Gruden another MNF Favre connection

Former Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden might still be on the sidelines coaching if he had obtained Brett Favre in a trade last year that he thought was done. Instead, Gruden will be offering his insights on Favre to a Monday Night Football audience.

When the Vikings meet the Packers Monday night, former Bucs coach Jon Gruden will be in the broadcast booth calling the game. Had things gone as he expected with Brett Favre 14 months ago, Gruden might still be on the sidelines instead of being flanked by Ron Jaworski and Mike Tirico.

In a conference call with the media Wednesday, Gruden said he was convinced Favre was heading to Tampa – only to be sideswiped by news of him being traded to the Jets instead.

"I talked to Brett on the telephone and, I think if you talk to Brett yourself, both of us thought he was coming to Tampa," Gruden said. "I went to bed at about 20 minutes after 12 thinking we had Brett Favre. I was sure we had Brett Favre. When I woke up the next day, Santa Claus didn't arrive. It was a sad day for me."

Gruden explained that, while the Packers and Buccaneers had a tentative deal in place, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson didn't want to trade Favre to a team within the division or on their 2008 schedule. The Bucs played the Packers last year, while the Jets did not – making that deal more attractive to the Packers. Gruden said the whole seen has been about as bizarre as possible the last two summers.

"I felt like I was watching a soap opera during training camp," Gruden said. "Is he coming? Is he going? I just don't know that the timing of this thing was appropriate. That a guy like this would go in the middle of the night to play for the New York Jets and then suddenly re-unretire to play for the Vikings against the Packers? I sense some bad blood here. I don't have all the facts, but I certainly can see why the Packers wanted to get control of their franchise because they know they have a blue-chip prospect in Aaron Rodgers and they wanted to get on with his career. At the same time, they wanted to accommodate Brett by allowing him to play. But I smell some bad blood and that's what makes this game very exciting and very unique for everybody."

Bad blood or not, while Vikings fans view Favre as potentially the final piece of the puzzle to being a Super Bowl team, one has to wonder how Gruden's coaching future might have been different if No. 4 had headed south instead of east in 2008.


  • The Lions made a series of roster moves this week, including the release of former Vikings CB Marcus McCauley.

  • Former Vikings QB Tyler Thigpen, who was traded to Miami from Kansas City earlier this week, is currently the No. 3 QB behind new starter Chad Henne and rookie Pat White. The Dolphins traded for Thigpen after starter Chad Pennington was lost for the season with yet another shoulder injury. Expect to see Thigpen up to No. 2 QB sometime in the near future.

  • Former Vikings DT Leger Douzable was promoted from the St. Louis Rams practice squad to the 53-man roster Wednesday.

  • Former Vikings LB David Herron has found work with the Kansas City Chiefs, signing on Wednesday.

  • Yet another former Viking, DE Martail Burnett, worked out for the Rams earlier this week.

  • Because the Vikings play a day later than everyone else in the league, their practice protocol begins today, not Wednesday. The first injury reports for both teams won't come out until this afternoon.

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