Jon Gruden no fan of 18-game season
There's plenty of buzz about the NFL cutting the preseason in half and moving to an 18-game regular season with commissioner Roger Goodell leading the charge. The 18-game regular season has a lot of support, but one of those dead-set against it is former Bucs coach and current Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden. Not only does Gruden worry about the health of the players in an 18-game season, he doesn't want to see the preseason cut in half. During a conference call with reporters this week, Gruden said:
"I don't know who's going to be playing in week 17, 18 and throughout the playoffs, especially if you're going to have a Super Bowl in New York, it's going to be really cold after 18 regular season games. ... I'm in the minority. How else do you develop a quarterback? Where does he get to play? What snaps is he going to get? I realize four preseason games may be too many games, but every year there are some spectacular bursts from no place. Guys make teams as free agents undrafted. Guys explode onto the scene from the seventh round. You have to develop your game day depth. ... Somebody has to be the back up center. Somebody has to be the back up left tackle and right tackle. You need a guy that can come in and back up as a middle linebacker. You have to develop these types of players, and if you don't you're doomed. I think the preseason games are a good opportunity to do that. Coaches come and go today like they've never come and gone before. You've got a new play-caller, a new defensive coordinator, a new line coach, a new receiver; the dynamics of your offense have changed. Your team needs to come together too. Get them in training camp for three weeks just like they've done forever. Bring your football team along. I'm a big believer in the preseason.''