A month ago, NFL on Fox rules analyst Mike Pereira let the world know his feelings on ESPN NFL analyst Jon Gruden. Pereira tweeted that he turned the mute button on whenever Gruden was speaking. For last week's Monday night game in New Orleans, Pereira must have had Gruden briefly unmuted. The popular rules czar launched into a blistering rant against Chuckie in a Fox Sports column Thursday night over comments made by Gruden Monday night. Here's Pereira dropping the gloves, even using an ESPN staple to launch his opening salvo...
I’m talking to ESPN announcer and former coach Jon Gruden, because I need to set the record straight.
I am not a fan of Gruden’s. Not today, not yesterday, not when I worked for the NFL and not when I was working on the field as a side judge. He was a loudmouth as a coach who constantly disrespected officials and he is a blowhard in the broadcast booth who spouts off when he doesn’t know what he is talking about.
I respect his knowledge about the X’s and O’s when it comes to coaching and playing the game of football, but I have very little respect for him when it comes to officiating and his knowledge of the rules.
The sinister side of me loves high profile media figures being unafraid to call out one another and willing to play the feud. Given Pereira's comments and his previous sentiments regarding Gruden, there must be some heated past history between Gruden and Pereira from Pereira's days as an official himself and as the NFL's VP of Officiating. However, as he is with most replay reviews and rules questions, Pereira is right on the money with his article. The crux of Pereira's attack on Gruden was two hits by defensive players in the second quarter.
The first was by Atlanta's Curtis Lofton for a helmet to helmet hit on Saints receiver Marques Colston.
Even though Lofton's hit was clearly helmet to helmet, Gruden didn't believe a flag should be thrown. Perhaps he was thrown off by the "defenseless receiver language" from referee Jeff Triplette, but that's still no excuse for Gruden. Colston is hit helmet to helmet right as he comes down from the air. As Pereira explains, it is an obvious flag. In fairness, Ron Jaworski also criticizes the call by the officials. To tell the truth though, how many NFL announcers (and fans) actually know the rules regarding defenseless receivers and what is and isn't a penalty? That's why Pereira has been such a valuable asset for Fox to explain these decisions. But it's our second clip that shows where Gruden and the rest of the ESPN booth is out of bounds...