker, we have Underwood, Shipley and Owusu (probably). Not that it matters much. Jackson and Williams will still get the majority of the looks. After those two, the next most active pass-catchers are a tight end, fullback and running back. Those last three guys could probably just throw their jerseys on some sex dolls and sit them on the bench and watch the game from a Dallas strip club and no one would know.

PRAISE FROM CARROLL: People are still yacking about the last play of the Giants game. Apparently this was some revolutionary concept — you know, playing the whole game — because Pete Carroll says he would do exactly the same thing in that situation.

“I’m glad it was brought up like this because I think it was a competitor competing and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that,” Carroll said. “That’s exactly what you should do: Try to win the game. And there was a chance to win the game on that play and I thought Greg did exactly the right thing. And I would do exactly the same thing if in the same situation. So I don’t see where there’s any reason to think other than that. It’s about competing to try to make the play to win the football game. That’s it. And protect your quarterback.”

As PFT points out, Carroll could have done the same thing last week. The Seahawks were losing by 4 and the Cardinals took a knee on the last play of the game. And Kevin Kolb was the quarterback, not exactly the definition of a player who doesn’t get rattled. But he didn’t because he didn’t think of it. Our coach did. And if Carroll doesn’t shape up, Schiano’s going to cut him. Don’t think it’s possible? Just try him, buddy.

I LOVE THIS COMMERCIAL: Jon Gruden is doing a bunch of commercials for Corona (and Hooters and some more ESPN stuff and he’s basically a really high-priced whore right now) and they’re all very Gruden, but this one is the Grudeniest of them all. The last two seconds are the fucking best.

REAR ENTRIES: White Guys On The Move

August 21, 2012 at 12:10am by Scott   •  11 Comments »

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BUCS CLAIM SHIPLEY: The Bucs responded to the complete dearth of wide receiver receptions in the Titans game by claiming Jordan Shipley off waivers on Monday. Shipley is a receiver I thought would be a good addition as a rookie since he had attended the University of Texas for about 14 years and had a great track record there. Comparisons to Wes Welker were being thrown around mostly because he is white, but also because he’s really white.

Two seasons ago, Shipley had 52 receptions for 600 yards and three touchdowns with a long of 64 (two times). He spent most of last season on IR after tearing his ACL. If he can make a full recovery from that, he has the potential to be better than Sammie Stroughter or Preston Parker. The bad news is that he doesn’t play a lot of special teams, something both Stroughter and Parker do. Something else Shipley doesn’t do is fumble. Parker put the ball on the ground eight times last year. Shipley has a real chance to make the team but should have started growing his hair in 2004 if he wanted a chance to overtake Tiquan Underwood on the depth chart.

SAINTS TRADE FOR RUUD: Tonight the Saints traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Seahawks for Barrett Ruud. With Jonathan Vilma suspended for the season and Curtis Lofton out with an ankle injury, Ruud has a chance of getting some playing time early in the regular season. But the Bucs don’t play the Saints until October 21 and Lofton will be back by then, which is a shame because the Bucs’ running game really could have used the boost.

GRUDEN ON HBO: Jon Gruden will appear on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO tomorrow night. Below is the preview for the episode. I really want to see it, but I don’t get HBO so I’m going to have to wait until about 30 minutes after it has aired to pull it off of a torrent site. What a pain in the ass. I mean, they’re charging us to watch Bryant Gumbel? Hell, a $2.00 credit should appear on your bill every time they air his voice. A $2.00 credit and a sincere apology. Fuck that guy.

REAR ENTRIES: Treading Water

February 01, 2012 at 11:35am by Scott   •  14 Comments »

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BUCS FREE AGENTS: Pat Yasinskas has a list of Bucs who will be free agents next month, and it should go without saying that Connor Barth is the top priority to get re-signed. He was the most consistent and dependable player on the team and the Bucs totally lucked out by being able to sign him after the Mike Nugent debacle.

I’d lay odds that Ronde Barber sticks around for one more year. Greg Schiano is a top recruiter and he can get Ronde excited about the new direction of the team. And Schiano isn’t letting Jeremy Zuttah get away. I think there’s some loyalty there. Even though Earnest Graham is getting older and ended the season on injured reserve, the Bucs should keep him around one more year. It wasn’t a coincidence that the Bucs didn’t win a game after he got hurt. And Corey Lynch should be re-signed if for no other reason than his special teams abilities. All the other unrestricted guys I could take or leave. Any of them could definitely be improved upon.

BUCS REALLY WANT MCNULTY: There was a rumor that the Bucs were trying to get permission to interview John McNulty, currently the Cardinals’ receivers coach, for offensive coordinator. The Cardinals denied the request, but the Bucs haven’t stopped nagging them.

Because it’s such an important hire, the Bucs still are working behind the scenes to acquire McNulty, the Times confirmed. The effort may include an appeal directly to Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell. But it’s hard to imagine the Cardinals reversing course at this point.

McNulty was Schiano’s offensive coordinator at Rutgers for a few years, so that’s why there’s a big push to get him. But I don’t think the Bucs saying “pretty please” is going to make a difference. And you can’t trade draft picks or cash for coaching rights anymore, so I’m not sure what else the Bucs thinks they can do to persuade the Cardinals to let him go. Maybe my buddy Nicky Santoro has an idea.

DEUCE GRUDEN WILL PLAY COLLEGE BALL: Deuce Gruden, Jon Gruden‘s son, kicked off National Signing Day today when he committed to Lafayette College.

“He’s put in a lot of hard work and he’s had a lot of help from his coaches and teammates along the way but this just puts an exclamation point on a great career here at CDS,” Jon Gruden said. “I knew Deuce wanted to (play college football) when he was 5 or 6. He’s had that ambition, that desire for a long time and that’s why this is such a great day.”

Shoulda been a walk-on at Tennessee, Deuce.

REAR ENTRIES: Opinions Are Like…

December 29, 2011 at 11:35am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

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PEREIRA HAMMERS GRUDEN: Former head of officiating and current Fox Sports analyst Mike Pereira has a reputation of being a voice of reason and a cool head when others are shouting about how had the officials on the field suck. But some things are so loud and infuriating that they can even crack the great Pereira’s calm exterior. Jon Gruden is one of those loud and infuriating things.

I am not a fan of Gruden’s. Not today, not yesterday, not when I worked for the NFL and not when I was working on the field as a side judge. He was a loudmouth as a coach who constantly disrespected officials and he is a blowhard in the broadcast booth who spouts off when he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

I respect his knowledge about the X’s and O’s when it comes to coaching and playing the game of football, but I have very little respect for him when it comes to officiating and his knowledge of the rules.

Gruden disrespectful to officials? The hell you say. Shit, he disrespected officials from the stands when he was watching his brother play arena ball. The only thing Gruden didn’t do on the sideline was chuck batteries at officials, and after all his time in Philadelphia, you know that was a hard temptation for him to resist. So, yeah, I get Pereira’s objection to Gruden as a person. But everyone knows Gruden isn’t on MNF for his encyclopedic knowledge of the rulebook. He’s there for color, and that’s what he’s bringing. Gruden, like most real fans of the game, thinks the NFL has pussified football beyond recognition and laments the days when guys like Ronnie Lott and Jack Tatum could patrol the middle of the field and lay dudes out for trying to catch a ball in their zone. And Gruden has a platform on which to voice those opinions, so he does. And so does Pereira. The difference is that Gruden’s opinion is usually fun to listen to whereas Pereira’s makes him sound like the cantankerous old asshole who calls the cops when someone drives by with his radio too loud.

[Banner pic: Pereira being treated very respectfully by Bill Parcells.]

WE NEED DUNGY PT 2: Just in case you thought Pat Yasinskas was the only delusional sportswriter who would opine out loud about the return of Tony Dungy, here’s Gary Shelton‘s take on the exact same thing.

“I’m not coaching,” said Dungy, 56. “I’m not looking at coaching. I’m not thinking about coaching. I had a great job in Indianapolis, but I wanted to be home more. That hasn’t changed. It’s not going to change.”

But, but… what about all the fat writers swinging from your dick? Don’t they get a say?

“You hear about just about every job that comes open,” Dungy said. “Usually, it’s from someone who is not officially with the organization. Sometimes it’s a head hunting firm that wants to gauge your interest. I’ve never been interested. I’ve had people say, ‘You write the check out’ or ‘You write the terms out.’ It doesn’t have any draw to me.”

Isn’t there any chance at all you’ll come back to not win another Super Bowl?

“I miss the players. There are times I miss the excitement of winning…”

Stop right there! That’s plenty to get us through the next coaching regime. Thanks, we’ll see you in a few years, Tony.

ATLANTA WILL PLAY TO WIN: According to Mike Smith, the Falcons will not rest any starters and will treat this upcoming game against the Bucs like any other game, which is actually a compliment to the Bucs because they could very easily rest their starters and still win by 30.

“It’s business as usual around here,” Tony Gonzalez said. “We’re going to try to go out and win a football game against a really good team that beat us earlier in the season.

Much earlier. Much, much earlier. Like, not even the same season. That game could have actually taken place in a parallel universe.

NEWSFLASH: Jon Gruden Lies To Players

November 03, 2011 at 10:53am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

White quarterbacks don't have a monopoly on being immobile.
The other day, Shaun King said something on his radio show about Jon Gruden not being forthright with his players. JoeBucsfan ran the story because that’s the site that transcribes radio shows and then PFT picked up on that because that’s the site that makes stories out of sensationalistic bullshit. And now it’s a thing, so I picked it up because I have nothing better to do with my time than criticize others.

The ultimate issue, King said, is Gruden’s inability to tell the truth to the grown men who populate an NFL locker room. Specifically, King said Gruden is “inherently dishonest.”

Shaun King isn’t breaking new ground here and I’m not sure why this is a story now. We’ve known Gruden lies to his players for years. Keenan McCardell told us as much when he said Gruden promised him a new deal that he never got. Simeon Rice called Gruden a ‘scumbag” and the phoniest motherfucker in the world”. I’m guessing almost every player he has coached would tell you that Gruden overpromised and underdelivered all the time. And as a player, I would know that when it came to him promising me anything to not take him at his word. Playing time, money, whatever… he can’t be counted on to deliver on those things. But I would still want him to coach me because he’s a good coach. He’s smart, good with Xs and Os, and highly motivational. He knows the right buttons to push to get the most out of his players.

And I’m sure he got the most he could out of King. And we saw it on the field. I have exactly two memories of Shaun King. A play against the 2000 Rams where he got a first down after Warrick Dunn lateraled him a ball in the backfield on a busted run, and a 10-yard out to Karl Williams in 2002 when he came in in relief of Rob Johnson for one play. That’s pretty much it. If there was more there, I’m sure Gruden would have found it and exploited it. But there wasn’t, and I think that’s what King is really mad about and why we’re still talking about Gruden’s coaching style when he hasn’t been on the sideline for three years, just signed a deal to keep him off of it for another five, and hasn’t coached King in nine.

REAR ENTRIES: Running Out Of Backs

October 26, 2011 at 11:20am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

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INJURY UPDATES: LeGarrette Blount, Sammie Stroughter, Gerald McCoy and Mason Foster all practiced for the Bucs today, although Blount was only out there for a little while. Jeff Faine, Tanard Jackson and Jeremy Zuttah sat out. Jackson could spend all week in Bangkok for all I care as long as he shows up on Sunday. When you miss 56 weeks and then have two picks in two weeks, you get to make your own practice schedule.

EARNEST GRAHAM DONE: In case you missed the brief mention of it yesterday, Earnest Graham was put on injured reserve. He tore his Achille’s in the Bears game, although him hopping around on one foot may have actually gained more rushing yards than Kregg Lumpkin.

MORE GRUDEN TO DOLPHINS TALK: Just a couple weeks ago, Jon Gruden signed a five-year extension with ESPN, so of course Florio wants you to think that it’s all just a big sham and that Gruden really wants to get back into coaching again BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS A CONSPIRACY.

Cole says that Gruden, who signed an “exclusive” five-year deal with ESPN that kicks in next year that apparently doesn’t preclude him from returning to coaching, “told more than a few folks” while in Miami for the Week One game between the Patriots and Dolphins “that he’ll be ready to go next offseason.” (Last year, Gruden’s son blurted out that the former Raiders and Bucs coach could be coming back to the game in 2012.)

Oh, well when you put the word “exclusive” in quotes like that, I can see how you might think Gruden isn’t sticking with ESPN. And with his kid saying last year (before Gruden signed an extension) he could come back to coaching in 2012, yeah, it’s a slam dunk.

Or it could be that after a settling in period, Gruden has become one of the better football analysts on TV right now and he wants to get better at it.

“I spent 26 or 27 years in coaching, 18 of them in the NFL. I want to focus on this and get better every day.”

Sometimes people are just telling the truth and are actually happy with their current jobs.

Gruden Coming Back To Town

October 03, 2011 at 10:51am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

No words. Just no words.
With Monday Night Football coming to town and Jon Gruden along with it, the questions were bound to come up about how he feels walking through One Buc again and covering the Bucs from the other side of the microphone. So he entertained the Tampa media for a couple minutes and got all the “Aww shucks” stuff out of the way.

“First time in the building. I was fired up, to be honest with you, man. You get a little emotional.’’

“This is where all that money comes from that I get for getting fired. It… it kind of gets ya right here *pounds heart with fist*” Gruden had three years remaining on his contract when he was canned, so he is STILL getting paid by the Bucs this season. You’d think the Glazers would at least make Gruden wash their cars or something while he’s right there.

Gruden didn’t say too much else, but the Tribune talked to a few players that were around during his tenure (there aren’t as many as you’d think) and everyone still had good things to say about him.

“That’s my man,” said veteran running back Earnest Graham. “I kind of miss coach Gruden. He’s a person that makes a mark on you, because there’s nobody quite like him. His passion for the game is unrivaled, and he helped me understand what it takes to be a consummate professional.”

A consummate professional that constantly swears at you. I CALL HIM CHAMPIONSHIP SWEAR BECAUSE OF ALL THE SWEARIN’ HE DOES.

For guard Davin Joseph, a first-round pick in the 2006 draft, Gruden’s influence remains omnipresent.

“We’ve kept a lot of Jon’s principles, and that’s a sign of respect. Nothing’s changed in my feelings toward him. He drafted me and we had success here.”

Of course, along with Gruden’s arrival is the renewal of that timeless debate that never ever gets old: Did Gruden win with Tony Dungy‘s players? They’ve been going at it all week on various message boards and comment sections. Ten seasons later and still they can’t let it go. I think that’s why the team also cleaned house with their players in addition to the coaches in 2009 — just to avoid this shit again. No one will ever say that Raheem won with Gruden’s players. I’d cut Joey Galloway 100 times in a row if it meant not having to hear that stupidity. “Sorry Joey, you’re cut. Now can you leave and come back in so we can do this again? I just want to make sure we’re clear.”

Don’t Worry About A Blackout For MNF

September 28, 2011 at 02:36pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

No jackass, look at a fucking calendar.
Pat Yasinskas is reporting that there are only 2,000 tickets left for the Monday night game against the Colts, which means it’s going to sell out. For a national game, there’s no way the Glazers let this one get blacked out when it’s this close. It’s good exposure for the team and the community and it’s definitely happening. If they have to rent a blimp and drop 2,000 tickets over Ybor City, they’re not getting stuck with them.

So everyone in Tampa, you can turn off the Hustler channel for a few hours next Monday and listen to Jon Gruden sing the praises of the quarterback he never would have drafted in a million years. Use the comments in this entry to guess the nickname he gives Josh Freeman.

REAR ENTRIES: Double Entry

July 14, 2011 at 10:22am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

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Two in one week! Phoning it in never looked so good!

MASON FOSTER INTERVIEW: This is part one of an interview Mason Foster did with Jenna Laine. There’s nothing super-exciting here, but Foster wants us to know he’s definitely up for playing whichever linebacker spot the Bucs want. He says it about ten times in two minutes.

“I don’t really have a preference. It’s wherever the Bucs [front office] and coaches feel that can use me the most at, and wherever the team needs me the most at. So wherever they have me lining up –- whether it’s Sam, Will or Mike –- I have no problem playing those. I just want to come in and help the team win.”

But, just in case you were wondering which one he really would want to play if anyone gave him the choice…

“We were over 4-3-2 here and I played WILL linebacker, so our DT was a three- technique. It was the place I played my sophomore and senior year. I led the Pac-10 in tackles and had productive years there. So, if there’s any place I really like, it’s there.”

Which is where the rest of the world likes him, too. We talked about this the other day so I won’t rehash it, but it seems like the Bucs have a lot of options at MLB already and maybe WLB is the spot for Foster. Once Barrett Ruud makes a decision, all these dominos are going to fall. Mmmm… Domino’s. Who wants pizza?

JIMMIE GILES TALKS ABOUT THE PAST: In case you missed the press conference yesterday announcing Jimmie Giles into the Ring of Honor, here’s the video along with a Buccaneers Insider edition with a Giles interview. After seeing some of those old clips, I guess I had forgotten just how good Giles was and for how long, so I take back everyone I mentioned that should go in before Giles except Richard Wood. Pat Yasinskas has a nice little piece on Giles, too, where he includes this little tidbit:

Of all the hundreds — maybe thousands — of moments Jimmie Giles could have picked as his favorite with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this one’s definitely not the cleanest. It also may surprise you a bit at first.

“Wrestling in the mud with (teammate) David Lewis,” Giles said…

I would like some credit for not naming this segment, “Jimmie Giles Loves Mud Wrestling With Men”. See how classy I am?

MATT BRYANT PREDICTS GRUDEN’S RETURN: In another sign that there is nothing left to write about, someone did a lengthy article with a Matt Bryant. He spoke briefly on his time with the Bucs and Jon Gruden and gave a prediction on when he thought Gruden would coach again:

“Gruden was 100 per cent committed to his job and was always very focused on what he was doing,” Matt remembers. “He got fired right after he signed a three-year extension. I believe Gruden will return to coaching after this season when the money from his extension runs out. We are still very good friends.”

I have to agree with him here. Gruden loves coaching. His body language in his Quarterback Camp series on ESPN is so overt — he either really wants to come back to coaching or is enormously gay for all these young college men. Although, I guess it could be both. I shouldn’t be so quick to limit the possibilities for Jon. Like he can’t be two things at once… silly me. I would like to formally apologize for not baselessly speculating that Jon Gruden could be gay sooner.

Dwight Smith Told You So

June 21, 2011 at 11:04am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

I couldn't find an image of Gates and Smith, so here he is putting his ass in John Lynch's face.
During the most recent episode of the Top 100 Countdown on NFL Network, Mike Tomlin presents Antonio Gates at #22 and relays a story about how the Bucs had Gates unsigned and in their building but never gave him a shot.

“I’m a secondary coach with the Bucs and I happen to be coaching one of his best friends from high school, Dwight Smith. Every day, Dwight would come in to get his work and say, ‘My buddy who played basketball is going to play tight end in the NFL.’ And I’d say, ‘Yeah, Dwight. Whatever.’ This guy was in town for a couple months and in our building on several occasions. I didn’t give him the time of day. That guy ended up being Antonio Gates.”

This was actually a story a few years ago when Smith was with the Vikings and Gruden quipped to Smith a year later, “You have any more friends?” Some people on message boards are using this story as a way to criticize Jon Gruden‘s talent evaluation, and I think it’s clear by now that Gruden needs a strong GM to keep him in check, otherwise he’ll just take the first 53 old guys he sees. But keep in mind that in 2003, Rich McKay was still the GM of the Bucs, so you have to spread that blame around. The fact is that you can’t give every schmuck who played a sport in college a tryout. Some guys you’re just going to miss on no matter how good a scout you are.

But yeah, Smith kind of nailed that one on the head.