Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gruden doing TV right way

I wrote my column today about what Jon Gruden -- the former Tampa Bay coach and current TV analyst -- thinks about the Carolina Panthers. Here's the link to that.

What was cool about talking to Gruden was that he actually knew something about Carolina. As strange as this seems, a lot of TV analysts really don't. I've talked to them a number of times before games -- or listened to them during games -- and they mostly parrot whatever has been in the newspapers or online blogs that week. They might throw in a nugget or two from the interviews that they do with the players and coaches on both teams on either Friday or Saturday before the game, but that's about it. You know what I'm talking about.

Gruden is different. A workaholic who used to famously get up at 3:17 a.m. each day while a coach, he still studies the teams he's going to analyze like the coach he was (and will someday undoubtedly be again).

I gave him no advance warning I would ask him about the Panthers -- the phone interview was originally set up for him to talk to me about Jimmy Clausen for my long story on Clausen this past week.

But once we got through that and he still seemed to be enjoying talking football, I asked him off-the-cuff about the Panthers, and he quickly ran through much of their lineup and what he thought about them. It was enlightening, and made me think more of his preparation skills. Gruden will be part of the broadcast team that does Carolina's exhibition game at Baltimore Aug.12th.


samurai said...

I've enjoyed him as a football fan for a long time. Even when he was the Head Coach of the Bucs.

Some nice articles, thanks!

Doug said...

Gruden is easily the best of the new analysts to show up over the last several years. I have heard from many a good football friend and they all, to a man, love his style. I will rue the day that he returns to coaching.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion he would be a much better head coach for the Panthers than Fox. Fox plays not to lose instead of to win.

Anonymous said...

If you are playing not to lose that is playing to win dummy.

Anonymous said...

I guess its the front offices at the C.O. that make these decisions but having a Cowboys advertisement above a Panthers article is just wrong.

mrbernz said...

I am still waiting for that U-PICKEM football pool. There is a game this weekend, it would be a shame for the Observer readers to miss a game and have a disadvantage when it finally starts.

J said...

"What was cool about talking to Gruden was that he actually knew something about Carolina. As strange as this seems, a lot of TV analysts really don't...You know what I'm talking about."

Of course I do. To most TV analysts, there are only 8 teams in the NFL - the NY teams, Indy, New England, Dallas, New Orleans, and whatever team T.O. and Brett Favre play for. They don't give a rat's @$$ about anyone else.

And so, since the Panthers roster is littered with players they don't know, the apply the "I haven't heard of you, therefore you suck" philosophy and proudly declare the Panthers are going 3-13 this year.

I was a Raiders fan all my life until the Panthers came around, and I still consider the Raiders my second-favorite team. So I hate Gruden both for his betrayal of the Raiders after the Tuck Rule Game, and for being coach of the Bucs after that. But he is easily the best color guy on TV. I do remember him absolutely gushing over Double Trouble last year. It's nice to know someone in TV is actually studying our team.