Positively Gruden: Bears at Packers – Aaron Rodgers in Absentia
Welcome to another rendition of “Positively Gruden,” where I chronicle the top praise, plaudits, and pontifications from America’s favorite fawning former coach. As a diehard Bears fan, I was bracing for a long night of Grudenisms regaling Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ juggernaut offense, which was poised to feast upon an old, depleted, and just plain bad Bears defense. However, on the first drive of the game, the script was flipped–not just for the game, but possibly the season–by Rodgers’ left shoulder injury (reportedly a broken collarbone).
At that point, the potential for Grudenisms greatly diminished. The game was more befitting of a “Grunden Grinder” than his usual over-the-top commentary. Still, we were fed a few tasty morsels, by virtue of Gruden’s love for wingspan, the heady play of Josh McCown, and Marc Trestman’s coaching. And, of course, plenty of praise for Rodgers in absentia.
As always, top Grudenisms are graded on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery, and outright absurdity.
On the Bears’ (porous) run defense, “Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher are saying, Wow!” (in a bad way)
On seeing Aaron Rodgers in street clothes, “There’s Aaron Rodgers. That’s the scariest sight I’ve seen in awhile.”
After a Julius Peppers interception, “If you throw the slant, you better make sure where Julius Peppers is because his WINGSPAN just changes games.”
On Josh McCown‘s throwing style, “a fade away sidearm SLASHER. . . . That’s what I’m talking about.”
More McCown, “he’s tough, he’s smart, every down he researches the defense. He’s got a lot of Rich Gannon-like qualities.”
On the Packers’ running game, “Green Bay in no nonsense fashion is TAKING it to the Chicago Bears.”
After (finally) a decent Bears tackle, by Tim Jennings, “That Jennings. Five foot, nine. That’s just a FORM TACKLE one-on-one against a big back. That’s excellent work.”
“There is a lot of offense in this Bears playbook.” (And I’m guessing plays)
After a Bears TD, “they say what’s different about the Bears red zone offense. I say they got some MONSTERS of the Midway….What a throw and catch!”
Waxing poetic on the run-pass option, “If it’s a SOFT BOX hand it off. If it’s a loaded box, throw it to one of the MONSTERS.”
After an Alshon Jeffrey TD, “That’s what I’m talking about with catch radius. You see the radius, it’s about 9 feet high, Mike!”
After a Bears misdirection toss sweep, “I’ve never seen that play ever.” (They literally run that play every week)
On Bears kicker, Robbie Gould, “he gets the ball up as good as any kicker in football.”
On proper fan attire, “You know what I’d wear if I was a Bears fan, I’d wear a SHREDDER, shred some cheese.“
Trying too hard, “The reason Seneca Wallace is here is he’s a GREAT competitor and has an air of confidence about him.” (Wallace promptly throws ball in the dirt.)
Mike Tirico previewing next week’s matchup, “A mess in Miami, a mess in Tampa. And we’ll see them both next Monday Night!” (Sorry, how’d that get in here?)
“If there’s one irreplaceable quarterback in this league, Aaron Rodgers is one of them.”