After leading the Oregon Ducks to a national championship, Jon Gruden took a special interest in Marcus Mariota back in 2015.
Perhaps it was Mariota’s “Heisman moment" against visiting Michigan State Spartans back on September 6, 2014 in Eugene that caught Gruden’s eye. Or maybe his front flip over the right pylon against Wyoming the following week. Or perhaps his leadership and calmness in the pocket.
It was probably all of the above and much more.
Back when he was a retired Super Bowl winning head coach and then commentator on Monday Night Football, Gruden started a show called “Gruden’s QB Camp.”
According to the show summary, Gruden preps a custom lesson for each prospect that highlights strengths and identifies areas of improvement for the QB to be successful at the NFL level. An on-field workout concludes each program. Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are among the quarterbacks who have participated.
In the video, Marcus Mariota teaches Gruden a play ran in the Oregon offense, they talk about the Ducks uniforms and then they get on the field for some drills.
Gruden coaches Mariota live on the field, and if his football I.Q. hadn't already caught Gruden’s attention, then Mariota’s arm sure did.
It's have not been the last time Gruden will be coaching up the former Heisman Trophy winner, either.
On Monday, the Las Vegas Raiders reportedly came to terms with Mariota in hopes of making the former Ducks QB their 1B option.
The terms of the deal were not immediately known.