Blog Entry

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:58 am
Edited on: December 27, 2011 12:55 pm
If Gruden leaves the booth for St. Louis would he want to move on from Bradford, the 2010 1st overall pick? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

It sounds like Jon Gruden could be back to coaching in 2012. After three years in ESPN's Monday Night Football booth, and months after signing a five-year extension to stay there, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee reported Monday night that signs point to Gruden returning to the NFL sidelines, possibly landing with the Rams.'s Mike Freeman had two sources confirm as much with the caveat that "…while Gruden is indeed leaning towards returning, it's not certain. … I'm told Gruden wants to see what positions he could possibly get before making a 100 percent final decision and that he hasn't officially made one yet because of the uncertainty."

(ESPN released a statment Tuesday that makes it sound like Gruden's staying in the booth: “Jon signed a multi-year extension with ESPN this fall. He remains committed to being a part of Monday Night Football for many years.”)

Let's assume for the moment that Gruden does end up in St. Louis. That means he would have quarterback Sam Bradford, the first-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft who had a forgettable 2011 season (mostly due to injuries -- to himself and just about every other starter on the roster), to build a team around.

But here's the thing: St. Louis heads into the final week of the regular season with two wins. If they lose to San Francisco on Sunday and the Colts, the league's only other two-win outfit, beat the Jaguars, the Rams would be the sole owners of the first-overall pick in April's draft.

That means Andrew Luck is there for the taking. Except that St. Louis already has Bradford, the 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year, right? Not so fast. Conventional wisdom goes something like this: St. Louis would ransom that pick to a QB-needy team like the Browns or Redskins or Dolphins, and use the cornucopia of draft picks coming their way to give Bradford some help.

One thing: late in the Rams-Seahawks Monday Night Football telecast earlier this month, long after Seattle had taken a comfortable lead and with not much else to talk about, Gruden and boothmate Ron Jaworski turned the conversation to Bradford, the Rams, and the possibility of the organization taking another quarterback in the 2011 draft. Gruden suggested that Bradford had played so poorly this season that if he we making the decisions in St. Louis, he might take a long look at Baylor's Robert Griffin III. Presumably, that line of thinking holds for Luck, too.

It sounded ludicrous at the time -- and Jaws' reaction confirmed as much -- but if Gruden gets the Rams gig it could also become a reality this spring. St. Louis would be able to move Bradford for as much if not more than they would've gotten for Luck (or maybe they choose to trade down a few spots to grab RG3) and could still restock the roster, just with a "Gruden guy."

Remember: Gruden ain't afraid to fall in love. He coached the 2005 Senior Bowl, had a running back named Cadillac Williams on his roster and was so impressed that he ended up taking Williams with the fifth-overall pick. Williams rushed for 1,178 yards as a rookie but knee injuries haven't allowed him to crack 1,000 yards since. (It's another reason why teams shouldn't over-pay and/or overdraft running backs.) And now the two could be reunited in St. Louis.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2011 11:19 am

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

First of all is he going to be the next coach of the Rams?  If so he needs to clean house....get rid of everybody from the training staff to parking lot attendants.  For a team to be so bad for the last 10 years and to have so many 1st round draft picks how can they be this bad unless the organization is just as bad.  The list of former players that have gone on to enjoy sucess with different organizations (Ryan Pickett, London Fletcher even Jimmy Kinney) all played better after leaving the Rams.  Along with the poor choices to draft players (Trung Canadate, Lawerence Phillips and Adam Archuleta)  all busts, ohh yeah Tony Banks and Eddie Kennison.  How do you draft James Avery over Desean Jackson?  We are a long way away from 1999......I'm tired of spending that kind of money each year for this product.  Bradford is suffering like Bulger too many hits not enough blocking.

Since: May 10, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:12 am

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

Have to agree. Rams should Ransom the pick. Bradford was the rookie of the year in 2010 with no help around him. In 2011 because of no help, he had injuries. A team like Washington would probably give two (or three 1st round picks) plus a couple of 2nds and maybe even a 3rd to get Luck. Stop and think, Rams would get a top 10 pick still in 2012 and 2 picks in the top ten of the second and possibly 3rd rounds in 2012 and quite likely two picks in the middle of the 2013 draft along with 2 2nd round picks.

Can you say WR, LT, CB and God knows what else. Within a year possibly two they would be the cream of the crop in the NFC West and a top 5 in the league. And that doesn't even address free agency.

Best move would be to trade the pick. Besides next year you are looking at Barkley as the top QB and truth is, he is in the same league as Luck and maybe a stronger arm. 

Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2011 9:38 am

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

Exactly!!!!  The Raiders team he built got destroyed by Tony Dungy's team.  That defense was the best.  Year before and whenever they played the greatest show on turf they shut them down. (referring to the highest scoring offense in those years)

Since: Mar 15, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2011 8:50 am

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

That Tampa Bay team may have been built by Dungy, but the Raiders team Gruden destroyed in the Superbowl was built by who?  Gruden, not Callahan.  The Raiders have not been back to the playoffs since Gruden left there.

Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:54 am

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

The Gruden who coached in Tampa wouldn't want Bradford, Luck or RGIII.  He would more likely trade Bradford and the first round pick for a couple of washed-up older players with a 6 month shelf life.  Gruden doesn't seem to like young players or draft choices.  Anyone remember Brad Johnson, Charlie Garner and Tim Brown as Buccaneers?  I didn't think so.

Since: Apr 18, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:59 am

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

Gruden.. 57-55 with Tampa Bay. Wow, that is one heck of a coach!! I wonder if people realize the Bucs went 7-9 and 5-11 the next 2 seasons after their Super Bowl win?

Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:55 pm

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

Let's not forget that Gruden took over a Tony Dungy built team that already had success and was poised to win the big one before he got there.  Then without skipping a beat he dismantled that team and went to the cellar.  I still don't understand why they call him a QB guru.  He rode the shirt tail of one of the best defenses to play in the last couple of decades.  Gruden left the Raiders that had enough talent to get to the superbowl inspite of him.  He screwed Tampa and will do the same wherever he goes.  Thank you Tony Dungy for the Lombardi Trophy.....

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:28 pm

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

Gruden is a smart coach. But I doubt he going to want the Rams job. He'll get better offers.

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 7:17 pm

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

I wouldn't trafe Bradford, I'd get him some weapons. Get a Justin Blackmon to go with Lloyd, a TE ( a trade for Tamme off the Colts)to check down to, and some quality depth and they'd be a whole bunch better. Jackson is as good a back as you will find when the box isn't loaded with defence. The big thing is getting rid of that useless bum McDaniels who has done to the Rams what he was able to do to the Broncos. Bradford wasn't anywhere near this bad with the last OC. Why start over with an unproven QB when trading out of 1st or 2nd in this draft could make this teams future.

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 5:20 pm

Would Jon Gruden want Luck or RG3 over Bradford?

Rams should stick with Bradford.  He's proved to be an effective QB and that's not a commodity to be taken lightly in the NFL.  They just need to help keep him healthy.  Invest in some good protection for him and find a receiver to compliment Lloyd.  They could accomplish both by dropping down in the draft.  A more effective passing game will only loosen the gaps for Jackson, giving St. Louis a very capable offense.  There are no guarantees, but having two higher picks with increase the success of the entire offense.  Luck and Griffen will both be good QB's, but St. Louis would still need to address WR and OL issues.  I would trade down if possible.  Not that it happens all of the time, but the Chargers proved that this theory works getting Tomlinson and Brees many moons ago.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or