LAKE TAHOE – The final game Jon Gruden worked on ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ before it became known he was heading back to the sideline with your Oakland Raiders, Chucky met with Eagles coach Doug Pederson as part of his broadcast preparation.
Pederson’s Philadelphia Eagles hosted the very same Raiders on Christmas Night. It was that weekend in which Oakland owner Mark Davis reportedly wined and dined Gruden and his wife, Cindy, in yet another attempt to sway Gruden back to the Silver Black.
Pederson had no idea Gruden was close to coming back to the field. Yet, when word broke the next week, that, indeed, Gruden was coming back to the Raiders, Pederson was not shocked.
“It was just matter of time,” Pederson told RaidersSnakepit.com on Tuesday afternoon at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship.
Pederson and Gruden don’t know each other really well. But they are part of the same coaching tree. Pederson’s coaching mentor was Andy Reid. Gruden and Reid coached together. Both Gruden and Pederson are friendly with Brett Favre (Gruden coached him, and Pederson backed him up), so they run in the same circles.
Even though Pederson doesn’t know Gruden well, his time around him gave him an advance to know all he needs to about Gruden.
One thing about Gruden stood out to Pederson in the production meetings.
“It’s his passion,” Pederson said. “You could tell just how much the game meant to him. I didn’t know he was coming back, but I certainly wasn’t surprised.”