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Jon Gruden Says Andy Reid is Relentless, Best Work Ethic He's Ever Seen

Jon Gruden and Andy Reid have known each other for more than 20 years

The Kansas City Chiefs arrived in Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon to get ready for the Monday Night Football matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

Normally, when the team arrives at the hotel, one of the first things head coach Andy Reid always does is meet with the producer, director and talent in a production meeting for the television broadcast.

With the Chiefs playing on ESPN's Monday Night Football this week, that means Reid had a chance to sit and visit with an old friend, former NFL head coach and color analyst for the broadcast, Jon Gruden.

Reid and Gruden coached together for three years (1992-94) with the Packers under Mike Holmgren. At the time, Reid worked with the tight ends and offensive line while Gruden worked with the wide receivers.

The laughter coming from the room during that meeting was audible from the hallway.

Afterwards, Gruden took the time to chat about what he believes has made Reid such a successful head coach.

"He's always had the greatest work ethic I've ever seen in coaching," he explained. "He loves it. He absolutely loves coming up with a way to get a first down, to score in the red zone or to get an explosive play.

"He's always been digging, scratching, clawing for the next cutting-edge drill, a way to make a guy better. He's relentless and when he just walked into that production meeting, he hasn't changed one bit."


Gruden said he's not at all surprised that Reid ultimately put together a career that currently has him tied for No. 18 all-time in NFL history for wins by a head coach with 161.

"It brings tears to my eyes," Gruden said as he sat back in his chair. "A lot of guys now I think say they work hard. They act like they work hard, but are you really working as hard as Andy Reid? Probably not.

"He really set a tone, a standard for me to watch and try to emulate and I know Steve Mariucci would say the same thing."

Gruden also spoke about some of the things he's looking forward to watching on Monday night, starting with the matchup of Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston on Packers backup right tackle Don Barclay.

"I think both matchups on the outside are huge," Gruden explained. "You can't forget about Tamba Hali against [David] Bakhtiari on the other side. Bakhtiari struggled a little bit last week against the power rush. I think Green Bay is well aware of Houston, but we can't forget about the other cat over there.

"The two edge rushers that Kansas City has are something, but they have to be ready for the quick game because we know Aaron Rodgers is going to throw it fast. You better stay onsides. Better not jump offsides either."


Rodgers is notorious for taking shots down the field when the defense jumps offsides, which is something safety Eric Berry spoke about this week.

"We just have to know that if we make a penalty or jump offsides, we just have to be aware that they're going to go deep," Berry said. "They're going to try to take shots and take advantage of our mishaps. It's just something extra you have to think about."

Gruden went on to talk about the presence Houston brings for the Chiefs defense.

"The guy bats passes down, sets the edge," he said. "He separates from blocks. I mean he's got great play recognition, unbelievable stamina. He forces fumbles, penalties. His factor grade on the game isn't just sacks, it's a litany of problems that he poses for offenses."

The team hits the ground in Wisconsin looking good and headed to do some work.

When asked what his keys to the game for the Chiefs to win on Monday night, Gruden believes the defense needs to play well.

"I think Kansas City is going to play really good defense," he explained. "I have a lot of confidence there, provided they can hold up at right cornerback when they go to nickel. Let's be honest—that's been the Achilles heel for this defense. Can somebody step in there and make some plays?

"It's not just about interceptions. We've got to win some battles over there and hold our own. That's been lopsided the first two weeks and that has to be corrected because Aaron Rodgers will make you pay."

He said on the offensive side it's about chunk plays and getting Jeremy Maclin involved.


"I think offensively, with the return of Eric Fisher, [the offense] can get a little bit better protection and give a little more confidence to Alex Smith, so let's get Maclin involved.

"Let's introduce him to Kansas City football fans the right way.

"I think that's the key—if we can make a couple of explosive plays instead of having to work so hard to get a first down and too many third-and-longs. Let's get Maclin a chunk play. They need a little Derrick Alexander in this offense."

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