Jon Gruden hasn’t been on an NFL sideline in eight years, but he’s still thinking like a coach.
The Super Bowl-winning coach turned NFL analyst for ESPN had some suggestions for how the Denver Broncos could improve their 20th-ranked run defense. He said Denver should utilize more zone coverages to help stop the run. Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips took exception to that critique and couldn’t help but poke fun at Gruden.
“Well, Jon Gruden hasn’t coached in a while, has he?” Phillips said, according to The Denver Post’s Nick Groke. “We were playing zone on quite a few of those plays. We haven’t played as well as we wanted to, obviously, because we didn’t win. But we’re still the best pass defense in the National Football League and against a lot of top quarterbacks.”
Phillips has a point. The Broncos have allowed an average of 182.3 passing yards per game and have done well against talented quarterbacks such as Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers.
We’ll see what Gruden has to say about Phillips’ defense when he does the call of Denver’s showdown with the Houston Texans on Monday night.