INDIANAPOLIS – There are few coaches who provide as much entertainment during press conference than Oakland’s Jon Gruden. On Thursday he was in typical form, joking about the size of Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf and complimenting the broadcasters on the new Alliance of American Football league games.
But when he was asked about the influx of the passing game in the modern NFL and whether teams like Kansas City, the Rams and the Saints could win it all, Gruden got serious – and he focused on Tom Brady.
“I think you can. The guy up in New England can still throw it too,” Gruden said. “You have to be able to run the ball in key situations, run out the clock at the end of the game, you have to be able to convert some third-and-ones, some goal line situations and set up some play action passes. Brady proved that. They had the best play action in all of football.
“Yes, the way the passing game truly is today with all the RPOs I think you can go all the way with a great pass offense.”
That wasn’t the last time Gruden mentioned Brady. Later he was asked about the importance of mobility and quickness for quarterbacks, and again Brady came up.
“I don’t think so,” Gruden said when asked if running was a necessity for today’s quarterbacks. “The guy who keeps winning Super Bowls isn’t going to win the short shuttle championship. The guy is just an amazing football player. He’s proven you don’t have to get on the edge and run for first downs and attack the perimeter. There are a lot of ways to get things done. It all depends on the supporting cast and the performance of your team.”