New Texas football coach Tom Herman, left, and UT president Gregory Fenves, right, leave a news conference where Herman was introduced to the media, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

BEVO BEAT Football

Golden: Will Tom Herman ‘Gruden’ Charlie Strong?

Posted November 28th, 2016

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Story highlights
  • Texas hired Tom Herman to replace the fired Charlie Strong Saturday.
  • Will Herman win a championship with players brought to campus by Strong?
  • it would be similar to Jon Gruden winning a Super Bowl at Tampa Bay with Tony Dungy's players.

When Tom Herman uttered the four words that were pure music to Longhorn ears — “We will win championships” — a question popped into my head.

Tom Herman smiles during the press conference in the Carpenter-Winkel Centennial Room of the Belmont Hall on Sunday, November 27, 2016. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Tom Herman smiles during the press conference in the Carpenter-Winkel Centennial Room of the Belmont Hall on Sunday, November 27, 2016.
RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Actually, it’s a question I’ve been thinking about for quite some time given the struggles of former Texas tackle football coach Charlie Strong:

Is Chuck about to get Gruden-ed?

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Texas coach Charlie Strong pauses for the school song after the loss to TCU at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Friday November 25, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Texas coach Charlie Strong pauses for the school song after the loss to TCU at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Friday November 25, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Many of you know Jon Gruden as the Chucky lookalike who has analyzed Monday night NFL games on ESPN since 2009 but some of us also know him as a very good pro football coach who coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl XXXVII win over the Oakland Raiders. Gruden inherited a defense that housed future Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks and All-Pro safety John Lynch on defense plus Pro Bowlers Keyshawn Johnson, Warrick Dunn, Mike Alstott, and Brad Johnson on offense.

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 26: Head coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers holds aloft the Lombardi Trophy as he celebrates after the victory over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII on January 26, 2003 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Buccaneers won 48-21. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Dungy constructed many pieces of the puzzle but wasn’t around for the franchise’s best moment.

As it applies to Texas, Strong has quite possibly put together the best roster of young talent in the country but unlike Dungy, he never won here. The point is Herman is likely to enjoy some success with players Strong brought in and Charlie will share in some of that credit. With that said, the current roster isn’t equipped to go special places just yet.

He’s at least two years away from the top five and most of that centers around if he’s able to get more production at the quarterback position. Texas doesn’t have a Greg Ward, Jr. on its roster even though converted wideout Jerrod Heard has a similar athletic skill set to the current Houston QB.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Head coach Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts is held-up on the shoulders of his assistant coaches as he celebrates a 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

Dungy eventually won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts. We can only hope that Strong will experience success in the future as a head coach. As for his replacement, Herman has some pieces but he will need more to move into serious title contention. As for Gruden-ing Strong, it’s a conversation Texas fans will welcome because it will come in the context of the Horns regaining national relevance.

 

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