Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden's broadcast debut on ESPN gets better as it progresses

Jon Gruden exchanged quips with his ESPN broadcast partners.

Jon Gruden exchanged quips with his ESPN broadcast partners.

Jon Gruden might end up back on the sideline someday. But for now, the former Bucs coach seems comfortable in an announcer's booth.

He made his ESPN debut on a Thursday edition of Monday Night Football between the Cardinals and Steelers. And after a shaky start, he was insightful, witty and self-deprecating.

During pregame, Gruden looked a little stiff in his blue suit as he held the microphone in a death grip next to broadcast partners Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski. But he quickly got into a rhythm after Tirico asked how a coach gets a team back to the Super Bowl after winning it the year before.

Said Gruden: "I didn't do a very good job because we didn't make the playoffs after we won the Super Bowl, so I'm not an expert.''

As an analyst, Gruden, who turns 46 Monday, was insightful. He broke down plays without too much coach-speak. He also had a chance to react to news when Michael Vick signed with the Eagles.

As Bucs fans know, Gruden likes quarterbacks. So not surprisingly, he was for the move.

"I'd like to welcome Mike Vick back to the NFL,'' he said. "I think it's a good move for the Eagles. You can never have enough good football players at that position.''

Jaworski was against it, at least for his former team, the Eagles, leading to good banter.

"You're just jealous because he will sell more No. 7 jerseys than you ever did in your entire life,'' Gruden said as he fist-bumped Tirico.

"You really hurt me, Coach,'' Jaworski said, joking.

Tirico and Jaworski later took a shot at Gruden, so they should have good chemistry this season.

"(Cardinals quarterback Matt) Leinart threw it away, and that's a good play why?'' Jaworski asked.

"Because it's the only play,'' Gruden responded.

"Jaws, you have now become the 83rd quarterback that's heard that,'' Tirico said.

"Is it 83, Coach?'' Jaworski said.

"I think it is,'' Gruden said.

It is preseason, and Gruden is likely to get better.

"You nervous, Coach?'' Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after a sideline interview with Suzy Kolber.

"I am," Gruden said. "I need training camp more than you do.''

Ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden's broadcast debut on ESPN gets better as it progresses 08/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 1:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.