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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Gruden blogging from USO tour of Iraq

Former Bucs coach Jon Gruden, making a smooth transition into a new job as a commentator for "Monday Night Football" this fall, is blogging on about his experiences this week as part of the NFL-USO Coaches Tour to visit U.S. military personnel in Iraq.

Gruden, on tour with fellow NFL coaches Tom Coughlin, Bill Cowher, Jeff Fisher and John Harbaugh, has picked up on everything -- the huge number of "Terrible Towels" soldiers have with them in Iraq, the opulence of the converted palaces now used as hotels for visitors and the proximity of stocked ponds to fish for carp and catfish.

Gruden and Cowher took off their Super Bowl rings to let soldiers wear them during the visit, and his highest praise was for the men and women who have made him their guest in the past few days.

It's amazing what you see here. The organization and the attention to detail is amazing. The camaraderie is excellent. The pride will bring tears to your eyes. I'm really proud of these people, these warriors, these people at war here. They want to be great at what they do. They love it, and you can see it in their eyes. It's been so impressive to me. I just tip my hat to them.

-- Greg Auman, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:35pm]


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