Overall: Gruden is a decent offensive coordinator but he can't do personnel. No one does coaching and personnel well, even the great Bill misses a lot because he can't do both. Gruden's failure gives those who believe he won in Tampa with Dungy's team more ammunition to fire.
What is next for the Raiders? A long rebuild is in the future, again.
Jon Gruden has resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.
"I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction," Gruden said in a statement Monday night. "Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone."
Raiders' assistant coach Rich Bisaccia is expected to replace Gruden as the team's interim head coach, ESPN's Suzy Kolber reported.
The resignation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that Gruden used misogynistic and anti-gay language in numerous emails during a seven-year period.
The NFL sent the Raiders additional Gruden emails to review, on top of the one about NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith that surfaced last week, and others Gruden recently confirmed to ESPN, sources told Schefter on Monday.
According to The Times, Gruden sent emails to Bruce Allen, then the president of the Washington Football Team, and others during a seven-year period that ended in 2018.
Gruden emailed Allen that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should not have pressured then-Rams coach Jeff Fisher to draft "queers," referring to former defensive end Michael Sam, a gay player drafted in 2014, according to The Times. The Times also reported that Gruden used an anti-gay slur in several instances while referring to Goodell, and used offensive language to describe some owners, coaches and media members who cover the league.
Gruden was employed by ESPN as the lead analyst for Monday Night Football at the time he sent the emails that are now under review.
"The comments are clearly repugnant under any circumstance," ESPN said in a statement.
Gruden's emails also included harsh language for a handful of team owners involved in the 2011 labor disagreement that led to a lockout at the time. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Gruden, in an email to Allen, said Smith had "lips the size of michellin tires," with the newspaper saying it had reviewed the email in question.
Gruden told ESPN that he routinely used the term "rubber lips" to "refer to a guy I catch as lying ... he can't spit it out."
"I'm ashamed I insulted De Smith. I never had a racial thought when I used it," Gruden told ESPN. "I'm embarrassed by what's out there. I certainly never meant for it to sound that bad."
The emails came to light during the NFL's investigation into workplace misconduct with Washington, as "the league was informed of the existence of emails that raised issues beyond the scope of that investigation," according to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy. Senior league executives reviewed the content of more than 650,000 emails, including the one the Journal reported was written by Gruden to Allen. The NFL sent pertinent emails to the Raiders for review.
Gruden, 58, was an analyst on ESPN's Monday Night Football at the time of the emails and returned to the sidelines in 2018 when Raiders owner Mark Davis lured him back with a 10-year contract worth a reported $100 million.
The Raiders, off to a 3-1 start before hosting the Chicago Bears on Sunday, have gone 22-30 under Gruden this time around after he initially coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and beat his former team in Super Bowl XXXVII. The Raiders have had one winning season and playoff appearance since, in 2016.
- Gruden is the guy who thought he was smarter than everyone else, but he just couldn't prove it. He won a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy's team and never really did much otherwise other than talk a lot of smack. The best part about all of this is that we'll never have to hear him on TV again after.
- Now we just need someone to find some emails from some current announcers as well (Joe Buck and Chris Collinsworth) so we can get rid of them as well. And I'm
- Urban Meyer needs to send Gruden a gift basket for getting Urban's name out of the news in a hurry.
And obviously, the Panthers and Texans already played.
Tom Brady continues to rail against certain aspects of the NFL evolution he's experienced throughout his 22-year career.
Before the 2021 season, Brady noted how penalties on the defense have allowed offenses to get away with mistakes -- this take was swiftly painted over by TB12's complaints about single-digit number changes.
During this week's edition of SiriusXM NFL Radio's "Let's Go!" Brady discussed the evolution of quarterbacks and how a "softer" league has allowed for more running QBs.
"I think there's probably a lot of shortsightedness," Brady said, via Pro Football Talk. "You know, when I hear that a lot, because I've heard over the years, you know, 'Oh, the game is changing,' and so forth. I think the game changes in different ways, absolutely. It evolves and changes and grows and hopefully it's getting better. And at the same time I think that there has always been, you know, incredible athletes playing professional football at the quarterback position. Randall Cunningham was an incredible athlete. Kenny Stabler was an incredible quarterback. Roger Staubach was. Michael Vick, I mean, I don't know if there's anyone more athletic that's ever played than Michael Vick. ... I think it definitely adds an element to the game.
"But at the same time, the name of the game is scoring points. So there's definitely more volatility, I would say, in that style of play over a period of time. You're definitely more injury prone because you're out of the pocket. You don't have the types of protection that you typically have in the pocket. And I would say the one thing that's probably changed over the years in terms of why it's probably gone a little more this way is, and I've alluded to this in the past, I think they're calling more penalties on defensive players for hitting, you know, for violent contact. And I think when you're out of the pocket, you know, we got called on a play yesterday where Ryan Jensen's going basically to protect our runner, and they throw an unnecessary roughness on an offensive lineman that I don't think would have been called, you know, five years ago. There's a lot of plays and hits that are happening on quarterbacks now, that are flags for defensive players, that probably weren't that way 10 or 15 years ago.
"So I'd say the game is a little softer than it used to be. I think the defensive players are more on the defensive when they go in to tackle. And I think that's probably adding to this element of quarterbacks outside the pocket and taking more chances, you know, than they did in the past."
Certainly, protections for QBs have helped allow for an evolution. But the 44-year-old Brady also benefits from those rule changes. Former signal-callers like Kurt Warner have said for years that he might have played into his 40s if afforded the same protections Brady enjoys today.
There are many layers to the "softer" discussion, from concussion issues to player safety. Also, the proliferation of running quarterbacks stems from a willingness of coaches to embrace different offensive concepts, and those signal-callers are getting a chance to play the position growing up and through college -- as opposed to constantly being funneled to WR, RB or CB.
There's also the fact that "softer" doesn't necessarily mean worse. There are currently more good young QBs than any other time in NFL history, which Brady noticed earlier this season. Keeping these faces of the league healthy is priority No. 1, as it should be, regardless of some seeing those motives as "soft."
My thoughts: Randall Cunningham was the man and Mike were magic. If they had the current protections their careers would have been much longer and even more productive than they were. It is a simple truth that it is almost impossible to actually play defense these days and that low scoring is more often attributed to bad work by the offense than a defense being able to totally shut someone down.
The Browns didn’t agree with officials’ decision not to eject Chiefs assistant coach Greg Lewis. It’s a given they aren’t going to agree with the NFL’s decision not to fine the running backs coach.
The NFL fined Browns safety Ronnie Harrison $12,128 for his part in a sideline altercation with Hill. Hill received only a warning, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports.
Hill was told that any subsequent violations of Rule 13, Article 8 will result in discipline. The NFL found that “Lewis’ actions weren’t deemed worthy of a fine.”
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said this week that teams had received a memo from the league about sideline comportment. The league reminded them that “non-player personnel of a club (e.g., management personnel, coaches, trainers, equipment personnel) are prohibited from making unnecessary physical contact with or directing abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures at opponents, game officials, or representatives of the League. Penalty: Loss of 15 yards.”
The league’s treatment of Hill is curious at best since he pushed Harrison first. Harrison then pushed back. Officials originally penalized only Hill, but a call from the league office resulted in an offsetting penalty on Harrison and his ejection.
Network rules analysts, including NBC’s Terry McAulay, disagreed.
“On the field, penalize both, resulting in an offset, and after the fact, the league can fine as they see fit,” McAulay tweeted. “The result on the field seemed inequitable at best.”
As Browns center and NFLPA president JC Tretter noted this week, “I would expect that the coach gets held to the same standard if not a higher standard than Ronnie.”
“We can’t have opposing coaches putting hands on opposing players,” Tretter said. “I don’t think there’s any room for that in this league.’’
My View: This is complete crap. It is a huge problem when players are held to a higher standard than coaches. That KC seems to be alright with their coaches behavior isn't shocking in the least. NFL coaches aren't known for being honest and honorable people overall with Bruce Arians being the possible exception.
The Lions and Calvin Johnson continue to have no relationship. The rift traces to the fact that, when Johnson retired, the Lions made him pay back some of his signing-bonus money.
Johnson recently elaborated on his concerns in an interview with Graham Bensinger.
“What do you make of their efforts to resolve it?” Bensinger asked Johnson.
“Not really an effort,” Johnson said.
So what needs to happen?
“I’m not saying they got to repay me the $1.6 [million] all up front, but they need to figure out a way to do it, and not have me work for it, because I already did the work for it.”
The Lions recently offered to pay Johnson $500,000 per year for three years, if he worked 28 hours per year. They also offered to make a $100,000 donation to a charity of Johnson’s choice, pushing the total payout to $1.6 million. Johnson declined.
“That’s a joke,” Johnson told Bensinger. “I put it like this. Imagine you had a friend — well, maybe not even a friend, just somebody. They gave you something and then they take it back. And then are y’all gonna still really hang out? Are y’all still cool? And imagine you did a whole bunch of work for it, too. It’s the principle. It’s the principle of it. You cannot have me back unless you put that money back in my pocket. . . . I’m not working for it.”
Technically, Johnson hadn’t earned the money. He received it as an advance on future services. That said, the Lions shouldn’t have asked for it back. They needed him off the books for cap reasons, and if he hadn’t retired they likely would have cut him. (Frankly, his agents screwed this up by not brokering a better deal when Johnson willingly walked away, allowing the team to dump most of his bloated cap number for the 2016 season.)
Johnson also was asked whether the financial issue triggered Johnson’s failure to mention the Lions in his Hall of Fame induction speech.
“Mama always tell you if you ain’t got nothing good to say, don’t say it at all,” Johnson said with a laugh.
As to the issue between player and team, there’s nothing more to say. There will be no relationship until Johnson gets his money.
My Thoughts: The thing that I hate the most about this is that it makes me agree with the Lions on something, which makes me sad. I get why he quit, but they gave him an advance on a service he didn't provide and he got butt hurt that they wanted their money back. He may be one of the best players in their history, but he's a toxic moron who you don't need around their team.