Sean McDonough opens up about ‘awkward’ exchanges with Jon Gruden on ‘Monday Night Football’


Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is often portrayed to be a charismatic guy, but those who’ve worked with him behind the scenes may not feel that way.

Gruden is often shown by TV cameras smiling or conversing with a member of his staff on the sidelines, and his good complexion is why he comes off as a personable guy to many.

But there are two sides to every coin.

ESPN’s Sean McDonough knows Gruden well, as the two worked together in the “Monday Night Football” booth for a year, back in 2016, when he replaced Mike Tirico.

And while he’s been quiet about the interactions he once had with the now-head coach of the Raiders, the “SI Media Podcast” appeared to be the platform on which he felt the need to tell his story.

“It wasn’t great, but I’m glad I got the chance to do it,” McDonough said. “Do I think we were bad? No, I thought it was fine. But it could’ve been great in my opinion, and it wasn’t.” 

He continued: 

“You’re standing there next to somebody wondering, ‘If I ask him a question about this, is he gonna answer it or is he gonna be annoyed that I asked him?’” McDonough said. “So it was uncomfortable. … The part of it that bothered me was the narrative of some people in your line of work, ‘Oh, well that was a little too big for McDonough.’ I did the World Series when I was 30. I don’t think anybody thought I was nervous or out of place.” 

The two comprised a solid team, and McDonough, to his credit, played it off well. He made it work.

Categories NFL

Is Kevin Love using Team USA experience to boost trade stock?

Saints GM addresses Tom Brady rumors