Jon Gruden led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their only Super Bowl win in franchise history back in 2003, but he was not the only head coach of the team that season. For at least a day, Pro Bowl defensive end Simeon Rice was in charge.
Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks shared an awesome story about Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl season during an appearance on “Morning Men” with Evan Cohen and Mike Babchik on Thursday. There was no bye between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl in 2003, so the Buccaneers had to fly home from Philadelphia after beating the Eagles and then head immediately to San Diego for Super Bowl XXXVII.
The Bucs’ coaching staff stayed back in Tampa Bay for a day or two to prepare while the players headed off to San Diego. At that point, Brooks says Gruden named Rice interim head coach and told everyone to not do anything stupid. You’ll want to hear the full story:
“All he said was, ‘Simeon Rice, you are the head coach for the next 36 hours. Guys, don’t be a distraction. Go get on the plane,'” Rice recalled. “There were some personalities on that team, so I’ll protect the innocent. There’s things I’ve heard but still can’t prove today.”
Brooks made it clear that the Bucs enjoyed their day-plus under head coach Simeon Rice, but obviously the down time did not have a negative impact on their performance. They went on to demolish the Oakland Raiders by a score of 48-21.
Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden might find himself on hot water over recent podcast comments about Richard Sherman.
Gruden appeared on a recent podcast hosted by Sherman and NBC Sports analyst Cris Collinsworth. Collinsworth noted that Gruden hired former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in the same role on his current staff, suggesting a Sherman connection, but noted that he did not want to get Gruden caught up in another tampering violation.
Gruden jumped on it anyway, openly appealing to Sherman to come play for the Raiders.
“I’ve been fined, I’ve been punished very, very harshly,” Gruden said. “Richard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an alpha presence in our secondary. Somebody that could play this Hawk 3-press technique with the read step. If you’re available and interested, maybe you and I can get together at some point off air.”
The comment, serious or not, has seemingly angered those within the NFL. One general manager told ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio that Gruden’s remarks represent “blatant tampering.”
By the wording of the league’s rules, Gruden clearly violated the letter of the law. Though Sherman can become a free agent in March, he is still formally under contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Gruden’s public statement of interest is a clear violation of the league’s tampering rules, especially speaking directly to Sherman like that.
Gruden already ran afoul of NFL rules once this season. It’s up to the NFL whether it opens an investigation, but this one seems like a pretty obvious rules violation. In fact, given how blatant it was — and how tampering was brought up to Gruden immediately before he made the comments — the NFL might try to come down on the Raiders coach pretty strongly here.
The Las Vegas Raiders did not get their money’s worth from Jon Gruden on Saturday night.
The Raiders played a tight game with the Miami Dolphins in Las Vegas and had the victory in their hands until giving it away.
The Raiders were down 23-22 with 1:05 left in the game and had a 3rd-and-goal situation at the one. Rather than run the ball to try for a touchdown, Gruden had his team play for the go-ahead field goal. Derek Carr kneeled on the ball with a minute left, which allowed the clock to get down to 23 seconds left before the Raiders kicked the go-ahead field goal on fourth down.
The problem is the Raiders left 19 seconds for Miami, which was too much time.
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a miracle pass on a blown coverage. The completion plus a roughing the passer penalty put the Dolphins at the 26, which was more than enough range for Jason Sanders to kick a winning 44-yard field goal.
The Raiders did make a smart play when Josh Jacobs went down at the one on second down because it took more time off the clock. But the third down play is where the Raiders should have just gone for a touchdown. If they got stopped, then they could kick the field goal on fourth down anyway. But if they score there, the Dolphins would have had to score a touchdown with no timeouts and under a minute left.
The Dolphins had to make some big plays without much time left in either scenario, and the Raiders’ defense would have had to make at least a stop or two in either scenario. But on the third down play, Gruden should have just tried to score the touchdown to force Miami to score a TD with under a minute left.
The Miami Dolphins face a big game against the Las Vegas Raiders this week, but the Raiders aren’t giving them much of a clue on who the starting quarterback will be.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Thursday that he’s “optimistic” that Derek Carr will be able to play after suffering a Week 15 groin injury. However, he also refused to guarantee that, leaving the door open for Marcus Mariota instead.
Gruden is "optimistic" that Derek Carr can be ready to go Saturday but "I am not going to let the cat out of the bag … both quarterbacks have prepared to play." #Raiders
Someone needs to do an equipment check for Jon Gruden.
The Las Vegas Raiders head coach took the field for his team’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night wearing the wrong hat. Gruden’s hat said “Oakland” Raiders on it, rather than “Las Vegas.”
Jon Gruden is well familiar with his upcoming opponent, and not just for what he does on the gridiron.
The Las Vegas Raiders head coach addressed reporters Wednesday ahead of this week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Gruden took a funny shot at Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, saying he preferred his own television commercials to Mayfield’s, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Mayfield, 25, is enjoying some decent run on TV right now, most notably appearing in a series of ads for Progressive Insurance. He has proven to be a marketable pitchman, even dating back to his college days.
Gruden is no slouch either though when it comes to Madison Avenue. He has a number of memorable commercials under his belt, especially from the years before he became coach of the Raiders. Included in Gruden’s past exploits are ad appearances for Corona and Hooters.
The Las Vegas Raiders have had their share of issues with COVID-19 this season, but coach Jon Gruden clearly thinks the team’s handling of the virus has been exemplary.
Members of the Raiders have received multiple fines for failing to follow the NFL’s safety protocols. Offensive lineman Trent Brown recently tested positive for the virus, and the team briefly had to isolate its entire offensive line as a result.
Gruden, however, was quick to point out that the Raiders are far from the only team to have a positive test. Then he made an even bolder claim about the team’s handling of the virus.
It’s not very clear what Gruden is basing this on. The Raiders don’t seem any closer to “beating” COVID-19 than any other organization. In fact, the league is reportedly looking into the team’s handling of it.
Gruden was fined $100,000 and the Raiders were fined $250,000 for his failure to wear a face covering at all times during last week’s win over the New Orleans Saints. Multiple NFL coaches have been fined for not following the mask protocol after the league issued a warning following Week 1.
A report during the offseason indicated the Raiders tricked players into thinking Gruden had contracted the coronavirus to send a message about the dangers of the illness. Gruden said recently that he actually did have COVID-19 and was annoyed by people saying he faked it.
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The NFL has added two more head coaches to its masks fine list for Week 2.
Jon Gruden and Sean Payton were both fined $100,000 for not wearing masks during “Monday Night Football.” Their respective teams, the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints, also received $250,000 fines.
The NFL is making it very clear that they want coaches to wear masks for coronavirus purposes. The league issued warnings last week and escalated to fines this week. The message from the league has been sent.