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Gruden, Reid have Packer ties

By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 20, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- As a young offensive assistant at Green Bay, Jon Gruden tried to uphold a Packers tradition of riding a bicycle to work.

"He cracked it up coming to work. He was riding in a snowstorm and ran into a parked car," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He was limping a little bit."

It's no accident, however, that Gruden and Reid will be on opposite sidelines as head coaches today at Veterans Stadium.

Reid, 43, and Gruden, 39, served on Mike Holmgren's first staff at Green Bay in 1992. Reid coached tight ends, the offensive line and later quarterbacks. Gruden coached receivers until he left for Philadelphia in 1995, becoming the NFL's youngest offensive coordinator at age 31.

In fact, Gruden and Reid are two of four members of Holmgren's 1992 staff who are coaches. The 49ers' Steve Mariucci and the Bears' Dick Jauron are the other two.

"Jon and I did a lot of Sue Ann Bagels together," Reid said. "It was a little bagel shop right up the street. We'd get there early in the morning and take a break around 7 and grab some bagels and come back to work. So we did a little bit of the grunt work, but Jon is a great football coach."

Did Reid and Gruden bring bagels for the rest of the staff?

"No, we didn't get any bagels for anybody," said the stocky Reid. "You can tell I didn't give anybody any bagels."

* * *

McNASTY: No quarterback has elicited more respect from the Bucs than the Eagles' Donovan McNabb.

"This is the ultimate threat," defensive tackle Warren Sapp said. "What can't he do well? That's all I want to know. Where is his weakness?

"Coach Andy Reid had been around this system for a very long time. He coached (Brett) Favre, and he knew this guy here had some of those same attributes. It isn't hard. He's got all the tools. If you've got all the tools, it's easy."

McNabb started hot, earning NFC offensive player of the month honors for September.

In five games, he has thrown 11 touchdowns and run for three.

And to think, Eagles fans booed McNabb's selection with the No. 2 overall pick in 1999.

"No different than any other city that didn't like their draft pick," Sapp said. "I'm sure they weren't jumping up and down in Tampa when I got picked here, either.

"You weren't there. You weren't walking the streets around Tampa. That's why I feed them with a long spoon. I remember. Elephants never forget."

TOUGHEST VENUE?: Traditionally, Lambeau Field in Green Bay is where the Bucs rarely walk off as winners.

But beer for spilling beer, there might not be a more difficult place to play (especially for the Bucs) than Veterans Stadium.

"It's an environment that's definitely different," Bucs general manager Rich McKay said. "Lambeau is intimidating because of the history, the aura when you're around there. Always at Lambeau, you just had the feeling in the fourth quarter, you're going to be ahead, and it's going to come down to the fourth quarter and something bad is going to happen.

"That's not always the case in Philly. It's just a very hostile environment."

Back to the Bucs
Today's lineup

  • Bucs hope they pass Eagles test
  • Gruden, Reid have Packer ties
  • Side line
  • A sensitive QB killa? That's No. 99

  • Letters
  • A-Train a prototype for future fullbacks

  • Rays
  • Both sides upbeat after Rays, Lou finally meet
  • Rays cut prices, vary packages

  • Lightning
  • A tie and a record: Lightning unbeaten through four
  • Andreychuk moving up list for longevity

  • Other sports

    College football
  • Bulls lift travel troubles
  • Still standing
  • Numerous penalties hobble Gator offense
  • Receiver continues trend with 50th catch
  • Florida: By the numbers
  • Numbers keep piling up for Blackwell
  • Bulls content with modest road streak
  • South Florida: By the numbers
  • Notre Dame 21, Air Force 14
  • Fighting back
  • State: FAMU keeps MEAC hopes alive with win over Aggies
  • Vanderbilt bus crashes before game
  • ACC: Wolfpack avoids Blue Devil upset
  • SEC: Beard, 'Bama ground Rebels
  • Big Ten: No dancing, just relief for OSU after rally
  • Big 12: Sooners smother Cyclones
  • Pac-10: Sun Devils rally to upset of Ducks
  • Nation: Bowling Green defends ranking in overtime
  • Big East: Running game, early TDs push Hokies past Knights
  • C-USA: Horned Frogs stifle Cardinals in rain

  • World Series
  • Not a one-man show
  • California Dreamin'
  • Bay's stars can only envy duo
  • Selig gets an image makeover

  • NFL
  • Bengals' problems mounting
  • NFL Game Day: Week 7

  • Hockey
  • The party ends with a Parrots loss

  • NHL
  • Slapshots
  • Weekes nearly earns shutout for Carolina

  • Motorsports
  • No blame assigned in fatal ARCA crash
  • 'Paper clip' track slow but tough

  • NBA
  • Sprewell reportedly attends Knicks practice
  • Pistons' Atkins hangs on to his NBA dream

  • Golf
  • Hoch keeps plugging away
  • Els, Garcia reach finalat the World Match Play
  • Former Gator finally plays well in Florida

  • Et cetera
  • Tampa amateur captures silver
  • Highs & Lows
  • Sports briefs

  • Preps
  • Playoff contender or pretender?
  • Time off doesn't slow Tampa Prep swimmer
  • Mitchell musters fourth-place finish
  • Wins help swimmers ease midseason pains

  • Letters
  • Hiring Piniella would be Rays' best move
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