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Jocks to GIs: Jon Gruden

See previous e-mail between Jon Gruden and Staff Sergeant Tina Moore:
March 30-April 14


From: Jon Gruden

Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2003 6:42 PM
To: Moore, Tina SSgt 410 AEW/AGS
Subject: RE: GI Pen pal is now home!!!!!!!!

Tina:

I'm elated to hear that you have returned home safely! I know how much you have missed your family and how important it was for you to be reunited with Sarah and Craig. I can only imagine being away from my family for two months and how difficult that must have been. What a great surprise that must have been for Sarah when you arrived to pick her up! I'm honored that I have had the opportunity to get to know you through our e-mail correspondence. I am extremely proud of what you and the brave men and women of our great country accomplished overseas. And I'm pleased to hear that you received a warm reception when you landed. I think that it was a nice touch that your Commander was present to show his appreciation.


I'm sorry to hear about your father's condition. Your father will certainly be in my prayers. I'm happy you will have a chance to visit with him and the rest of your family. A vacation in Florida -- that certainly is very well-deserved. I know you and your family will have a wonderful time!


So, you are waking up every morning at 1 a.m.? Wow, it's good to see somebody else waking up before me. I don't usually need much sleep, especially when we are immersed in football. I get up early, at around 3:17 a.m., every morning. Last weekend we had our mini-camp with all of our players, including our recent rookie draft class. It was great to get the players here together again. It was the first time we had a chance to see everybody in the same room since the season ended last year. We're off to a good start. Guys worked hard. We did have a couple of injuries, but fortunately those men will be ready to go, hopefully, for the beginning of training camp. Some of these rookie players don't have any idea what kind of shape they need to be in to play in this league at a world championship level. This is a four-quarter game, it's a 16-week regular season and it's an endurance contest. Some of these guys need to get back here quickly and begin to get themselves into great shape. But with our great coaching staff and a fine group of veteran players, they will learn very quickly what it takes to be successful in the NFL. Right now, we have 11 more organized passing camp dates. Our offseason workouts will continue. We'll be meeting with our players, working with them privately and individually. And we'll conclude our offseason program with a voluntary mini-camp that will feature our young players. We'll try to give them a final examination so they're ready to go for training camp.


Though you are back home, I would still very much like to still correspond with you through our e-mails. Please stay in touch. I wish you all the best both personally and professionally.


Regards,


Jon Gruden


From: Moore, Tina SSgt 410 AEW/AGS

Sent: Friday, May 2, 2003 4:48 AM
To: Jon Gruden
Subject: GI Pen pal is now home!!!!!!!!

Jon,

I am now home. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be back. I know that I was only gone for two months but we did so much in that time it feels like six. When we flew into Buckley AFB, there were so much public and family support. I flew back with some of the cargo on a plane called a C5. It is the biggest cargo plane in the Air Force. There were four of us that flew on that plane and all were women. This has been the only flight where all the passengers were women. The crew on the C5 let us do a lot of stuff on the plane that you would not have been able to do if the plane was loaded with passengers.


We got to sit up with the pilots as we landed, which was the most awesome sight to see after being away so long. After we landed, they opened up these hatches and the four of us climbed up and out of the hatch and waved our American flags to all that were there in the hanger. Our commander greeted us with of course Coors beer (being in CO). I ran to my new husband and I don't think he has left my side for more than just a few hours since I have been back. My daughter, Sarah, had an appointment that could not be missed so my husband and I picked her up. She did not know that I was going to be home that day. I had only told her soon because I also did not know the exact day. When you ride on a military aircraft there is always potential of there being a delay along the way.


I have time off now since I got back from a war. The military gives you time to get back into the swing of things. This is much needed time. I have been waking up around one in the morning and not able to go back to sleep. My body clock is really turned around. I called my family in Florida and my husband and I are making plans to come out for 10 days to 2 weeks the end of May -- beginning of June. I want to wait till Sarah is out of school. My Dad is not doing very well with his health. He has only about 20 percent use of his heart. He is going in for some more tests in May. It will be great to spend some time with him. Really I can't wait to see them all.


I know that you are very busy at this time of year, but I would love to meet you and your family. I will be in the Tampa and St. Pete area. I officially changed my last name to my husband's, so I am no longer a Moore.


Thanks for your support to the war and the men and women over there fighting for America.


Thanks,


Tina Garczynski


From: Jon Gruden

Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2003 6:42 PM
To: Moore, Tina SSgt 410 AEW/AGS
Subject: RE: GI pen pal

Hello Tina:

How are you? I'm sorry that it has taken some time to correspond back to you. We have had a couple of busy weeks with our Draft preparation. I am happy to report we were able to draft some fine, young players.

We drafted DE Dewayne White, who was a very productive player at the University of Louisville. He finished with 37.5 sacks in three seasons, and we were really happy to see that he was still available in the second round.

We then took QB Chris Simms from the University of Texas in the third round. I really enjoy working with quarterbacks and I am looking forward to getting the chance to work with Chris. As you may know, Chris is the son of Phil Simms, a former Super Bowl MVP for the New York Giants.

On Sunday, we took three offensive linemen and a cornerback. We needed some depth on our line and Bill Muir, our offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, was pleased that we drafted T Lance Nimmo, C Austin King, and G Sean Mahan. Our final selection was CB Torrie Cox, a young prospect who we hope can help us on special teams. Overall, I think we addressed some needs and improved our football team.

Now, I'm looking forward to our three day mini-camp this week. We will have all of our players in attendance, and it's a productive three days with a total of five practices (two on Friday; two on Saturday and one on Sunday morning). In addition, we will have a number of position meetings, where each coach meets and works with his players on an individual basis.

It is not hard to keep our players motivated. We are very fortunate to have a great locker room with some excellent veteran leaders. Our ultimate goal, as a team, is to win the Super Bowl again! Team goals are the number one priority. I certainly want to see individuals have success, but the ultimate goal is to hold up that Lombardi Trophy! That is why we all immerse ourselves in this game.

I wish you the best and my thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of the GIs. We all very proud of you! I hope you can return home soon. I know how much it would mean for you to see your daughter and husband.

Regards,

Jon Gruden



From: Moore, Tina SSgt 410 AEW/AGS

Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 3:04 AM
To: Jon Gruden
Subject: RE: GI pen pal

Jon,

It must take much of your time figuring out the strategy of selecting each player and then to put them together as a team. I can imagine that some players don't work well together. I feel power and money must get in the way with some. Keeping the drive to play your best must be hard. I know here it is hard to keep my spirits up high. We lose sight of our motivation. I can see that you as a coach would also have that problem keeping the motivation up for all the players.

I can't wait to reunion with my family. I miss my husband and daughter deeply. I just heard that a family member is having some heart trouble and now I am worried about him. This has been difficult but I was able to call him yesterday. I know that my husband and daughter and I will be coming to FL after I return back to CO. I can't wait to see the rest of my family. God willing, I will be home very soon.

Cheers,
Tina "Moore" Garczynski