Jon Gruden visits brother Jay at Redskins OTAs

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Last week a Hollywood celebrity was on hand at Redskins Park when Matthew McConaughey visited for organized team activities. The team had another visitor this week when ESPN football analyst Jon Gruden, the older brother of Washington head coach Jay Gruden, watched from the sidelines. 

Jon Gruden, 50, won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003. He led the Oakland Raiders to the AFC title game in 2001 and posted a career record of 95-81 in 11 seasons. Having another experienced set of eyes on his team was an added benefit for Jay Gruden, 47, on Wednesday.


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“He just came to watch how we’re doing things,” Jay Gruden said. “He’s still an avid football fan, obviously. Likes to stay up to date on what’s going on around the league. Obviously, his sons are close to my son so it’s good to get together with him.”

Jon Gruden was expected to address the Redskins before Thursday’s workout. He participated in some meetings and hoped to play a round of golf with his brother on Thursday.

“I think you can have [outside] coaches] in the meetings with you and he was there,” Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “Obviously, his brother is our head coach so I’m sure we’ll see our fair share of Jon.”

Always an energetic presence on the sidelines during his coaching tenure, Jon Gruden sees some of that in his own brother. But the comparisons only go so far.

“He’s always been a better player than me and a better coach and he puts his spin on things like we all do,” Jon Gruden said. “No two people are alike. But this is a great global franchise. This is a tremendous responsibility and a great opportunity for him. I just like the fact that he’s working as hard as he can. He’s accumulated a good coaching staff and at the end of the day everybody gets what they deserve.”

Jay Gruden was an offensive assistant under this brother for seven seasons, acting almost as an extra coordinator because the two men were almost always on the same page. Jon Gruden said plays that he called - and often worked - during his time with the Buccaneers sometimes came from things his younger brother saw in the booth or on film. He also lauded Jay Gruden’s ability to develop young players as an offensive coordinator in Cincinnati and during his four years as a head coach in the Arena Football League.

Jon Gruden will help call an Aug. 18 preseason game on ESPN between his brother’s team and the Cleveland Browns at FedEx Field. But that’s old hat by now. He’s previously called Monday Night Football games when Jay Gruden was the offensive coordinator with the Bengals. Will doing so while Jay Gruden runs his own team be any different?

“It certainly will be. But I’m just trying to take care of my job,” Jon Gruden cracked. “I’ve already been fired. I’m just trying to hang onto the job I can and I know he’s trying to do the same.”

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