The Jon Gruden Lovefest

Published: March 29th, 2007
By weblog

Ira Kauffman must have run into the Percocet-and-Heineken-infused Jon Gruden for this interview because he just absolutely loves everybody.

On Calvin Johnson:
"You have to be enamored with Calvin Johnson's workout."

On Adrian Peterson:
I think this guy in Oklahoma [Peterson] might be the best running back I've ever seen coming out of college."

Gruden was coaching when Barry Sanders was drafted in 1989, right?

On JaMarcus Russell:
"I like this guy [Russell] at LSU," he said. "I think he's got rare talent throwing the football. His size, his mobility and his quick arm remind me of Ben Roethlisberger."

At least this time he didn't say Russell was the best ever, like a Hall of Famer. Because that would just be silly.

On Brady Quinn:
"The other guy [Brady] is a Type A guy, he's a winner. He's the hardest-working guy maybe in this draft. He does sit-ups, I think, at halftime. The guy's working around the clock. He's got a burning desire to be the best."

On Jeff Garcia:
"Garcia's not your everyday quarterback veteran," he said. "This guy's a madman. He's like Mad Max in the huddle."

Wow! Is there anyone he won't heap hyperbolic praise on?

On Chris Simms:
"It's not like we don't think he's a promising player."

Oh. Yikes. Well, I suppose Chris is used to it. Even when Simms was the unquestioned starter, Gruden was never overly complimentary of him. Still, if the Raiders take Calvin Johnson with the #1 overall pick, I could see Gruden and Bruce Allen turning their attention to Brady Quinn and making Simms part of a trade package to Detroit or Cleveland to eliminate their need for a quarterback (not necessarily to move up in the round, though.) After they acquired Jeff Garcia and Jake Plummer, I really stopped considering a quarterback at all in the draft, but poor Simms just always seems to have one foot out the door.

Jon Gruden wants to give you a big hug.