University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray visits Jon Gruden’s QB Camp today in Tampa.
Bray is the 12th and final player in the 2013 QB Camp class to descend upon Gruden’s Fired Football Coaches Association office this spring, but he’s not the only member of Vols Nation to visit the Super Bowl-winning coach.
Country music star Kenny Chesney, a Knoxville native and longtime UT football fan, wanted to experience QB Camp for himself, so he dropped by to see Gruden a few weeks ago while in town to kick off his No Shoes Nation Tour.
Pat Yasinskas joined ESPN in January 2008 as the NFC South writer for ESPN.com’s NFL Nation blog network.
He previously covered the Carolina Panthers for the Charlotte Observer and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the Tampa Tribune. In addition to following these teams, as well as the Saints and Falcons, in his current role, Yasinskas is providing scouting reports in the month ahead on the 12 NFL Draft prospects who are participating in the fourth installment of Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series.(Full QB Camp TV schedule.)
Yasinskas has attended several QB Camp film sessions in Gruden’s Tampa office (aka the F.F.C.A., or Fired Football Coaches Association), including Monday’s visit with All-America Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, a projected first-round pick. (The SportsCenter Special: Gruden’s QB Camp: Manti Te’o episode will debut Tuesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. ET.)
This is the first time you have covered Gruden’s QB Camp. What are your impressions so far?
It’s beyond what I expected. It’s fascinating. I’m blown away by what a big process it is. The half-hour shows with commercials are probably 23 minutes. They are doing four hours of film work and chalkboard work, and in some cases they are also doing an hour-long workout. What you see on TV is probably one-eighth of what goes on. Also, the preparation by Jon — he has so much film of each kid, as well as plays that are similar to the points he’s trying to make. He obviously spends days getting ready for each guy. And I can honestly say that from an X’s and O’s standpoint, I have learned more in these four sessions than I have in the 18 or 19 years that I’ve been covering the NFL.
What’s the reaction of the players when they come through QB Camp?
I’ve been surprised that everyone I’ve seen has been very relaxed. It’s amazing the comfort level that all of them have developed with Jon. None of them looks like a 22-year-old college kid who knows he’s on national TV. They look like they are just sitting there with a coach, chatting and breaking down film and drawing up plays. I’ve been very impressed with how I’ve seen the kids handle it.
Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden (L) with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck during Gruden’s QB Camp in 2012. (Tim Casey/ESPN Images)
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For top college quarterbacks moving onto the National Football League, visiting Jon Gruden’s QB Camp has become an annual rite of spring.
The Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl-winning coach personally prepares detailed lesson plans for every player.
Last year, Gruden mentored Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill and others, arguably the most successful class of rookie quarterbacks in NFL history.
He helped prep each of them for the jump to the NFL.
(To the delight of fans, Gruden also introduced “Spider 2 Y Banana” into the lexicon.)
Gruden’s QB Camp series presented by Corona Extra is back for a fourth year this spring, beginning Thursday, April 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2) and continuing throughout the month with segments on SportsCenter and NFL studio shows across multiple ESPN networks.
Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck during Gruden’s QB Camp in 2012. (Tim Casey/ESPN Images)
The SportsCenter specials will offer a first-hand look at some of this year’s top prospects leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, which ESPN will again televise April 25-27. continue reading…