John Gruden has “always been a hoax” in the eyes of Keishon Johnson.
The former NFL wide receiver went out on Tuesday about his former coach after Gruden resigned as Raiders head coach in the wake of a troubled email controversy.
Gruden announced his resignation on Monday night after emails from 2011 to 2018 obtained by the New York Times exposed his use of racist, homophobic and foul 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, “Keyshon, Javill and Max.”
Johnson played for Gruden in 2002 and 2003 as a member of the Buccaneers. The pair won the Super Bowl together in 2002, after Gruden replaced former Bux coach Tony Dungy.
While Johnson said he is “grateful” for Gruden’s push to help the team win the Super Bowl, he added, “I also saw who he was through the journey of getting to the championship.”
Johnson then recalled that the next year, then-Books general manager Rich McKay “moved in the middle of the season to take a second 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 beat up the disgraced Gruden.
“But it’s people talking behind them — it was one of his symptoms in Tampa … he was going through 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 Bucks disabled him for the final six games of the 2003 season.
“I was never Gruden’s guy. He never liked me. I told him I would retire in 2004 rather than play for him,” Johnson told ESPN in November 2003.
The Raiders will continue their season on Sunday when they tour the Broncos in Week 6. Rich Bisakia, formerly the special team coordinator, is taking over as the interim head coach.