Positively Gruden, Colts vs. Titans: All Hail ‘Gimpy Leg’ Wonder, Marcus Mariota

Welcome to another rendition of “Positively Gruden,” where we chronicle the top cheers, compliments, and commendations from America’s favorite fawning former coach. This week’s Titans-Colts clash was not exactly one NFL fans were circling on the calendar. The Luck-less Colts have been an all-around mess this season, and the Titans had squandered a promising start and were trotting out an injured Marcus Mariota for no other reason to save us from a night of Matt Cassel horror.

However, the game turned out to be pretty good, well at least close, and resulted in some appreciation that Mariota isn’t just a pretty boy with a nice set of legs; he can actually throw. And if you combine our top two Grudenisms of the night, the result yielded some exotic smash mouth featuring the gimp!

As always, top Grudenisms are graded on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery, and outright absurdity

21. On Derrick Henry, “That’s a business decision there, you’re a left corner in the NFL and you see a 240 pound freight train coming at ya”

20. More Henry, “I have a feeling this guy’s gonna be a real, big time back. This is 247 pounds. And this man can fly.”

19. On Rashaan Melvin and Matthias Farley, “Two grinders that I love to watch.”

18. “Bill Parcells, one of the best in football. Great source of knowledge for sure.”

17. “Jonnu Smith is like a young Delanie Walker….what a role model he is.”

16. “Robert Mathis is one of the great Colts of all-time, laying down his legacy still today.”

15. “Frank Gore loves Monday night. What a professional running back he has been.”

14. “It’s a shovel pass that’s going around the league like wildfire. Kansas City brought it to the NFL, I’ve seen everybody run the shovel pass.”

13. “I get excited seeing teams run the rock. That’s how you finish a run.”

12. “Marcus Mariota could be one of the future great quarterbacks.”

11. “I love watching Mariota in the huddle. He won a Heisman trophy at Oregon, when I met him he didn’t say a word.” (Sounds like an overstatement.)

10. On Adam Vinatieri, “Here’s the ageless wonder. Oh man, is this guy something. The Terminator.”

9. More Vinatieri, “There’s 16 pages in the media guide on that guy. Most kickers don’t have one page.”

8. And finally, “I can’t tell you how much I don’t like Adam Vinatieri. He takes great pride in saying goodbye to the opposing team. He wants to be the reason they lose. He loves the pressure.”

7. “You can’t throw the ball any better than Jacoby Brissett just did.”

6. More Brissett love, “This is amazing to me. This is not baseball or basketball. This guy has to learn all these plays, meet all these different coaches and perform a very difficult task.”

5. On the Titans practice:  “I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed watching that night practice the other night. This offensive line breaks the huddle with genuine enthusiasm. They run, they finish in the end zone, there’s a lot of enthusiasm.” (But was there any enthusiasm?)

4. On Walt Coleman’s crew, “that would be my fantasy officiating crew.” (I don’t think Gruden knows how fantasy works)

3. “I wish some of these holding calls would call themselves.”

2. On Mike Mularkey’s play calling, “You run a quarterback sneak with your gimpy leg quarterback.”

1. Later, “that’s where exotic smashmouth comes from.”