Jon Gruden has “always been a fraud” in Keyshawn Johnson’s eyes.
On Tuesday, the former NFL wide receiver went off about his former coach after Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders in wake of a disturbing email controversy.
Gruden announced his resignation on Monday night after emails from 2011 through 2018, obtained by the New York Times, exposed his use of racist, homophobic and misogynistic language.
“He’s always been a fraud to me. From day one, he’s been a used car salesman, and people bought it,” Johnson said on his ESPN Radio show, “Keyshawn, JWill and Max.”
Johnson played for Gruden in 2002 and 2003 as a member of the Buccaneers. The pair went on to win a Super Bowl together in 2002, after Gruden succeeded former Bucs coach Tony Dungy.
While Johnson said he’s “grateful” for Gruden’s push to help the team win a Super Bowl, he said, “I also saw through who he was through that journey of getting a championship.”
Johnson then recalled that the next year, then-Bucs general manager Rich McKay “left in the middle of the season to go take another job with another team because he didn’t want to be around [Gruden].”
Johnson later appeared on ESPN’s “First Take,” where he continued to slam the disgraced Gruden.
“But it’s the talking behind peoples back — that was one of his traits in Tampa…he was doing that a lot,” Johnson said.
Johnson and Gruden never got along, according to the three-time Pro Bowl receiver, who previously opened up about their rocky player-coach relationship after the Bucs deactivated him for the final six games of the 2003 season.
“I was never Gruden’s guy. He never liked me. I told him I’d rather retire than play for him in 2004,” Johnson told ESPN in November 2003.
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