Behind The ScenesNFL

Mutually beneficial results are a hallmark of Gruden’s QB Camp

Now in its eighth season, Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series (premiering today, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2) has become must-see programming for football fans in advance of the NFL Draft, and ESPN continues to make the most of this signature content – spreading it far and wide.

This year, QB Camp features 140 television hours over seven ESPN networks. ESPN Insider offers columns recapping all seven quarterback visits, and more than 20 QB Camp video segments continue to be featured on SportsCenter, ESPN’s NFL shows and (QB Camp shows from previous seasons are also available through ESPN on Demand.)

While the content is great for fans, it’s actually the participating quarterbacks who benefit most from QB Camp.

“You can definitely tell that [Gruden has] done his research,” said Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman of Gruden, ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst. “He can tell little things that you’re doing on the film that I’m sure not a lot of people out there can tell. So with my kills, with my checks, all those things, he knows, he’s right there in the huddle with me basically.

Added North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky: “I really took everything he said to heart. And it means a lot that he did take the time to watch my film. And everything he said, I’ll be able to learn from.”

In what has become an annual rite of passage for top quarterbacks on their journey to the NFL, Gruden aims to make each player who visits “one percent better.” ESPN producer Josh Hoffman, who has produced the series the past four years, recognizes how important this is to the Super Bowl-winning coach.

“We are doing a 30-minute show on each quarterback. If it were just about that, we would do a 45-to-60-minute film room session and 10 minutes on the field,” explains Hoffman. “We do five times that because Jon wants to make sure each player gets something valuable from the day.”

“He’s as advertised,” said Miami’s Brad Kaaya. “He’s a great dude. Outgoing. Just fun to talk to and to be honest I didn’t want to leave the room after three hours.”

Kevin Ota contributed to this post.

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