Gruden says he thought he had Favre with Bucs
Fired as Bucs coach after last season, Gruden thought his team was going to acquire Favre before the quarterback was traded to the New York Jets in August 2008.
“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, now working for ESPN, said Wednesday during a conference call to preview Monday’s game. “I went to bed at about 20 minutes after 12, 12:30 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.
“I think we were both thrown a curveball.”
“I think both of us thought—Brett and I—that we were going to get the deal done. But there was another partner that developed later that evening somewhere across the next seven or eight hours.”
The Bucs fired Gruden and Allen after the team lost its final four games and missed the playoffs. So would Gruden still be in Tampa if the trade had worked?
“Brett Favre’s a winner,” Gruden said. “He’s one of the great quarterbacks of all time. He would have made a difference, I can promise you that.”