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Former NFL coach Jon Gruden: 'If you don't like Justin Blackmon, you don't like football'

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: April 11, 2012
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On Brandon Weeden:

I think the Oklahoma State Cowboys have the most unique offense in college football. They do some wicked things to defenses, with the no-huddle tempo, to the way they use Justin Blackmon. They've got a great running back (Joseph Randle). But at the end of the day, if you counted the top 20 throws that Andrew Luck made, the top 20 throws that Robert Griffin made, the top 20 throws that (Ryan) Tannehill made, Weeden, Kellen Moore, you walk away saying ‘Brandon Weeden makes the most difficult throws in college football.' He's got a tremendous arm, great anticipation. They have a go-to guy in Blackmon, and whenever it's man-to-man, they turn the two of those guys loose. It's a pleasure watching Weeden throw the football. The only downside with Weeden right now is his age. I think he's the same I am — 48 years old.

On if Justin Blackmon is a perfect fit in a West Coast offense:

I think he'd be perfect for an East Coast offense or a Midwest offense. If you don't like Justin Blackmon, you don't like football. How do you catch 230 passes in two years? And whenever it's man-to-man, whenever it's single coverage, they have the flexibility in their system to change any play and throw it to Justin Blackmon and they have a (wide variety) of ways they can get him the ball. Down the field, underneath, they can flip it to him on reverses. There's not a lot that you can't like about Blackmon. The only thing is I thought he was 6-foot-6, 240 pounds when I was watching him. He's not as big as I thought he was and he didn't run the blinding time I thought he would. But when you watch the film of Justin Blackmon, he's a difference-maker. I expect that to continue at the next level.