Notre Dame Director of Football Media Relations Brian Hardin addressed and debunked alleged internet rumors that Jon Gruden would land in South Bend.
“It’s ridiculous that this rumor has even gained the traction it has over the past few days. I hesitate to respond to it at all because by dignifying this ‘report,’ I set myself up to be forced to set the record straight on future rumors. But it’s obvious that some people out there are trying to sabotage our recruiting efforts and it’s unfortunate that their agenda has been published and reproduced in recent days,” Brian Hardin, Notre Dame’s Director of Football Media Relations, told BGI.
Really, why would Notre Dame want Gruden any more than Weis? When you sit back and think about it... other than a few lbs, what's the difference between the two? Weis was considered an offensive mastermind and the brain trust behind the Pats' offensive system. It hasn't materialized in South Bend. Gruden? Creative, tricky genius... allegedly. In Tampa since the Super Bowl? He created consistently vanilla and underperforming offenses that lacked consistent leadership and playmaking ability. Weis - cantankerous to the media, standoffish to some boosters, critical of players openly, and seemingly impatient with young QBs. Gruden - well, heh, we know about his patience, or lack thereof, with young QBs; he's also known to be edgy and clash with some players. Weis - runs a pro-style offensive system that's relatively difficult for young players to adapt to. Gruden - same thing.
I have a hard time imagining Gruden being a good fit in the college game. I imagine he'll stay in the NFL and latch on with someone as either a head coach or a coordinator. I say coordinator simply because there will apparently be several other Super Bowl champion head coaching options out there that may, or may not, be interested in getting back in coaching in 2009: Cowher, Billick, Shanahan, and Holmgren. I wish Jon the best of luck in his future and thank him for the wild ride of 2002-2003, as well as all his time and efforts as our head coach.