The Case for Gruden

22 Apr

Okay Dolfans, let’s lay this out there right up front: The Bifecta can still make this right. We plug a few holes and we can play with anybody. Of course one of those holes may very well be under center, by far the hardest to fill, but never mind that for now. We allow for the possibilty that a #1 RB, steady QB play and a mauler added to the O-line could return us to above .500 football or (gasp) even the playoffs.

However, let’s say we don’t make that leap. Let’s say the Patsies and the Jets remain the “class of the division” (yuck). Let’s also say that the extensions offered to the Bifecta were mostly damage control, and that Stephen “Crazylegs” Ross sends both Tony and Jeff packing with handsome severance packages and free team sweatpants.

It would be time to hire a new guy. Hell, we were about to do just that for 24 manic hours earlier this year. Everyone threw names out there. It was anarchy! We liked the idea of backing the Brinks truck up to Jon Gruden’s house. The mere mention of his name was a lightning rod. Rumors of Ross’ infatuation with him fanned the flames. How did “Grudes” become such a divisive figure? It’s interesting. We looked a little closer at the rhetoric of the Anti-Grudenites, and felt like taking a closer look.

GRUDEN CAN’T DEVELOP QUARTERBACKS

Come now. The folks who throw this opinion around have seemingly forgotten Gruden grabbing a journeyman named Rich Gannon and turning him into a beast in Oakland. If this was an easy trick to pull off, people would do it all the time. Over 10,000 yards passing and 87 TDs (to only 34 picks) for Gannon in his three years with Gruden. One of the best QBs of that period, hands down.

And though he never found his star signal caller in Tampa Bay, only once in seven years there did Gruden’s QBs throw more INTs than TDs. Overall during Gruden’s “awful QB years” in Tampa, his guys threw for 139 TDs and 106 INTs. Though Brad Johnson, Brian Griese and Jeff Garcia weren’t world beaters, they were by and large solid under Gruden.

GRUDEN CAN’T BUILD A TEAM

You hear it all the time. “Gruden won the Super Bowl with Dungy’s team.” Firstly, Dungy finished 3rd in his division before Gruden picked up where he left off and took them all the way to the Lombardi. Secondly, it is never, EVER easy to win the Super Bowl. Such a feat should never be sneezed at.

Not to mention, did you happen to catch the other team that made it to the Super Bowl that year? Oh yeah, I think it was the team Gruden had just put together in Oakland. Those Raiders also would have been at least in the AFC title game with Gruden if it weren’t for the tuck rule travesty in Foxboro.

GRUDEN WAS A ONE HIT WONDER

Sure, he may have been a victim of his quick success with the Bucs, but the man won beyond just that season, and won a lot. In only three of his eleven seasons has Gruden wound up under .500. The current regime has logged two losing seasons in three attempts. Gruden won five division crowns in just over a decade.

IN SUMMARY

Why this article now? Why talk about new coaches, when the draft is approaching and hope is springing eternal? Great question.We’ll shut up about it. Time for The Bifecta to get to work and plug these holes.

But, should they falter, and should it come time for a change at the top, it’s tough to poke too many holes in Chucky’s resume. We’re just sayin’.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

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