Chucky’s Friday At MacDill

December 8th, 2017

Chucky talks Bucs and more


(A special bonus report from Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall Of Fame Voter. Ira’s NFL picks column will be out tomorrow at its usual time)

Jon Gruden returned to coaching Friday — and he had a blast.

With ESPN cameras recording the action, the charismatic analyst for “Monday Night Football” orchestrated a clinic for military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base in his home city of Tampa.

“That was a fun day,” said Gruden, who will be inducted into the Buccaneer Ring of Honor on the evening of Dec. 18. “We installed plays in the meeting room, we had a walk-through and even had a 2-minute drill. These guys are sharp. We just wanted to show our appreciation. We’re going to cut up some highlights and make some stars.”

As usual, Gruden’s name comes up often at this time of year when discussing potential NFL coaching vacancies.

“I’ve got a job I’m trying to hang onto,” he said. “I love football, I love what I’m doing and I can’t control all the reports.”

Gruden, 54, coached the 2002 Bucs to a Super Bowl title and has remained off the sidelines since he was fired by Tampa Bay after the 2008 season. With the Bucs currently 4-8 under second-year coach Dirk Koetter, there are reports that the Glazers are considering Gruden to replace Koetter in 2018.

“There’s a lot of teams that had high expectations,” Gruden said when asked about Tampa Bay’s disappointing record. “That’s preseason talk and that means nothing. Certain things happen. I haven’t really studied Tampa as hard as I will next week when we get ready for the game, but they’ve had some injuries on defense, they’ve had some injuries on the offensive line.

“Doug Martin has been here and there. The quarterback’s been hurt. Should I continue? They played a tougher schedule this year, they’ve lost some close games and they missed some field goals. I was at the New England game. Before you start finding people guilty of not succeeding, the reality is they are eight or nine plays away from being 8-4. Hopefully, the Bucs finish strong.”

Gruden said he hasn’t lost any confidence in third-year quarterback Jameis Winston.

“I think he’s outstanding,” he said. “I think he’s a tremendous talent. The only thing he hasn’t done yet is win, and I think he will win. Sometimes, you’ve got to be a little patient. Sometimes, you’ve got to be a little more patient than you want to be. I believe he’s going to be a great quarterback. He’s just getting started.”

Gruden worked Monday night’s matchup between the Steelers and Bengals, a brutal game that featured some questionable hits and a taunting episode that Gruden found unacceptable.

“I love physical football,” he said. “Love that and appreciate it. There are three things you’ve got to learn from (that game) and emphasize: No. 1, there are some shots that you just don’t need to take. No. 2, you never lead with your helmet. The third thing is you don’t ever taunt a man who has fallen.”

Gruden offered a rebuttal to any suggestion that the NFL is a struggling league in danger of losing its place as America’s No. 1 spectator sport.

“We have a Man of the Year and I’ve seen what some of these players do behind the scenes,” said Gruden. “There’s some really great things that don’t get reported at all. I think there are some legitimate concerns that need to be addressed, but there’s a lot of great things. The glass is half-full sometimes, too.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been an obvious target for criticism.

“He’s got a tough job.” Gruden said. “It seems easy to some people. Every decision he makes seems to offend some people and that’s just the way it is. I think he’s a great communicator and I’m a big supporter of his.”

Gruden said he hopes to return to MacDill on a regular basis, imparting his football knowledge and passion to the men and women in uniform.

“To be out here and share the game of football with guys in the military, you’ve got to admit it was pretty cool,” he said before taking in a PDQ lunch. “I did a heck of a job coaching today, I really did.”

30 Responses to “Chucky’s Friday At MacDill”

  1. DB55 Says:

    I have a boner is that weird?

  2. darin Says:

    No, it’s natural. It’d be weird if it was over koetter

  3. Mike Johnson Says:

    Great show by Gruden for our troops! And Tampa Bay area residents should be proud 2 superbowl winning coaches have made their homes here. ON the flip side, Koetter needs to win this Sunday…..

  4. Nic Says:

    That was a lot of fun today, he loves coaching and he didn’t hold back. I was playing tight end and he got on me for drifting too far downfield on a drag route. Once in a lifetime opportunity man an absolute blast.

  5. lightningbuc Says:

    Gruden has some nerve to spend fun time with his hometown troops, right Joe?

  6. DB55 Says:


    That is awesome! I’m jealous.

  7. Hodad Says:

    Come back, alls forgiven!

  8. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    The Bucs may need to call the Gruden Hotline…

  9. Joe Says:

    I have a boner is that weird?

    Depends on the chick you are with.

  10. Bucs fan north of the border Says:

    I hope we lose our remaining games, draft in the top 5-6 and trade down a few sports for a kings ransom to a qb needy team. All the mean while hiring chucky back!

  11. Bculaw Says:

    I think Gruden and Winston were made for each other. Two grinders that love the game. Hard to pass that up if it’s a possibility.

  12. JimmyJack Says:

    I think Gruden may be the only hope for the Glazers. Very doubtful and big name coaches would be willing to come to this franchise. They haven’t exactly treated their former HCs well.

    No doubt they always go for the “big splash” horse and always come up dry. Gruden wasn’t a hire. They have their franchise QB and quite enough players to legitimately make a run and the only choice for that premiere HC could in fact be Gruden.

    If not Gruden they may be kinda sorta stuck with Dirk which sounds like a recipe for disaster. My stomachs is churning.

  13. Eric Says:

    Look how that jerk threw Dirk under the bus like Joe said he would.

  14. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    I think sometimes people forget the miracle this man performed. I grew up from the inception of this team and many said “hell would freeze over before the Bucs won a Superbowl”. He did it in 1 (one) season! (and NO he did not take Dungy’s team) Details have been stated at nauseum. I think arguably he may work harder at his craft than anyone in football. I truly hope he finds it in his heart to return to the Bucs. Firing him truly was the worst decision this franchise has ever made!

  15. Mr. Ed Says:

    Joes — get off of Chucky for your accusation he is grandstanding. He lives in the area for crying out loud. And if it fluffs some nerves regarding Koetter’s future, guess what? Koetter;s earned that. No one would be questioning Gruden doing that if the Bucs were 7-5. And BTW — you don’t just pop into something like this with a week’d notice, this had to be on the calendar for both sides for a long time.
    COme off the crap about Chucky being whatever it is you said he was being.
    Joe’s happy Chucky is out there helping people. But you bring the media out there for no good reason other than to prop yourself up?–Joe

  16. JonBuc Says:

    Probably fun for the Air Force fellas to have the media there…not sure Gruden did this to undermine the holy trinity of Licht’s Out, Kut Koetter and Smiley Smith. And if he did…oh well. Time for Tampa to be ballers again.

  17. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    Did gruden go out of his way to hire these media members or did they get wind that he’s doing this and decided it would be a good story to cover? I️ love you joe but seems like you’re grasping for straws with this one

  18. lightningbuc Says:

    Joe, if it was just a PR stunt, then why be complicit and send Ira down there?
    As Joe has said on the Ira Kaufman Podcast and when Ira was hired, Ira is not influenced by Joe and writes/says/does whatever he wants. –Joe

  19. DB55 Says:


    It’s been 4 hours what should I seek medical attention? #PoundTheRock

  20. satchseven Says:

    I think sometimes people forget the miracle this man performed. I grew up from the inception of this team and many said “hell would freeze over before the Bucs won a Superbowl”. He did it in 1 (one) season! (and NO he did not take Dungy’s team)

    just crazy stuff here dungy built that team

  21. Lamarcus Says:

    This is damning to the jw haters that are pro gruden return. If he comes back jw will be huge reason why. But I prefer either koetter or Frank Reich or that coordinator from Rams for next year.

  22. Smokingjoebucfan Says:

    Lol Gruden said he really hasn’t studied Tampa as hard as he will next week. Hell for someone not studying Tampa he pretty much crossed every T and dotted all the I’s in that one paragraph

  23. Doctor Stroud Says:

    I’m going to start a new rumor: maybe Gruden has set his sights on a bigger job, like NFL commissioner.

  24. Clodhopper Says:

    Wow. For not studying the team that much, he put the season in a very efficient nutshell. Looks to me like he knows exactly what is going on!

  25. Clodhopper Says:

    Whoops. Smoking Joe beat me to it!

  26. DB55 Says:


    I like frank Reich. He’s a legend!

  27. D-Rome Says:

    They played a tougher schedule this year, they’ve lost some close games and they missed some field goals. I was at the New England game. Before you start finding people guilty of not succeeding, the reality is they are eight or nine plays away from being 8-4. Hopefully, the Bucs finish strong.

    Gruden was very fair when it comes to the Buccaneers. “Joe” suggested a few weeks ago on Ira’s podcast that Gruden hasn’t been doing Irk Koetter any favors by taking his name out of consideration. His comments above probably help Koetter keep his job.

    Gruden is right when he says some of these games come down to a handful of plays. The problem is which plays do you blame? One could reasonably argue four plays Koetter has called has been the culprit. You can also argue the missed field goal or the fumble by Jameis cost the team a couple of games. One can also make the argument that Irk Koetter isn’t necessarily calling bad plays but simply not making enough good decisions as evidenced that his offense is averaging under 20 ppg over three years.

  28. SOEbuc Says:


    I have a boner is that weird?

    Are you at Hooters with Chucky?

  29. unbelievable Says:

    @smokingjoe had the same exact thought when reading that!

    He summed it up perfectly. I think that’s what has made this season so frustrating. 8 – 9 plays and our record is flipped. But that’s the rub, eh? Good teams make those plays, bad teams don’t…

  30. chickster Says:

    Joe doesn’t like chucky wow joe is out of his mind . when dirt is fired you guys can hug it out