Gruden gobbles up Stafford's 'turkey hole' throw

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throws over the defense of Packers' Morgan Burnett in the third quarter.

Allen Park — Praising a third-quarter pass to receiver TJ Jones, Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden went on a rant about the Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s ability to make a throw into the “turkey hole.”

Say what now?

Football is filled with unique terminology, and coaches and players across the country often use different phrases to describe the same thing. Gruden explained the turkey hole as an open area in a zone coverage, behind the cornerback and in front of the safety along the sideline. It’s one of the most difficult throws to make at the professional level because of the distance and how quickly the window can close.


“It’s not an easy throw,” Gruden said. “You gotta be able to rifle it in there, Sean. I had a quarterback (Brett Favre) here in Green Bay who was able to do that at a high level. And now I’m watching one here in Matt Stafford who makes a living putting the ball right there in the turkey hole.”

Caldwell who doesn’t re-watch the broadcast copy of his team’s games, had no idea what the turkey hole was when asked about it on Wednesday.

“I’m not sure what you are referring to,” Caldwell said.

When it was explained, Caldwell said he just calls it a “soft spot.”

Stafford acknowledged he’d heard the term in his past.

“Yeah, I’ve heard it called that before,” he said. “Some other coaches in other systems call it that. We don’t, but it is an area of the field, I guess.”

Fans watching the game, even if they were interested in the description, were likely annoyed that Gruden’s explanation caused the broadcast to miss an Ameer Abdullah fumble and the subsequent replays that should have followed.

Twitter: @justin_rogers