Yesterday, PFT’s Mike Florio wrote a piece where he joked that Jon Gruden “has a well-earned reputation of saying good things about anyone and everyone, part of a nine-year long con calculated toward this specific moment”.

People like to make fun of Gruden’s personality, but maybe Florio is on to something.  Gruden’s shtick has grown old over the past few years.  By now, most of us are tired of hearing how much he “loves” this guy or that guy.

But, what if this excessive flattery is all part of Gruden’s master plan?

After Tampa Bay fired him, Gruden made a seamless transition into an eccentric on-screen personality.  He won us over with his wacky facial expressions and “Gruden Grinder” selections.

In his time as an analyst, Gruden rarely said a bad word about anyone.  As Florio wrote, perhaps this was a calculated approach.

Gruden, now tied to the Raiders, is blowing up the NFL news cycle.  Interestingly enough, in an interview just under a year ago, Gruden was asked to name his favorite quarterbacks from Gruden’s QB Camp.

The player taking up the bulk of his answer was Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

I really love Derek Carr. I thought he was brilliant in his workout. No one ever threw the ball like Derek Carr in an individual workout. If they did, I’d like to see it.

Jon Gruden has found a way to shed his old reputation as a coach and evolve into a modern football icon in our minds.  We are suffering from overexposure of Jon Gruden, with his appearances on a variety of commercials on top of every Monday Night Football broadcast.

Through it all, he made us forget that he was not such a great head coach in his day.  With 95 wins and 81 losses, Gruden’s winning percentage sits at .540.

Of course, winning percentage isn’t everything in the NFL, as Cleveland showed by retaining Hue Jackson and his 1-31 record with the team.

Okay, maybe winning is everything.

Jon Gruden’s winning percentage as a head coach is worse than a pair of recently fired head coaches: Chuck Pagano (.552) and Jim Caldwell (.554).

Despite this, Gruden’s name pops up every year when the new crop of coaching vacancies emerges.  He’s the hottest, trendy name among front office executives and fans alike.  And it’s all thanks to his flooding of the media (and our short memories).

If Gruden really did plan this, it’s working out perfectly.

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