Big brother was watching.
"Monday Night Football" analyst Jon Gruden saw younger brother Jay Gruden's Washington Redskins practice June 11 from afar. Standing on the far end of the field sporting a team visor and chatting with general manager Bruce Allen, Jon studied the offense, noted the speed and watched young players trying to make an impression.
There's nothing like having an older brother with a Super Bowl ring for advice, even if Jay shrugged it off as nothing unusual. Jay worked for Jon at Tampa Bay as an assistant from 2002-08, and he said that just seeing his older brother had made him think of the old days when the two talked coaching points.
"[Jon's] a great presence," Jay said. "Hopefully, I'll get him to talk to the team a little bit [June 12] and pick his brain some more here after practice, maybe play a little golf, all that."
Jon said he liked what he saw during the near two-hour workout sans pads. It's mostly timing and learning the playbook, trying to teach rookies the NFL way and watching potential additions.
"I like the way they incorporated speed in their offense," Jon said. "They still stay with their zone stretch running game, so that combination's pretty good.
"It's getting harder these days [to teach young players] with the CBA. The practices aren't as long, not as many practices, and if you go to training camp, not as many padded practices. I put a premium on coaching if I owned a football team."
Jon often graciously says his younger sibling is a better coach. Ironically, Redskins owner Dan Snyder once considered Jon for a coaching vacancy before he declined and coach Mike Shanahan accepted in 2010. Jon was the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl at 39 in 2002 and had a 100-85 record with Oakland and Tampa Bay before retiring from coaching in 2009.
The Redskins gave Jay his first NFL head coaching job, though he was the boss with two Arena Football League teams before returning to the NFL as Cincinnati's offensive coordinator from 2011-13. Jay won six rings in the AFL, but Jon has the big one in the NFL. Still, Jon said he liked Jay's eye for developing talent.
"I like how [Jay] develops young people and incorporates veterans quickly," Jon said.
Jon will be a broadcaster for the Washington-Cleveland preseason game Aug. 18. He grinned about keeping his own job rather than worrying about analyzing his brother before a national audience. Jon has already done it twice when Jay was an offensive coordinator.
"[Jay] puts his spin on things like we all do," Jon said. "No two people are alike. This is a great opportunity for him. I like that he's working as hard as he can. At the end of the day, everybody gets what he deserves."
Surely, Jon will be fair. Otherwise, mom's getting a call.