Ben Troupe on coming to Tampa, and Head Coach Jon Gruden.
“It starts with the head coach,” Troupe said with a charismatic smile on his face. “Jon Gruden is the leader of this team and the energy that he brings as a head coach is contagious. His reputation throughout the league speaks for itself. He’s well respected, and he said, ‘Ben, we’re going to go out and work and fight to the finish. We may lose, but we’re going to play the same every game.’ That’s how I play. I play the same on every down. Whether we are winning the game or losing the game, I play the same way. He’s a coach that can kind of read your mind. He coaches the game like he’s a player. It was a no-brainer for me to sign with the Bucs after I got a phone call from him just after midnight at the start of free agency.
“Let me put it to you this way, the first person who visited my home during high school recruiting was Steve Spurrier. The first person that called my phone during free agency was Jon Gruden. He called at 12:02 a.m. and it started at 12:00 a.m. I was an hour behind at 11:00 p.m.”
“As soon as I got off the plane, I went straight into his office. I mean I went straight in,” Troupe said. “We were looking at each other face-to-face like we are now. He wanted to look in my eye, which shows his true interest. I went to Buffalo and I think I saw Dick Jauron right at the end before I left the building. Here, I went right up to the head man’s office and I was talking to the man – Jon Gruden. That meant a lot to me. He said, ‘You didn’t go off and get fat on me, did you? You haven’t lost your athleticism? I remember the Ben Troupe that could jump over grown men and who could do things after the catch.’ I told him, ‘That’s me.’ I can do those things, I’m just four years older. I’m not 21 anymore – I’m 25. I have four years in the league, so I definitely know what it takes. He said that he wanted me here, and when a head coach tells you that he wants you here that means something. He said he wanted me to help him win another Super Bowl.”
This entire excerpt is taken from a Pewter Report article that can be found here.