Positively Gruden, Vikings at Giants: These Teams are BAD
Welcome to another rendition of “Positively Gruden,” which (usually) chronicles the best cheers, compliments and commendations from America’s favorite fawning former coach.
This week’s matchup—featuring the 0-6 Giants against the 1-4 Vikings—threatened to be a challenging one for the Grudenator. But nothing could have prepared us for the atrocity that was perpetrated upon the viewing public last night. The Vikings were itching to test out their new toy, Josh Freeman, having decided to cut the cord on Christian Ponder after his disappointing start to the season. However, Freeman may have turned in one of the worst quarterbacking performances of the modern era (35% completion percentage, probably 10-20 overthrows). The Giants, for their part, were almost as incompetent on offense, and actually kept the Vikings in the game for three quarters.
The result of the game necessitated changing the format of this column, for the first time ever. If I was to try to scratch together a list of only positive Grudenisms, this would be a very short and weak column. Therefore, this week, for one time only, I’ve decided to give you both the good and the bad from Coach Gruden. Suffice to say, there was a lot more bad than good.
As always, top Grudenisms (even negative ones) are graded on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery, and outright absurdity.
After an early Freeman overthrow (a running theme), “Whether it’s on or off the field, or just on the field, Freeman needs to make throws that are wide open.” (I’m gonna say mostly on the field)
“That’s a TERRIBLE play by Jarius Wright not helping his quarterback.”
After a Freeman sack, “The Vikings needs to block better, Mike.”
Searching for something, anything, positive, “That’s how you play special teams.”
After a Cordarrelle Patterson drop, “They need something from this kid. He’s supposed to replace Percy Harvin. So far, hasn’t happened.”
On Peyton Hillis, “He didn’t show many moves there Mike. Hillis is a North-South no-nonsense runner. Not a lot of creativity.”
On the Vikings CBs, “these young Viking corners get EXPOSED when they’re asked to cover.”
On the Freeman pick-up, delusional, “It’s no discredit to either of those guys (Ponder, Cassell), those two have won games.” (No, not a discredit at all.)
“I don’t know what’s wrong with Hakeem Nicks.” (Me neither.)
On the Giants playoff chances, “They’re the streakiest team in football. . . . If they could win tonight, you never know with these men in blue. I’ve seen them do it time and time again.”
After a (truly amazing) Jared Allen sack, “Only Jared Allen can pull that off. That’s incredible. Jared Allen in his 100th NFL game. What a pro football player. That’s why you go to the combine each year and they measure arm length.”
A coaching apologist, “That’s frustrating for Bill [Musgrave, Vikings OC]. He’s got a lot of good plays, he’s a got a great coaching background. He’s just dealing with his fourth quarterback in seven games.”
[Note: To get some semblance of positivity, I had to cheat on the next two, using the ‘Gruden Grinders’ from the halftime show]
On Chris Ivory, “34 rushes for 104 yards. That is Rex Ryan, ground and pound. I love watching this young man POUND THE ROCK.”
“What’s going on in Arrowhead? It’s so loud I can hear them in New Jersey.”
[Back to the game]
“Jon Beason has some real GRIP STRENGTH to hang onto Peterson there.”
On the Giants offensive woes, “once again 3rd down and 10 or more. It’s a common theme here at MetLife Stadium.”
“Just when you need somebody to pick up Josh Freeman, Jerome Simpson drops a touchdown.” (And totally redeem yourself! He also traded in the van for a scooter.)
“This New York Giants running game . . . Tom Coughlin has got to be gritting his teeth down there.”
Getting his groove back, on the Giants lone decent offensive drive, “Not many people run the back shoulder fade like Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks.” (Yep, they’re an offensive machine)
“Look at Hillis catch that ball and just RUN OVER Vikings for a first down. That’s just old fashioned football right there. I just love that.”
After a Victor Cruz end-zone drop, “That should have been a salsa dance right there.”
Continuing, “You know I’ve been taking dance lessons. Fred Astaire dance school in Tampa. Cha-Cha, Rumba, Salsa.”