Jon Gruden, the ESPN commentator and former Tampa Bay head coach, hasn’t seen John Beck play recently and was looking forward to calling Thursday night’s game between the Redskins and the Ravens.
Gruden, annointed something of a quarterback guru by ESPN, said he hadn’t seen Beck play, except for some film of his games in 2007 with the Miami Dolphins and tape of Beck at BYU. Like most head coaches, Gruden spent a lot of time that spring studying the draft’s top quarterbacks.
“When he came out, it wasn’t a great year for quarterbacks,” Gruden said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “I spent a lot of time at LSU with JaMarcus Russell. I spent a lot of time at Notre Dame with Brady Quinn. I watched Trent Edwards and Stanford in the Senior Bowl.”
And where was Beck on Gruden’s list of quarterbacks? Mike and Kyle Shanahan, fans might recall, were especially high on Beck that year.
“It wasn’t a class of quarterbacks as strong as some of the other ones that came out. But no, I probably didn’t have him as the No. 1 guy,” Gruden said. “I did compare him with Marc Bulger. He reminded me of Marc when Marc was playing well with the Rams. But I probably wasn’t as high on him as the Shanahans. That’s the reason they’re coaching and I’m not. They’re smarter than I am.”