Jon and Jay Gruden were just like any other pair of siblings.
Some days saw endless competition between the former and current NFL head coaches. Others, they got along and supported each other the way only family can.
AP’s Joe White wrote a pretty awesome story about the Gruden brothers that appeared on SI.com recently. Have a look at some of what the brothers had to say below:
On Jan. 9, Jay Gruden was selected as the 29th head coach in Washington Redskins history.
While Gruden’s made a name for himself over the years by transforming the Cincinnati Bengal’s offense into one of the most lethal units in the league, people still remembered his famed last name thanks to Jon’s success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his quirky antics on the sideline.
In his opening statement after being introduced as head coach, Jay thanked Jon and the rest of his family.
“First off, I’d like to thank my family,” Gruden said. “My wife, Sherry…my mother, Kathy Gruden, the toughest Gruden of them all . My dad, Jim Gruden – a football coach, a football man, a football person – really instilled passion, commitment and loyalty to me at a very young age in the game of football. My brother Jim, who taught me there are things other than football that are important.
“And of course, my brother Jon, who I wouldn’t be sitting here today without learning everything that I know about football from him. What a great brother. What a great person. What a great football coach.”
While the two have helped support one another during their time in the NFL, Jon having Jay on his staff in Tampa Bay and Jay giving Jon something to talk about during Monday Night Football, there was a time when there competed for glory in just about every facet of life.
“Jon was a great athlete growing up,” Jay said. “He was 3 1/2 years older than me, so if I won it was because he let me win – until I got to be about 17, 18. I started to get a little bit bigger, I could hold my own, but growing up he won everything. But he made it in a way kept me close, close, close, close and he let me win sometimes – just enough to where I felt like I was getting better. And then he’d beat me and he’d talk trash and I’d crumble.”
And while they surely have different ideas about how to lay out a gameplan for certain situations, they also have a lot of similarities as Jon explains.
”Very similar in a lot of ways. From the standpoint that you try to adjust your offense to your quarterback, you try to adjust your football team around your players. You do the best you can with the hand that you have, and you’ve got to add some parts along the way.”
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