Run while you still can, future NFL quarterbacks. Chucky is being let out of his cage again, and he’s thirsty for QB blood.
Current awful Monday Night Football colour man and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden will return for his second season of Quarterback Camp. The show launched by ESPN last year gives Gruden one-on-one time with a group of the draft’s top quarterbacks, putting the prospects in a room with Gruden that has little more than a table, a few clipboards, a whiteboard, and game film.
The concept made for great television last year, and unique analysis. Gruden seemed at ease, and gave viewers the impression that a coach was sitting down in the interview room with his possible future quarterback. It’s a scenario where the strengths of the young arm are examined, and his weaknesses are exploited.
Most importantly, while playing the role of coach Gruden digs into the intangibles and questions the leadership abilities of each player. Last year Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Sam Bradfard, and Jimmy Clausen were featured in the segments, and just a few moments with Gruden played a major role in Clausen’s draft plummet.
When a top QB prospect is warned about “going through the motions like Ryan Leaf” in a setting like this, a few million dollars leaves his wallet.
If I’m a selfish, money hungry agent, there’s no way I’m letting my client within 500 miles of Gruden’s quarterback film session. Since every agent is selfish and money hungry, it’s surprising to hear that Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, and Andy Dalton were announced as Gruden’s subjects during an hour-long show set to air on April 21.
In a rare year with nearly no consensus at the top of the board, and little certainty even for Newton and Gabbert, the risk is too great with Gruden’s interviews airing a week before the draft. At a time when character is being heavily scrutinized Newton’s presence is especially surprising after highly critical and sometimes venomous reviews of his leadership and personality.
But hey, you know what they say: one man’s draft dive is another man’s entertainment. Right?