GRUDEN ON TANNEHILL
Spoke to ESPN’s Jon Gruden on a conference call Thursday, and he is particularly interested to see how Ryan Tannehill closes games this season.
At Texas A&M, “The body of work [just 19 starts at quarterback] did concern me,” Gruden said. “You’d like to see a three-year starter. You would like to see a quarterback that finished games better. You would like to see a quarterback that dominates in the third and fourth quarter.
“They dropped plenty of passes, but I would like to see more dominant, consistent play down the stretch. The Arkansas game sticks out to me. I think they had opportunities to finish some off in the second half and didn’t quite do that. That’s the big concern I had with Tannehill.”
But because of his familiarity with the Dolphins’ offense, “he’s further along than a lot of kids that came along,” Gruden said. “He’s on the fast track. He impressed me because he’s such a great athlete.”
HARD KNOCKS REACTION
CBS’ Dan Dierdorf was watching HBO’s Hard Knocks a couple weeks ago when Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman lambasted tight ends Michael Egnew and Charles Clay in front of teammates.
“My wife turned to me and said, ‘Do coaches really talk to players like that?’” Dierdorf relayed, by phone. “I said, ‘Every day.’ It’s one thing if that happens in the meeting room and the only people that see it are the coaches and the players. But when it’s on national television, it’s embarrassing.
“You couldn’t get me within 10 miles of Hard Knocks if I were a coach. I’m sorry. That’s not conducive to building a team. I’m a believer in: What you see here and what you do here – let it stay here.”
Players obviously aren’t happy about being subjected to scathing criticism on Hard Knocks, but no Dolphins player has complained publicly.
“Who knows if it’s a scar that doesn’t heal?” Jimmy Johnson asked of players being lit into by coaches on national TV. “I would not have done Hard Knocks.”
Said CBS’ Rich Gannon: “Would Sherman want to have that out there? No. The kid [Egnew] has to answer to his parents. It’s not an ideal situation. But you get what you signed up for.”
Said Gruden: “Personnel conversations, what goes on in the practice field is nobody’s business. It’s tremendously entertaining, but it’s not for me.”
Meanwhile, what kind of impression is coach Joe Philbin making on viewers?
Johnson declined to answer that, but Dierdorf said, “What I see is promising. He doesn’t look like he rides the emotional rollercoaster.”
Said Gannon: “I’m really impressed. He’s a steadying, calming influence. He’s not a guy that’s going to overreact.”
But CBS’ Shannon Sharpe took issue with how Philbin handled Chad Johnson’s release. “He was saying, ‘It’s just not working out,’” Sharpe said off the air. “I’m still not sure he was cut!
“Philbin seemed very fidgety, very uncomfortable, with that aspect of the job. Some coaches are better than others with that. I don’t know if he was afraid that Chad might do something to him.”
Sharpe said when Baltimore released him, general manager Ozzie Newsome did it in a more straight-forward way, and Sharpe appreciated that. “He said, ‘We drafted Todd Heap. We’re moving in another direction. We will release you tomorrow.’”
Philbin was more to-the-point when he scolded Daniel Thomas for tardiness on Tuesday’s episode.
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