Jon Gruden knows 'best' . . . and 'most' and 'greatest'

By Leonard Shapiro
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, November 16, 2010; 12:36 PM

If Jon Gruden has anything to say about it, representatives for the Pro Football Hall of Fame should be arriving any minute now at the Philadelphia Eagles training complex, the better to measure Michael Vick for his bronze bust. While they're there, Gruden also would probably advise them to check Coach Andy Reid's dimensions, and perhaps wide receiver DeSean Jackson's, as well.

After all, Gruden at one point during Monday night's Redskins-Eagles telecast said, "I don't know anyone better with [coaching] quarterbacks than Andy Reid." Or that Jackson may be the fastest receiver he has ever seen. (Perhaps the former Tampa Bay coach is too young to remember Hall of Famer Bob Hayes, an Olympic gold medalist in the 100-yard dash.)

In any case, the constant hyperbole spewed by Gruden over the course of ESPN's Monday night broadcast was almost as breathtaking as watching Vick and his teammates score with impunity.

Vick's remarkable individual performance and the Eagles' total domination was obviously worthy of high praise. But can we at least wait for the second half of the season to play out before we anoint Vick the league's MVP, Reid the coach of the year and the Eagles Super Bowl champions?

For Gruden in particular, a propensity to lavish praise has been noticeable virtually from the start of his broadcasting career two years ago, as is his habit of insisting he has never seen anything quite like what he has observed three seconds earlier.

A few examples?

l "Those two [Redskins] safeties are playing deeper than I've ever seen safeties play."

l "If Michael Vick can keep this up, he'll be the player of the year, the player of the decade."

l "Over the last 10 years, Andy Reid has handled the quarterback position better than anyone in the league."

l "I have never seen anything like this in 20 years [after the Redskins whiffed on several tackles on a Philadelphia touchdown run]."

l A lot of people will roll their eyes, but this guy [Vick] reminds me of Steve Young."

l "I think I'm dreaming [after yet another spectacular Vick play]."


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