Positively Gruden, Patriots at Panthers: The Patriot Way?
Welcome to another rendition of “Positively Gruden,” where I chronicle that top praise, plaudits and pontifications from America’s favorite fawning former coach. For the first time this year, the actual game action eclipsed the Grudenisms. It was such a well-played, compelling game, with an exciting and controversial ending, that there wasn’t much Gruden could do to overstate his analysis. Frankly, this space would be better served by a special Blasé Belichick (for his awesomely awkward post-game press conference) or Geriatric Gerry Austin (seriously, that wasn’t a penalty?) column. But I didn’t spend all night taking notes for nothing. So without further ado….
As always, top Grudenisms are graded on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery, and outright absurdity.
On the Panthers’ keys to the game, “It’s the Cam Factor. The Newton memories that people leave the stadium with.” (Huh?)
“If there was a statistic for hard work behind the scenes, Brady would be leading in that category.”
“The Legion of WHOM? That’s the secondary of the Panthers. Who are these players?”
“Steve Smith has done it for years to a lot of people, including me. Some are deep wounds that haven’t healed yet.”
On Luke Kuechly, “I have seen defensive backs run this fast to the ball.”
After an Aqib Talib personal foul, “that’s not the Patriot way. That’s not how this franchise operates.” (Can we please retire this “Patriot Way” stuff?)
“How about this Right Tackle, Marcus Cannon. He’s 350lbs! Watch him move on this quick screen. That’s a big body rolling, Mike.”
“That’s what makes Rob Gronkowski so great. It’s not the catches, it’s the blocks.” (Sure, that’s what it is.)
On Cam Newton running, “when he puts it down he’s bigger and faster and stronger than anybody you have on defense.”
“Brady’s like a computer. He looks to his left, looks to his left…no one does it like Tom Brady.” (So he throws left?)
“I love a good STUNT.”
“It’s not the power play, it’s the power pass.”
“How’d you like to be a defender with LaGarrette Blount on a crack back run? Just listen to the sounds of these hits…(listening)…that’s football.”
On the Steve Smith-Aqid Talib kerfuffle, “Tommy Hagler, Tommy Hearns…you know it, that’s what it looks like.” (I love Tommy Hagler.)
After a Newton scramble, “That’s the greatest play I’ve seen in a long time. That’s why I drive my car home at night with memories, or nightmares, of Cam Newton. That’s unbelievable.” (Gruden was fired in 2009, two years before Newton started playing.)
After the game-winning touchdown, “Of all the people…Ted Ginn.”