After much success, heartbreak, Reid's term closing in PhiladelphiaDespite making it to five NFC Championships, Andy Reid will likely be fired as the Eagles coach next week.
Football is not life and death, but to NFL coaches, it can take up an astounding percentage of life. Jon Gruden knows this well. On a Saturday night in October 2001, he sat in his Philadelphia hotel room as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Gruden had lived in Philly for three years when he was the Eagles' offensive coordinator.
So there was Gruden, in his hotel the night before the game, and he was stumped.
He called his wife.
"Cindy," Gruden said, "I was here for three years. Isn't there somebody I should call?"
He had not made a single friend in Philadelphia outside of the Eagles organization. He did not know his neighbors. That could have been one of those life-altering realizations that makes a coach stop and smell the flowers instead of throwing them up in the air to see how the wind will affect the kicking game ... but it wasn't.
Gruden left the Raiders for Tampa, won a Super Bowl and enjoyed it for a day or two before he started thinking about another one. When the Bucs fired him, he became ESPN's color analyst for Monday Night Football. He went back to Oakland for a game, sat in the Raiders' practice facility and tried to remember: When I lived here, what was my route to work? Where was my house? He was stumped again.
This is not a memory problem. Without hesitating, Gruden can tell you the name of a single play that he squeezed into the Green Bay Packers' game plan on Halloween Night, 1994: Fake Fox 3 Naked Right Fullback Slide. Brett Favre ran 36 yards for a touchdown.
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