New Oklahoma State quarterback coach Tim Rattay has deep roots in football. He’s played and coached on many different levels and has made lasting connections because of this.
One of these connections is Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jay Gruden. The 2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers featured Rattay as the starting QB and Gruden as an offensive assistant. This relationship continued in 2019 when Gruden-- who was then the coach of the Washington Redskins-- hired Rattay as the QB coach.
Gruden answered questions about Rattay, the NFL Draft and quarantine life in a recent episode of the O’Colly’s In the Novo show:
Q: How’s life for you during this time of quarantine?
A: “I’ve been good. We’re kind of locked into our house here, but still able to evaluate a lot of people. We’ve got our iPads and computers firing up and trying to communicate with these draft prospects and watch them and evaluate them and try to get as best of a grade as we can out of them and get ready for the draft.”
Q: How excited are you for this Zoom NFL Draft?
A: “I don’t know if I’m excited, I kind of like to be with the group and have some discussions when you’re all together when it’s time for your pick, but we’ll make do. I think everybody in the NFL is going to do the best they can to get around this, to get through this. Thank goodness we have the technology that we have and the availability of it, but we’ll see how it goes.”
Q: So the reason I called you today is because of OSU’s new QB coach, Tim Rattay. What can OSU fans expect with him as the QB coach?
A: “Well he’s got some energy, got some experience. He’s coached, he’s played quarterback at a high level, he’s coached at a lot of different levels. He’s a great guy, got great energy. And really he can understand and learn a system very quickly. I only had him for one year as a quarterback coach with the Redskins and he picked it up effortlessly, was able to communicate with the young quarterbacks, the veteran quarterbacks. He can speak to all kinds of different types of people and communicate with them. He’s a great leader and all around great guy with great energy.
Q: Mike Gundy described Rattay as a “gym rat quarterback.” Is this true? In what ways have you noticed this?
A: “I think that kind of carries over from his playing days because he was an undersized quarterback. He had to do all of the extra little things to succeed at his position because he’s undersized, he didn’t have a great arm, he would have to do all the X’s and O’s, he had to be really on top of his game mentally and that’s carried over to his coaching. He understands how important it is and how far a quarterback can go if they get in there and study. Because it is the toughest position to play in sports, you have to put the work in. Tim’s a great example of how you can succeed if you do put the work in.”
Q: OSU’s QB Spencer Sanders is very much a dual-threat type QB. Playstyle wise, this isn’t the same type of QB that (Tim) had in Washington. How well do you think he’ll be able to adapt to this?
A: “Oh he’ll be fine. I think there’s a lot of different ways to attack a defense nowadays and as a coach you have to be prepared to use your talent that best fits the quarterback and the offense. If you have a dual-threat quarterback, you’ve got to be prepared to put in a system that’ll help him succeed. And Tim has had experience with different types of systems going back to Louisiana Tech and he understands the zone read game, the RPO game. So he’s got a good knowledge and understanding of that and how important it is nowadays in football because a lot of teams are attacking defenses with those dual-threat quarterbacks.”
Q: Has Rattay been in touch with you at all in regards to how excited he is to be back in college football?
A: “Yeah he’s excited for sure, I got a chance to talk to him. We all kind of left after getting let go by Washington, it was a tough deal for everybody, but I think it was time for everybody to move on and fortunately Tim got a great job at Oklahoma State. It’s a great program and he’s excited to get back to college. I know he liked the NFL for the years he was in it, he would like to have more years probably, but there’s nothing wrong with going to a big program like Oklahoma State. I know he’s gonna love it.”
Q: Rattay was a QB on you and your brothers staff on the 2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster. What about that experience drew you to hire him in Washington?
A: “I just remember how hard he worked and what a great guy he was and he’s fun to be around. That carried over. He was a great leader, the players all respected him, all liked him. And that has to carry over to your coaching, players have to respect you and like you and that carried over… We had a different quarterback room, we had Dwayne Haskins, a rookie, we had Case Keenum, we had Alex Smith with an injury. All with different personalities, but they all got along with Tim and Tim did a great job of coaching those guys. So his experience of me being with him as a coach and watching him as a player and watching him grow as a coach made it an easy hire for me.”
Q: Is there any story you could tell us about Rattay that OSU fans might not know?
A: “Probably not, like I said it was one year and it was such a fast year. I only had him for the OTA’s and the training camp and after the fifth game of the year I was let go. So I didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time with him but I remember him as a player and just have a lot of respect for Tim. He’s gonna do a great job at Oklahoma State and be passionate about the game. That’s the most important thing, that passion has to be sincere and genuine and that’s what he’ll bring to the Oklahoma State program.”