Welcome to the inaugural 2015 edition of “Positively Gruden,” where we chronicle the top cheers, compliments, and commendations from America’s favorite fawning former coach. After an eight month hiatus—subsisting only on Hooters wings and film—Gruden re-emerged last night to bestow his trademark colorful grace upon Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons. And turns out the game matched the positivity of the commentary, with the Falcons squeaking one out thanks to Chip “Go for it” Kelly’s sudden bout of NFL conventional wisdom by settling for a field goal with his offense humming.
But you didn’t come here for a game recap; you came for the Grudenisms! So without further ado…
As always, top Grudenisms are graded on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery and outright absurdity.
On the Eagles running game, “This system is designed to run the football, and they’ll run it right down your throat.”
After a power block, “[Patrick] DiMarco DE-CLETED a Philadelphia Eagle on that play. Watch this in your living room. Ho ho!”
On Connor Barwin, “he has coverage skills, pass rushing skills, and he can batt the ball right back in your FACE.”
On Leonard Hankerson, “You gotta have GUTS to be a slot receiver.”
“Six minutes in, and we’re scoreless at the Big Bell Bottom.” (Oh, my fault. That was a Bermanism.)
“Justin Durant…eats his former teammate alive.”
“Darren Sproles in the open field…as NASTY as he has been for years.”
After a Julio Jones TD, “That’s hammering Julio Jones to you. They used to have a guy in Atlanta named Hank Aaron, Hammering Hank Aaron. Julio Jones has that name now.”
On the genesis of the nickname, “I used to love Hank Aaron of the Braves. I was a little kid, he hit that 715th home run. I haven’t seen guy like that in Atlanta in a long time. So I changed Hammerin’ Hank to Hammerin’ Julio Jones.”
After another long Jones catch, “Julio Jones hits another one out of the park.” (I think we got the metaphor, Jon).
“It’s like tag team wrestling with these running backs. It’s Murray, Mathews, now it’s Sproles.
More Sproles, “One of the best third down backs in NFL history.”
After a Matt Ryan interception in the end zone, “[Kiko] Alonso made one of the picks of the year for a linebacker.” (In week 1!)