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Mike Tomlin says he's 'saddened' by longtime friend and colleague Jon Gruden's situation

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Following the bombshell reports by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that revealed leaked emails by Jon Gruden that displayed his use of racist, homophobic and misogynistic language, Gruden resigned as the Raiders head coach last night.

Mike Tomlin, who was on Gruden's staff in Tampa Bay from 2002-2005, was asked about his former boss' emails at his weekly press conference today.

“I’m just saddened by it,” Tomlin said. “I’m saddened for the Raiders organization. I’m saddened for the people who were offended by it. I’m saddened for coach Gruden. It’s a sad commentary. That’s the only opinion I care to share at this juncture.”

Prior to the Steelers' Week 2 game against the Raiders, Tomlin praised Gruden for having a profound impact on his coaching career.

“Gruden has no fear,” Tomlin said. “He doesn’t. He looks at an issue or a problem, and he sees it as an opportunity. I worked for him for four years. You can't fake that. It’s every day from him. I've probably always generally had that mentality, but he helped me hone it as a vocation, as a coach. His can-do approach, the positive energy that he consistently brings to whatever challenge that the job presents helped me grow in a big way as a coach when I worked for him as a young guy, for sure.”

Gruden's career as a head coach in the NFL is over now due his bigotry emails. Maybe he'll have an opportunity to be an assistant or an offensive coordinator down the road, if he's even interested. But he'll have to do a lot to clean up his image.

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