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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Jon Gruden: Older Landry Jones was 'bored'

By David Ubben

Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones paid a visit to Jon Gruden's QB Camp, and you can see more from his visit on April 17 on ESPN, but Gruden also wrote about his time with Jones and his study of the Sooners star's tape.

His thoughts were a bit of a surprise, but he tried to explain some of Jones' issues later in his career.

Gruden says Jones got "bored" after peaking in his sophomore season, and Gruden says he saw complacency. The 2010 season, highlighted by a Big 12 title and BCS bowl victory over UConn, was definitely the peak of Jones' statistical accomplishments, throwing for 4,718 yards and 38 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. He never equaled his quarterback rating of 146.3 that season.

Without Ryan Broyles for the second half of 2011 and without him in 2012, it's hard to compare what he did statistically, and I'm sure you'd hear from Oklahoma coaches that he was better in some areas in 2012 that didn't show up statistically without a playmaker like Broyles.

Gruden says when he broke down tape from the later seasons with Jones and went through some of his mistakes, the answer was far too often that Jones was trying to do too much. That sounds like a player trying to work outside of the system and getting himself in trouble for doing so. Jones has the physical ability to do things and make throws a lot of guys can't make, but that doesn't mean he should always try to make them. He didn't "always" do it, but he definitely developed a well-earned reputation over his career as a guy prone to a backbreaking mistake at inopportune times.

You can see that with interceptions early in his career, but he also had costly fumbles returned for touchdowns in games that ended up deciding the Big 12 title: Kansas State in 2012 and Oklahoma State in 2011.

Defenses decided to often rush just three players, and Jones wasn't content to take checkdown throws, Gruden writes. Gruden points to some shortcomings in the offensive schemes that didn't help Jones, including a lack of tight-end play that resulted in a loss of balance and putting too much on Jones' shoulders, which might have contributed to some of his regression.

Really interesting analysis from Gruden, who adds a perspective I hadn't heard.