The Truth About Jon Gruden


On Sunday afternoon, the Raiders blew a 4th quarter lead to start off the season with a gut punching record of 0-2.  The second stint of Coach Gruden’s time in Oakland has not been all sunshine and rainbows. The former Monday Night Football coach has not lived up to the hype of his very, very large contract. Well folks, it is time to hit you all with some cold hard truth regarding Chucky.

Jon Gruden is not that great of a football coach.

Jon Gruden signed a 10 year contract for $100 million this offseason. This made him the second highest paid coach in the NFL behind Bill Belicheck.  You tell me if this is a resume that deserves to be the second highest paid coach in the NFL:

  • 1998 Raiders: 8-8
  • 1999 Raiders: 8-8
  • 2000 Raiders: 12-4
  • 2001 Raiders: 10-6
  • 2002 Buccaneers: 12-4*
  • 2003 Buccaneers: 7-9
  • 2004 Buccaneers: 5-11
  • 2005 Buccaneers: 11-5
  • 2006 Buccaneers: 4-12
  • 2007 Buccaneers: 9-7
  • 2008 Buccaneers: 9-7
  • 2018 Raiders: 0-2

*Super Bowl Champions

Playoff Record: 5-4, 1 Super Bowl Championship

I understand that turning down many coaching offers while broadcasting led to the lucrative contract the Raiders offered.  In my opinion, a career .534 winning percentage with a record of 5-4 in the playoffs does not deserve that time of money.

The year that Jon Gruden did win the Super Bowl, he acquired a team that had made the playoffs the previous year.  A team that was constructed by one of the great football minds of this time, Tony Dungy. Dungy is known as one of the great defensive coaches in the history of the NFL. Gruden stepped in, took what he had, and made the absolute most of it by winning the Super Bowl.  It should also be known that the year following the Super Bowl the Tampa Bay Bucs missed the playoffs for the first time in 5 seasons. Gruden apparently had issues with the general manager who built the Bucs from the ground up.  This bled onto the field and the Buccaneers faltered because of it.

He also made some interesting comments regarding Khalil Mack this season. Mack was traded to the Bears for a large amount of future assets.  Gruden went as far to say that Mack just did not want to be in Oakland. This could not be further from the truth.  Mack never said a negative word about the Raiders franchise or the city of Oakland. Gruden should know better, this is a business and Mack felt he was not being paid his fair market value.

Now, it is important to give Gruden some due where he deserves it. He left the Oakland Raiders in a fantastic spot, that team was led to the Super Bowl by their former offensive coordinator Bill Callahan. Bill Callahan propelled quarterback Rich Gannon to an MVP award. He made the most of his first tenure in Oakland and became absolutely beloved because of it.

My main point is everyone treats Jon Gruden like he is one of the all time coaches in the NFL. He has won over 10 games in an NFL season just 3 times in his 12 year coaching career.  Yes, I am including this season in that.  The Raiders will be lucky to win 3 games this year, let alone 10. Realistically, Jon Gruden’s time in the booth made him infinitely more likable and popular than his time on the sidelines ever made him. His passion for the game of football translated directly through the microphone. His knowledge was second to none and he gave us all the spider 2 Y banana. He parlayed this into a segment on Sportscenter that the public also seemed to love. Jon Gruden shooting the shit with rookie quarterbacks on Gruden’s Camp was an absolute hit. Everyone loved Jon Gruden, including me. I miss Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football.

Jon Gruden is a fine coach, just not the coach everyone makes him out to be. Now if we were talking about Chucky lookalikes, Jon Gruden deserves much more than $100 million for that.



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