Former NFL quarterback Shaun King, the starter in Tampa for part of 1999 and all of 2000, spent two years with the Bucs as a backup under former coach Jon Gruden. And King, whose media duties now include a radio show on WQYK-AM in Tampa, recently teed off on Gruden.
Sparked by Keyshawn Johnson’s recent criticism of Gruden, even though both men currently work for ESPN, King explained in detail his perception regarding Gruden’s coaching flaws.
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.”
“From a relationship level I think Jon failed,” King said, echoing things that folks in Tampa publicly have said about Gruden for years. Specifically, Gruden had a reputation within the walls of the building of saying one thing and doing another.
King also hinted that Gruden’s style that simply won’t work at the NFL level for anyone other than Bill Belichick. Comparing Gruden to Nick Saban, King suggested that Gruden would be better off coaching at the college level, where Gruden could employ a more dictatorial style. (That said, the inability of a young quarterback to play like the Hall of Famer that Gruden would have been if he had only been several inches taller likely would make Gruden’s head explode.)
The folks at JoeBucsFan.com have a link to the audio of the conversation regarding Gruden. Whether or not anyone agrees with King, he brings an interesting — and informed — perspective.
Meanwhile, and in all fairness to Gruden, we’ll wait for one or more of his former players to publicly declare that Gruden is inherently honest.