After watching the second year, of the extremely entertaining ESPN Special, entitled, “QB Camp,” I got to give the former NFL Head Coach and current ESPN analyst some major props. Jon Gruden is a great football analyst and a real asset to the ESPN/ABC Team. So what if the guy does not look particularly comfortable in the flashy ESPN suit attire. The man knows football inside and out. He is vastly entertaining. Plus, he does not cross the line by being inappropriate, yet he also also does not cross the line by being too boring either (maybe he should teach Charles Barkley how to do this).
Initially, when Gruden came on to the ESPN Monday Night Football Crew, I was a bit skeptical. I figured that he would just be another former Head Coach that was with the ESPN team for a year or two, as a sort of filler. Just another guy who got the job solely due to being a former NFL Head Coach. I was completely off the mark in gauging this one. Gruden is arguably the best all around NFL analyst ESPN has at this time. The guy knows football as well as anyone. He can really provide a fun personality to watch in multiple types of environments. Plus, he is not changing who he is just to fit the television mold. You can see the true colors of Jon Gruden every time you tune in to NFL coverage on ESPN that features him. There is a certain genuineness that comes out every time this guy is in front of the camera that many others cannot demonstrate (or at least in my eyes).
During his career in football, he was the Head Coach for the Oakland Raiders for 4 years. The Head Coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 7 years. And also made many other stops on the road to the top of the coaching game. Not to mention the man did win a Super Bowl in 2002. Simply put, Gruden has been through the fire. He has seen the wear and tear of being the Head Coach of an NFL football team and experienced what it is like to be at the pinnacle of the profession.
Over the past couple of years, most have speculated when the former Coach would return to the coaching ranks. In recent memory, rumors have swirled about Gruden taking on the coaching vacancy at the U (Miami University). Then more rumors came to fruition regarding him as a dark horse candidate to take over leading the troops at the Big House in Ann Arbor (Michigan job). Well if I were Gruden, I would simply stay put.
He currently has a job that millions of people dream of. He is making good money (probably not as much as an NFL Head Coach though). Plus he gets to spend time with his family while living the dream. Many do not realize how tough being the football coach at a major college program or at the professional ranks is. It is pretty much a 24/7, 365 day a year gig. Not to say that his current gig at ESPN does not take a strong work ethic. Because it surely does. But he has such a natural ability at it, and I can guarantee that the hours are dramatically less than what he once had as a Head Coach.
So if I am Jon Gruden, I stick to the studio. He is rising to the pinnacle of this profession already, while still having time to have a life on the side.
Jon Gruden is truly living the “Good life.”
Maybe Gruden should explain the “Good Life” to former Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer before he looks into returning to the coaching ranks. It would be hard for Meyer to pass on Columbus if the job became available though (let the rumors begin regarding Meyer to Ohio State in the near future).
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.