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Manziel’s career was Jon Gruden’s biggest QB Camp surprise

Raiders' Jon Gruden discusses why he chose to make his NFL return, how his broadcasting career will benefit him as a coach, adapting to the CBA and how he plans to coach Derek Carr.

Jon Gruden’s nine-year career at ESPN included the excellent QB Camp series, which featured a more raw and rough version of Gruden, interacting with selected members of the incoming class of quarterbacks.

During a recent visit to PFT Live, I asked Gruden to identify the quarterback whose career surprised Gruden the most, given his expectations after working with the player.

“Man that’s a good question,” Gruden said. “Johnny Manziel was the most disappointing, just because the outcome of his career. I got criticized a lot for trying to pump him up during the draft. I really thought he has just an incredible playing style that would service him well. I was really shocked at his downfall and demise from football, but hopefully he can come back and play somewhere someday, because I sure enjoyed being around him and watching him.”

Manziel, a first-round pick of the Browns in the same year the Raiders selected Derek Carr in round two, currently hopes to make a comeback in Canada. If/when that happens -- and if/when he does well -- maybe an NFL team will be interested. And maybe Gruden’s Raiders will be at or near the front of the line.