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