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michael89156

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: December 28, 2010, 01:03:59 AM

Gruden to return to Raymond James for Outback Bowl




ESPN
Jon Gruden has found success on "Monday Night Football" with Ron Jaworski, left, and Mike Tirico.
 JAY CONNER/STAFF
Known for his intensity as a coach, Gruden's charisma on television has earned him praise.

 
 By IRA KAUFMAN | The Tampa Tribune

Published: December 28, 2010

On Saturday morning, Jon Gruden will make the 20-minute drive from his home at Avila Golf and Country Club to Raymond James Stadium.

It's a trip Gruden made routinely as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but this game day is different.

Instead of pacing the sidelines and jawing with National Football League officials, Gruden is working the broadcast booth as an ABC analyst for the Outback Bowl matchup between Florida and Penn State.

In a way, Gruden will be in comfortable surroundings.

Mike Tirico, who has worked the past two seasons with Gruden on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" telecasts, will handle the play-by-play duties on New Year's Day. Gruden, Tirico and Ron Jaworski have developed an easy chemistry since the Bucs dismissed Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen following the 2008 season.

At first, Gruden may be inclined to wander toward the home locker room rather than the media elevator, but any uneasiness figures to end once Gruden dons the headphones and starts talking strategy.

"Jon Gruden knows football you can't deny that," said fellow ESPN analyst Derrick Brooks, the former Bucs linebacker who didn't miss a start during Gruden's seven-year tenure. "His passion for the game has grabbed the attention of America."

Less than two years after he was fired by the Bucs, Gruden's star is again shining brightly. Hailed as the next John Madden for his animated style in the television booth, he also is among the top candidates for any high-profile coaching vacancy, college or pro.

He is on everyone's short list.

"Almost every job opening in the NFL or college is going to go through Avila first," said Outback Bowl president Jim McVay. "Who brings more of a complete package than Jon Gruden? Who would create more of a buzz? He's a heck of a coach and there's a marketing element that the NFL doesn't like to talk about."

Gruden, 47, already has been linked to potential NFL openings in Cleveland, Miami, Dallas and Washington.

When the 49ers dumped coach Mike Singletary following Sunday's loss to the Rams, San Francisco bloggers wasted little time suggesting Gruden is a strong candidate for the job.

"I'm having a great time," Gruden said about his new gig, "and I get to see some pretty cool things. There are some things I really miss about coaching and there are some things I really don't miss at all."

Although he's almost eight years removed from guiding the Bucs to a championship, Gruden retains a high profile among NFL executives.

"I find it hard to believe that Jon at some point would not come back to the sidelines," said Fox analyst Brian Billick, who led the 2000 Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory against the Giants in Tampa. "There's still an aura around him. There's only a handful of us guys with one of these (Super Bowl ring) and he's one of 'em."

Gruden's new lifestyle allows him to spend more time with his wife, Cindy, and three boys. His oldest child, Deuce, is a quarterback at Carrollwood Day School, where Gruden served as volunteer offensive line coach last fall.

"Jon's done more things with his wife and kids in the past 24 months than he did in the previous 20 years," said Gruden's agent Bob LaMonte. "If you asked me two years ago, I would have said he'd be back in coaching right away. He's a different person now and when he goes into all these NFL cities and sees the head coach crucified, he has to ask himself: Do I really want to do that again?"

Gruden isn't saying, but if he does decide to return to coaching, he's likely to have his pick of NFL jobs.

"He's the third-youngest guy in league history to win 100 games and Jon Gruden's the most prepared, articulate and detailed presenter of football I've ever been around," said Bucs special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, who joined Tampa Bay's staff in 2002. "He's teaching all the time whether it's at Carrollwood Day School or on TV."

While the Bucs gear up for Sunday's regular-season finale at New Orleans, a matchup with playoff implications, Gruden plans to spend this week watching film at his unassuming Tampa office, boning up on the Gators and the Nittany Lions.

"I don't think I got burned out; I think I got fired," Gruden said. "Thank you to the Outback Bowl for letting me back in the stadium."

LaMonte said his client's ESPN job has allowed Gruden to stay topical while weighing his options.

"You can't teach savoir-faire and Jon has it," LaMonte said. "He had accomplished everything you can accomplish by the age of 45 and through no fault of his own, he wasn't allowed to coach in Tampa anymore. Every city he has gone into the past two years, Jon Gruden auditions for his next job."

With coaches Joe Paterno of Penn State and Urban Meyer of Florida, the Outback Bowl boasts two figures with star quality.

Make that three.

ikaufman@tampatrib.com">name="signature">ikaufman@tampatrib.com
(813) 259-7833




jerseybucsfan

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#1 : December 28, 2010, 01:24:18 AM

A non-story. The Bucs have a coach and he's just fine. Glad Jon is having success outside the NFL. Hope he gets to do the Super Bowl broadcast when we raise the Lombardi .... next year.

In Verner We Trust

GoBucsYo

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#2 : December 28, 2010, 01:46:47 AM

The Glazers are still paying Gruden about 4 times as much as they are paying Morris...

CyberDilemma

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#3 : December 28, 2010, 01:49:11 AM

The Glazers are still paying Gruden about 4 times as much as they are paying Morris...

When you're willing to pay someone that much NOT to coach your team, what does that tell you?

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#4 : December 28, 2010, 01:50:35 AM

Tells you the Glazers really screwed the Buc fans firing Gruden so they could go on the cheap and result in a bunch of blackout so they can eventually move the team.

jerseybucsfan

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#5 : December 28, 2010, 01:52:42 AM

It tells you that they make bad decisions. Glad MD is running things for them right now, but they need to go full bore in the PR dept. this offseason and sell out the stadium.

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#6 : December 28, 2010, 08:42:42 AM

"You can't teach savoir-faire and Jon has it," LaMonte said. "He had accomplished everything you can accomplish by the age of 45 and through no fault of his own, he wasn't allowed to coach in Tampa anymore. Every city he has gone into the past two years, Jon Gruden auditions for his next job."

Actually was ALL his fault. He could have made the right personnel moves that would have prevented his firing.


CBWx2

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#7 : December 28, 2010, 08:55:26 AM

I know we keep hearing about how Gruden loves the booth and how he's waiting for his kid to graduate and what not, but I really don't see how he doesn't end up coaching again in 2011. There are so many openings this off-season. More than there will be in 2012 for sure. He's never going to have another opportunity to cherry pick a job that he has now.


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#8 : December 28, 2010, 10:05:21 AM

"You can't teach savoir-faire and Jon has it," LaMonte said. "He had accomplished everything you can accomplish by the age of 45 and through no fault of his own, he wasn't allowed to coach in Tampa anymore. Every city he has gone into the past two years, Jon Gruden auditions for his next job."

Actually was ALL his fault. He could have made the right personnel moves that would have prevented his firing.

This. His long-term development plan, or lack thereof (particularly as regards the QB position), was the nail in his coffin. It was time to go young, the owners recognized that, but Coach Gruden couldn't/wouldn't do it.

PWNASAURUS

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#9 : December 28, 2010, 10:29:01 AM

"You can't teach savoir-faire and Jon has it," LaMonte said. "He had accomplished everything you can accomplish by the age of 45 and through no fault of his own, he wasn't allowed to coach in Tampa anymore. Every city he has gone into the past two years, Jon Gruden auditions for his next job."

Actually was ALL his fault. He could have made the right personnel moves that would have prevented his firing.

This. His long-term development plan, or lack thereof (particularly as regards the QB position), was the nail in his coffin. It was time to go young, the owners recognized that, but Coach Gruden couldn't/wouldn't do it.
The problem is that most don't realize this and think that the Glazers just fired Gruden to save money(Which they didn't) and then they dismiss the hiring of Raheem Morris as some kind of cheap cost cutting move and then they in turn didn't even give him a chance. They already had their minds made up without seeing how Morris could do and its sad because Raheem Morris and Dom have taken Gruden's rudderless ship and turned them into a possible long term contender in only 2 seasons. We can all see the pieces fitting together nicely.


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#10 : December 28, 2010, 10:51:18 AM

They already had their minds made up...  ...possible long term contender...

"Potential just means you haven't done anything yet." Seems like you already have your mind made up as well.

Illuminator is a good poster. He sticks to his guns and makes good points. Some don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t like that.

Feel Real Good

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#11 : December 28, 2010, 10:55:50 AM

They already had their minds made up...  ...possible long term contender...

"Potential just means you haven't done anything yet." Seems like you already have your mind made up as well.
When the alternative was players who already peaked 5 years earlier, I'll take potential.

FRG is the most logical poster on this board.  You guys just don\'t like where the logical conclusions take you.

Chief Joseph

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#12 : December 28, 2010, 10:59:37 AM


Potential is fine, just don't try to sell it to me as if it's already achieved accomplishment. I'll ignore your petty dig with the five year hyperbole.

Illuminator is a good poster. He sticks to his guns and makes good points. Some don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t like that.

jerseybucsfan

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#13 : December 28, 2010, 11:02:21 AM

Neither matters. Potential is just a word. Past-their-peak players are ghosts.
Raheem and MD have gone beyond potential to ''performance.''
Now they need to add more pieces. But they have a great foundation.

In Verner We Trust

Chief Joseph

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#14 : December 28, 2010, 11:05:22 AM

Raheem and MD have gone beyond potential to ''performance.''

What do you mean by "performance?" Zero division titles? Finishing in the bottom half of the division every year? Maybe you should just stick with potential, you haven't got the evidence for performance as of yet.

Illuminator is a good poster. He sticks to his guns and makes good points. Some don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t like that.
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