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Aaron Rodgers rips Magic Johnson, Jon Gruden in one brilliant tweet

magic-johnsonMagic Johnson is one of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball, but his work as a television analyst leaves a lot to be desired. He and the rest of the ESPN NBA Countdown crew can be incredibly hard to listen to at times, which is why fans hold up signs like this behind them. Like many others, Aaron Rodgers is not a fan of Magic’s commentary.

Rodgers took to Twitter Friday night after (presumably) watching the Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. He packed a serious punch with one short tweet. Not only did he rip Magic, he also took aim at Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden.

He has a point. Magic and Gruden are similar in that they shower players with over-the-top praise, although Gruden doesn’t annoy me nearly as much as Johnson. I’ve actually kind of grown to enjoy the former Tampa Bay Bucs’ coach’s “this guy” and “that guy” jargon. Nevertheless, it sounds like Rodgers has a bone to pick with ESPN in general. He’s certainly not the only one.

Jon Gruden critical of Dion Jordan: He’s one-dimensional (Video)

Jon GrudenJon Gruden has been criticized for his easy-going commentary in the “Monday Night Football” booth, but he certainly showed his “Chucky” side when commenting on the Miami Dolphins’ selection of Dion Jordan at No. 3 overall in the NFL Draft on Thursday.

Gruden, who is generally positive in his commentary, expressed many reservations about the Dolphins’ pick.

“When I watch Dion Jordan play, I don’t see him play,” Gruden observed, noting that Oregon shifted defensive players in and out of their rotations like a hockey team working in shifts.

Gruden thinks Jordan has great athleticism, but “he’s narrow, he’s got a shoulder problem … lot of unknown.”

He also called Jordan a one-dimensional pass rusher who only tries to beat you to the outside with speed. He thinks that will be easy to defend in the NFL.

“My only concern with one-dimensional edge rushers is you can counter them if you just take the time and execute your protection plan.”

Hopefully you enjoyed the criticism from Gruden, because it’s very rare that you hear such harsh analysis from him.

Robert Kraft has signed picture from Jon Gruden of tuck rule saying it was a fumble

Tom-Brady-tuck-ruleOne of the rules that is being examined at the annual NFL owners meetings this week is the infamous tuck rule. The rule is one of the most beloved by New England Patriots fans and equally despised by Oakland Raiders fans. If not for the tuck rule, who knows where Tom Brady and Bill Belichick would be today.

In case you’re too young to remember, the tuck rule overturned a Brady fumble in the 2001 playoffs that would have allowed the Raiders to ice the game and advance to the AFC Championship Game. Instead, New England kept the ball and went on to win. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who said he never knew what the rule was prior to that game, has a predictable opinion on the matter. He also has a unique piece of memorabilia pertaining to the tuck rule, courtesy of former Raiders coach Jon Gruden.

“I love the tuck rule and forever will. I know (late Raiders owner) Al Davis, may he rest in peace, is probably smiling,” Kraft said Monday according to ESPNBoston.com. “But whatever the rule is, it is, I will forever … I have a picture, a big photograph in my office that Jon Gruden gave me with the snow coming down, and Tommy in that position. He signed it, ‘It was a fumble.’ I’ll probably give that to the [charitable] foundation to auction off at some point.”

Most people agree that the infamous tuck rule play from more than a decade ago was the right call on a bad rule. Outside of Foxboro, there are very few people who want to keep it in effect. I’m sure Gruden is one of the many who would be thrilled to see it go.

Jon Gruden not concerned about Manti Te’o’s performance against Alabama

manti teo notre dameManti Te’o has given critics many reasons to doubt him leading up to the NFL Draft. He posted a poor 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine, he was dominated by Alabama’s offense in the BCS National Championship Game, and there was that whole fake girlfriend thing. Despite these strikes against him, ESPN analyst Jon Gruden still believes in the former Notre Dame linebacker.

Gruden interviewed Te’o for his pre-draft “QB Camp” that is typically just for quarterbacks. After spending time with Te’o, he felt confident in the man who finished second in Heisman Trophy voting.

“He really understands the big picture,” Gruden said of Te’o, “how coverages work and how blitzes work. He’s got a vast amount of football expertise and it showed [during our interview].”

Gruden also told ESPN “NFL Live” host Trey Wingo that he thinks Te’o can overcome the girlfriend hoax story for which he has become known.

“I think he’s handled [questions about the fake girlfriend] fine. I think it’s time to move on.”

Even if Te’o can get past the jokes about the girlfriend hoax, people still have concerns over his ability that stem from his poor performance in the national championship game. Gruden dismissed those concerns, instead choosing to credit Alabama rather than discredit Te’o.

“I don’t have that much of a concern. I watched Alec Ogletree from Georgia play against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. I watched [linebacker Kevin] Minter from LSU play against Alabama. All of the linebackers got rolled by the Tide if you ask me. Alabama was the best team in the country,” Gruden told Wingo.

Though Gruden won’t use the national championship game as knock against Te’o, he does see areas where the former Notre Dame linebacker needs to prove himself.

“He’s got to run faster. The one thing he needs to prove is that he can play every down. He’s got to be comfortable in space against Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham and some of these Corvettes that we’re seeing in the National Football League today. His Pro Day will be very important to him.”

I appreciate Gruden’s analysis of Te’o. It has become popular to pile on Te’o, and most people have been ignoring some of the things he does do well. He was a top recruit out of high school, played well during college, and he seems to know where to be on the field. He had seven interceptions last season which says a lot to me about his presence on the field. That amount is almost unheard of for a linebacker.

Te’o does have a lot left to show at his Pro Day, but he is nowhere near as bad as others are making him out to be.

You can watch Gruden talk about his day with Te’o in the video below:

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Jon Gruden attends WWE RAW instead of watching BCS game (Video)

jon gruden rawJon Gruden must have known a blowout was coming in the BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame, because he was sitting in the first row at WWE “RAW” on Monday night instead.

USA’s cameras showed Chucky and a young boy going nuts in the crowd during the show in Tampa on Monday. Chucky showed the type of excitement that he usually reserves for when he’s talks about the throw a quarterback makes on a Spider 2 Y Banana play. He was just loving it. Oh, and he certainly didn’t miss much in the title game.

Might Dallas Cowboys make a run at Jon Gruden?

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has always supported head coach Jason Garrett, but if the team struggles for the rest of the season, could he look for a higher-profile replacement? SI’s Peter King believes that’s a possibility.

In his weekly “Monday Morning Quarterback” column for Sports Illustrated, King dropped in this nugget:

I would not be at all surprised if the Cowboys have a bad final three weeks if Jerry Jones goes after Gruden hard.

That comment came in the context of whether Gruden would leave ESPN for a coaching job. King says ESPN would be upset with Gruden if he left them, especially after they moved Ron Jaworski out of the “Monday Night Football” booth to accommodate him. He also says that Gruden would want to go to a team with a smart, veteran quarterback. Neither of those notes are new information, but they’re worth repeating.

So about the whole Cowboys thing. Jones fired Wade Phillips after a 1-7 start to the 2010 season. Garrett, who was the offensive coordinator at the time, replaced Phillips and the team finished 5-3. They went 8-8 last year, and they are 7-6 this season. Garrett is the guy Jones made the highest-paid assistant coach in the NFL in 2008 in order to keep him from taking jobs with Arizona or Baltimore. He has a lot invested in Garrett, and he’s been reluctant to say that Garrett’s job is in jeopardy.

Dallas’ next three games include home games against Pittsburgh and New Orleans, and a road game at Washington to end the season. The Cowboys have won four of five (including two against the Eagles), but the final three games will be challenging. Should they finish 7-9 with three losses, Garrett will have a .500 head coaching record for his career. I think it’s quite plausible that they go 1-2 to finish 8-8, leaving Jones unhappy.

Jones is not afraid to pay big money for a coach (see the $3 million he paid Garrett as an assistant), or to go after a big name (think Bill Parcells). With the Giants winning Super Bowls and the Redskins emerging behind Robert Griffin III, Jones may feel like making a run at Jon Gruden is something he needs to do to keep up in the division.

The next three weeks certainly will be interesting.

H/T Richard Deitsch

Crazy report: Tennessee booster Jim Haslam offers Jon Gruden ownership stake in Cleveland Browns to coach Vols

As far as college football coaching reports go, it doesn’t get more crazy than this one.

On Tuesday night, WREG-TV in Memphis published a report saying that Tennessee booster Jim Haslam offered Jon Gruden an ownership stake in the Cleveland Browns as a source of compensation for him to coach the Vols.

We don’t pass along the report for its news value (there are many questionable attributions to the report), but for its comedic aspects.

First, let’s take a look at what makes it so funny, which starts with Tennessee’s obvious desperation.

The Vols have been chasing after Gruden since 2009. Gruden, who was the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl (accomplished at age 39 with the Buccaneers in the 2002 season), was fired by Tampa Bay following the 2008 season. The University of Tennessee fired Phillip Fulmer the same year. There was no shortage of rumors that the Vols were pursuing Gruden to fill the job.

Tennessee ended up hiring Lane Kiffin, who bolted for USC after a year. They replaced him with Derek Dooley, who appeared overmatched in three seasons as the Vols’ head coach.

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