Patriots

Why is Jon Gruden back coaching? He says it's Tom Brady

Patriots

The last game Jon Gruden prowled the sidelines for the Raiders - before he returned this season after a 10-year absence from coaching - was near and dear to the Patriots and Tom Brady.

Pats fans call it the Snow Game. The Raiders know it as the Tuck Rule Game. Either way, that AFC playoff loss in the final game at old Foxboro Stadium on Jan. 19, 2002, helped launch a Patriots dynasty and still sticks with Gruden. More specifically, it seems like Brady is still on the former Monday Night Football analyst's mind.

In fact, in a long Bleacher Report feature on the coach, he cites Brady as a big reason he's back. Said Gruden:

He can't run, can't jump, he's too old. He gets his ass knocked off. But he's a Terminator. He ran me out of Oakland in the Tuck Game. Damn. He brought those bastards back in a two-minute drill to beat us in a driving snow. They didn't do anything the whole night until the game was on the line. And here I am 20 years later, and guess who's still there. That's why I'm back.

The Pats and Raiders won't meet in the regular season. Anyone up for Snow Game II in the playoffs? This time at Gillette.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE