Welcome to another rendition of “Positively Gruden,” where we chronicle the top praise, plaudits, and pontifications from America’s favorite fawning former coach. Last night’s game was a three and a half quarter snoozefest, with Andrew Luck looking like a beleaguered Civil War general with no ammunition for his musket and a bad case of gout. But like the South, Andrew Luck always rises again, and delivered a stirring 17-point comeback to send the game into overtime. But that just led to one final Luck interception, which set the table for Graham Gano, aka Mr. Clutch, to seal a Panthers victory with a 53-yard field goal.
Gruden, for his part, spent much of the game praising the Panthers “winning ugly” style and excusing Luck’s poor play with injury speculation. That’s the great thing about Gruden: the glass is either half full, or….well you just need to get another glass that looks right.
As always, top Grudenisms are graded on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery, and outright absurdity.
“If I’m Chuck Pagano, I’m playing Gore all night ’til his TONGUE’S hanging out.”
On Cam Newton’s inside running, “I’ve never seen football played like this….in the NFL.”
On Jonathan Stewart, “I just like the way he runs. Sometimes he just invites the contact so he can go to work on ya.’”
More Newton, “His will to win is special, Mike. A great competitor. But I have never seen a QB take these kind of hits. Or deliver these kind of hits!”
“This Luke Kuechly can diagnose plays like the best of them…Any situation Luke Kuechly can flourish in.”
On the Panthers defense, “They’ve added not only talented players, they’ve added a lot of football character.”
“Here’s Vinatieri, the ageless wonder at 42 years old.”
On Jonathan Stewart, “I’m gonna start calling him the Piano Man from now on…I love to see young people who can do a lot of different things. That’s awesome.”
On the zombies that scared Kirk Herbstreit, “I got scared too. Those little guys scared me. I fell out my bed two nights ago.”