The QB Blast: Constant Jawing Wears Players Out

July 27th, 2010
Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson

Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson


Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes The QB Blast column here at Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson is often seen as a color analyst on Bright House Sports Network, and he trains quarterbacks of all ages locally via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.

With no more World Cup futbol/soccer and only baseball highlights to choose from, ESPN recently ran a three-day special on Jon Gruden’s days as the assistant offensive line coach at Carrollwood Day School.

It was much needed feel-good programming at a time when there isn’t much fooball news — unless it’s bad news.

ESPN went back to the gold mine that they got pre-draft, when their Monday Night Football star brought us four days of QB meetings he had with the top prospects in the draft. I anticipated that show greatly, as coaching the quarterback position is my passion as well, but nowhere near the same planet of passion as Gruden. Nobody can match that.  I enjoyed the peek inside the QB meeting room with these soon-to-be millionaires and was entertained, as well, but probably not for the same reasons as most.

Gruden became infamous because of his “Chucky” faces and profane sideline language, and now he is working with 14-18 year old young men.

There are sure to be a lot more “Jiminy Christmases” in his vocabulary now than his other well-known catchphrases on his pro practice fields and game sidelines. The “Jovial Jon” was certainly on display during the camera’s visit to the North Tampa campus and seemed to be on his best behavior, likely since it is the offseason and the game intensity isn’t turned up during these “mic’d up” sessions. 

If you ever wondered why some players might have grown weary of Gruden and turned their ears off over time, just listen to the total number of words that are said and the percentage that actually have something to do with the play or concept. 

Young guys can really be dazzled by the volume of words, but the older you get the more you look for substance over quantity. And all those words just become “blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada”.

After doing the QB segment before the draft, I bet Colt McCoy and his agent weren’t too happy about Gruden talking about him being extremely small or how hard his southern accent that is to understand. Neither of those things is football-related, as he lead Texas the national title game calling plays and he is just as tall as the current Super Bowl MVP.

Players can only handle so much between their ears. Too too much extraneous nonsense starts getting tuned out or taken offensively.

Two things stood out to me in the first installment of Gruden with the high schoolers. The first is just how much fluff is thrown out there (e.g. patting the blocking sled, telling it how well it did stopping two players from pushing it down the field). There is a fine line between coaching and demeaning players.

I have always said I liked John Robinson as a head coach because he could “call you out” for not getting your job done and pat you on the back when you corrected your mistake without ridiculing the player(s). Constant jawing, if it doesn’t help the player improve technique, can really wear players out. Old married guys can relate to this as their wives just keep talking and talking, even though they got the point long beforehand and turned the volume switch off long ago.

The second thing is Gruden’s offense, which the Bucs may be much closer to running these days than they were a year ago at this point.

Remember, in July and August of last year, Jeff Jagodzinski and Raheem Morris had decided to be a hard running and down-field passing play-action team. It wasn’t until September that the offense went into Greg Olson’s hands.

I’m not sure what the offensive verbiage was during last season, but they couldn’t haven changed all the language and lingo back just a couple days before the season.  Olson may now have a split between his Rams days in “The Greatest Show On Turf,” under Mike Martz’s timing offense, and his more recent time with Gruden’s version of the “West Coast Offense.”

Hearing Gruden try to get an offensive lineman to understand the concept of “razor and lazer” line calls was interesting, as you hear how closely the two sound and how they could be misheard with a little crowd noise. I’m sure the Bucs used “Razor” and “Lazer” calls on their way to the Lombardi Trophy, so missing those calls probably hasn’t been a big issue and everyone on the defensive line of the opposing team knows what those calls mean anyway, but rhyming words aren’t a great habit to make in calls at the line or in the huddle.

Not everyone can see the QB’s mouth in the huddle and could miss that first sound of the word. Other common calls are “Roger/Louie, Rip/Liz, Ricky/Lucky”.  Each of these calls tells a player to block left or right based on the first letter in the word.  As you see in the other examples, each word starts with an “L” or “R” for right or left, but ends with a different sound.  It only takes one person to hear “razor” when it was a “lazer” call to have bad things happen.

Anyway, the videos are great entertainment for guys that love the HBO “Hardknocks” series or anything football in July when programming is minimal. And checking in on the most famous high school assistant offensive line coach in the world every once in a while is pretty good stuff, too.

22 Responses to “The QB Blast: Constant Jawing Wears Players Out”

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Thanks Jeff and Joe- good article! Hey Oar, Olsen did work under the Martz system-told ya so! Confirms yet another thing I’ve heard. The Buc Players were SICK of Chucky! I realize that will be devastating news to the Gruden loving “Chuckettes”- sorry boys, as much as you love him, he was done here!

  2. Louie the HATER! Says:

    Wow, can’t understand how Gruden won a Superbowl with all those deficiencies. I’m glad Morris is so much easier to understand. 16-0 baby!

  3. oar Says:

    CaptTim, I told you so? What are you 10? No, you didn’t!
    Mike Martz was off coord with the Rams in 1999 and then from 2000-2005 was their head coach. Prior to Rams Martz was with Redskins in 1997-98. With that said, here is Olsen’s jobs during that time.

    From 1997-2000 Olsen was quarterbacks coach for Purdue. He was QB coach for the 49ers in 2001, TEcoach for Purdue in 2002, and the QB coach for the Bears in 2003. And in 2004 Olson served as the quarterbacks coach of the Detroit Lions, where he worked with Joey Harrington. He served as Lions offensive coordinator following the firing of Steve Mariucci and the demotion of Ted Tollner during the 2005 season.
    In 2006, he was the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams. During his first season in St. Louis, he did not call the offensive plays for the team until near the end of the year. He developed game plans with head coach Scott Linehan, and worked to develop the offense in general. Linehan decided to hand over play-calling duties to Olson so that he could manage games better, without having to focus on one side of the ball.
    Olson was fired after the 2007 season with Rams. Was here following that year.
    As you can see they were not on the same team at the same time. They did not coach together, period.

  4. oar Says:

    Carlson, Why did you put Olsen in under Martz at the Rams??

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    Oar- never said he coached with Martz. I said he was introducing parts of Martz scheme into the Bucs offense! Learn to read and digest info, makes life smoother. I don’t care if he learned Martz scheme from a gum wrapper, I loved that offense, and like the elements of it I’ve seen here ! We might actually end up with an EXCITING offense,instead of 10 guys running around presnap, to achieve zilch! That crap never fooled anybody! BORING!! ( having said that, Capt. Tim now sticks out his tongue at Oar, and fires off a Raspberry!) Ah, Louie! I know this must be heartbreaking for you! Yeah, Gruden did a great job the year he won the SuperBowl! I actually wish he had been he the year before- he mighta won two! But then, fights with Keenan,Keyshawn, Rice, and Sapp! Fails to produce a good offense( his reputed expertise), fails to draft well, fails to develop young players, and most importantly- what Jeff Carlson is trying ta tell you gently- he lost the respect of the team! This isn’t your daddy’s NFL! Players today make more money than the coaches, have bigger egos than the coaches, and can get a coach ran off quick! If they don’t trust you, And buy in to what you are teaching- you are done! The Lombardi ” my way or the Highway” days are over! Owners know that fans come to see Players, not coaches. And players win games! Again( Christ, I’ve said this took many times) that is why they hired a “players coach”. The team was in full on revolt by the time The door hit Grudens butt. I’ve been saying this stuff for months. The more you read other articles, the more it proves true! I just hope at least one Buc fan appreciates the enlightment

  6. oar Says:

    CaptTim, “Hey Oar, Olsen did work under the Martz system-told ya so!” But you never said he was under Martz??? Give me a break!
    “Capt. Tim now sticks out his tongue at Oar, and fires off a Raspberry!” Yep I knew it. CaptTim, You are 10!
    BTW Not sure, how Olsen can match his numbers in St Louis without having Mike Martz’s players like Faulk or Jackson and I. Bruce or T. Holt.

  7. oar Says:

    Or a M. Bulger. Which, I was surprised we didn’t try and sign him for a veteran QB back-up. He and Olsen are familar with one another.

  8. eric Says:

    I found the Gruden film very entertaining, and I bet those kids are loving every minute of it.

    Apparently not everybody finds Gruden’s talk irritating, as he is doing rather well on MNF.

    Nice work coaching your kid for free, Chucky. Not everyone in Tampa is an imbecile and finding fault with it.

  9. Gruden's offenses sucked big time Says:

    Eric, Gruden has an entertaining personality, no arguments there, but a good number of his underlings called him a scumbag. Now there were players and people that also called Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Bill Parcells scumbags because of their Hitler-like mentality, but these were coaches that built dynasties and had sustained success unlike Gruden. Even if players would get frustrated with these great coaches shouting on their face, they still had respect and knew these guys were geniuses.

    If I was a player why would I want to respect Gruden if he is constantly on my face? After all, Gruden does not know jack about coaching younger players, sucks at what he specializes in (offense). I might know very less than him and he might be my boss, but his track record from 03 has been shabby despite Kiffin being DC of Bucs.

  10. McBuc Says:

    NEWS FLASH! THIS JUST IN! GRUDEN no longer coaches for Tampa Bay. Please get over it. Love him or hate him, it does not matter. If you can not take another losing season…SEE YA! I am sure we will welcome you back when the Bucs are winning again. Just PLEASE get over Gruden, he is not here.


    Nope, not getting over it.

  12. McBuc Says:

    @GRUDENWONTHESUPERBOWL…Are you really Eric? I agree with your name, and JG has a place in Bucs history. It is just crazy that no matter what the subject is this sites posters revert back to the Gruden talk, in both sides…the ones that love him and the ones that hate him. Geez, it is just old news. For good or bad he is no longer the coach for the Bucs.

  13. McBuc Says:

    Of cousse this article was about Gruden, so I guess it makes sence…

  14. Gary Says:

    eric you are hilarious crediting Gruden for coaching his sons team for FREE! awww… how nice of a millionaire not to accept some chump change salary (for him) to coach a high school team that his son plays on for a few months while earning millions on MNF.

    Are you kidding me? He wants to spend time with his son since he was famous for being a workaholic while coaching in the NFL. And how much money could he really be expected to be paid in HS?

    Many people have said it and i will repeat. Rah might say stupid stuff, and Eric might hate him. But he has the teams backing, which Gruden would have lost immediately if he had the season we just had. In that sense, Rah is miles ahead of Gruden. Secondly, his offense was garbage which was the exact reason he was brought in. Our D was primed for a few SB wins, and he got only 1 because he was lucky enough to know the raiders offense better than Gannon. He gets credit for sure, but let it go man. He is gone, and deserved to be fired.

  15. Joe Says:

    And how much money could he really be expected to be paid in HS?

    An assistant coach at a tiny private school like Carrollwood Day? Unless they have a megabooster not named Gruden, maybe $2,000 max.

  16. eric Says:


    You are just oozing with credit.

    Lets see, I wonder if Jon Gruden could spend his time making some money in other ways rather than coaching his son’s football team?

    It is a demonstration of the depth of the hatred for the man who brought the team its only Super Bowl Title that he would be criticized for helping coach a High School football team.


  17. oar Says:

    Gary, “Rah might say stupid stuff, and Eric might hate him.” True!
    “But he has the teams backing, which Gruden would have lost immediately if he had the season we just had.” Funny, I remember Gruden bouncing his teams back to winning the next year from having a losing year.
    “Our D was primed for a few SB wins, and he got only 1 because he was lucky enough to know the raiders offense better than Gannon.” Funny, don’t you mean Dungy should have had several. Our defense was better (especially our D-line) a few years leading up too and through the SuperBowl. Gruden caught the end of our great defense. It wasn’t going to last forever, especially with those players. Dungy missed out on the “several rings” gig! Hmmm, very intersting Gruden knew the Raiders #1 offense. DUH!! It was his!

  18. Gary Says:


    “oozing with credit”… LOL, ok I’ll give you that one. Maybe I unfairly don’t give him enough.

    But please stop your typical lies by omission. We aren’t in court. How was I in any way criticizing what he did? I was simply stating that you give him credit for every tiny little thing he does. He is coaching this HS team because he wants to, he doesn’t need more money at the expense of losing this special time with his son. We don’t need to bow down to him and say “wow, what a great guy” for doing what any rational father in his position would do. His coaching this team is neither cause for praise or criticism. The same way I criticize him, you praise. Just 2 sides of a coin. If he wants to do this, good for him and his son, I couldn’t care less much less praise him like he gave up his life savings to help the poor.


    I am actually very unique in that I agree with Dungy being let go as well. We got Gruden because his offensive genious was going to take us over the top, Dungy was never known for that. He is a great man who built this team from nothing, no doubt about that, but I felt this team had gotten stale under his coaching at the end. Thats why all that was needed was someone with passion and fire to come in and kick the team in the pants, which Gruden did and it won us the SB.

  19. Capt.Tim Says:

    Dungy built a great team- love him, but to conservative to win in playoffs- time to go. Gruden- greatest coach since McKay. If he would have been two years earlier, mighta won Three SuperBowls- god bless you Jon! But sucks at drafting and Coaching young players, demeans Vets. Thank you Jon Gruden, time to go! Raheem Morris – jury is out- terrible start! But if you delivery a franchise QB and DT, coach our young WRs into Swann and Stallworth, and turn this leaky ship around( don’t even THINK about it ,!Joe) then you have turned a pigs ear into a team! But if you are still blundering around, the Offense and Defense look lost, or we win 3 or 4 games again- sorry, time to go! If you can find one coach to build a team, and win the SuperBowl- Great! But I dont care if it takes five different ones! Players careers are short! When you get the talent to make a run for the title, ya gotta have the guy that can win it coaching! But that may not be the same guy who can build the team!
    careers are short

  20. Capt.Tim Says:

    Besides nobody cares about the damn coach! His only job is to put players in position to make plays! Does anybody ever say” damn, I wanna go to a patriots game! Love to watch ole Bill coach!” No, you go to watch the greatest football players on Earth play Football!! Well, unless ,like me, the Cheerleaders seem to divert your eyes from time ta time. Or meybe some Nachoes!, or a Cold one! Geez, how long til kickoff?? Anyway, my point was, if the Coach ain’t doing it- get another one!

  21. oar Says:

    CaptTim, I hear yea! We all want the same for our Bucs.
    BTW don’t forget to add Sam Wyche to that “Dungy built a great team-” statement, cause he brought us our Tampa-2 cornerstones Brooks, Sapp, and Lynch.

  22. Capt.Tim Says:

    Oar- I couldn’t agree with you more- Go Bucs!