Jay Gruden, it’s often said, has a famous last name, but the guy responsible for making that name famous mostly stayed out of the spotlight last week.
Jon Gruden gave a statement, via ESPN, saying that he was proud of his brother for becoming the Redskins’ head coach. ESPN gave out another statement on any conflicts that might arise from Jon’s role on Monday Night Football, saying that Jon would call all games objectively.
But there’s a difference between a statement and an actual interview — at least theoretically — and Wednesday morning Jon Gruden gave the latter during one of his regular appearances on ESPN Radio.
“Well, I’m really proud obviously,” Jon Gruden said. “Here’s a guy that not only is my brother, but he did it the right way. He played in Arena football, he played for Howard Schnellenberger at Louisville — that’s some tough two-a-day practices — was my assistant for seven years in Tampa, and really did double days. He coached for the Orlando Predators in the spring and coached for us in the fall. I remember one year he coached in 40 games. So he’s done it the hard way. He gets the keys to one of the NFL’s most global franchises. It’s recognized, I think, around the world. This has got a great tradition, a world-championship tradition. It’s a tremendous responsibility, and I’m happy for him. I expect him to make the most of it.”
Frankly, that still reads like a statement, but at least I heard him say it. Also, I’m very happy that he refers to his brother — like he does to most NFL men — with the phrase “here’s a guy.” Imagine if Gruden had ever been able to coach Ray Guy.
Anyhow, then Mike Golic asked Jon Gruden if he expects his pregame meetings with Jay Gruden to yield more information than a typical analyst-coach get-together.
“He better give me some information,” Jon Gruden joked. “No, I’m going to treat it as professionally as I can. But I’m sure, being that he is my brother, he will trust me with some inside information, like who’s going to be starting in a game. Maybe he’ll give me something like that.”