Report: Gruden preparing to return to coaching in 2012

AP

Earlier this year, Jon Gruden signed an “exclusive” five-year contract with ESPN, which was scheduled to commence in 2012.  And it’s so “exclusive” that Gruden may be gone before the first day of the new deal.

In a thorough and detailed update regarding the coming turmoil in San Diego, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Gruden has decided to return to coaching in 2012, and that ESPN is aware of Gruden’s looming departure.

And here’s where it gets even more interesting.  Acee reports that, if Rams owner Stan Kroenke fires coach Steve Spagnuolo and G.M. Billy Devaney, Kroenke will attempt to hire Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith (if/when Smith is fired by the Chargers) and Gruden in a package deal that would consist of a guy who never smiles, and a guy who always scowls.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos is expected to reveal next week his plans regarding the G.M. position.  It’s widely regarded as a given that coach Norv Turner will be fired.

On Sunday night, Peter King of Football Night In America opined that the Rams’ job could be the best one available in the 2012 hiring cycle, given the presence of Sam Bradford, the possibility of the top pick in the 2012 draft, and the most cap room of any team come 2013.

Of course, there’s also a chance that Smith is hoping the Chargers realize that Smith could lure Gruden to San Diego as the replacement for Turner.  Perhaps not coincidentally, Gruden gushed about Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers when San Diego recently played the Jaguars on Monday Night Football.  (We know he does that with everyone, but it was even more over the top than usual with Rivers.)

UPDATE 12:57 p.m. ET 12/27/11:  ESPN said in a statement released to PFT that Gruden “remains committed” to Monday Night Football.

104 responses to “Report: Gruden preparing to return to coaching in 2012

  1. Has Bradford shown any glimpses of being a #1 draft pick? Give me Stafford all day over this guy.

    Jacksonville is a much more attractive job than St. Louis.

  2. I wish I could just go around signing deals here and there and just walk right out of them! I mean seriously… What the hell is that? Another way of proving to the middle class that your signature really doesn’t mean anything.

  3. Perhaps not coincidentally, Gruden gushed about Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers when San Diego recently played the Jaguars on Monday Night Football.

    __________

    Ummm…He does that with EVERYONE.

  4. “Perhaps not coincidentally, Gruden gushed about Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers…”

    No, that was just coincidence.

    He gushed about every QB on MNF this year.

  5. if he takes the rams job, the nfc west will be one of the most competitive divisions in the league and will no longer have the label of “nfc worst”

    harbaugh, whisenhunt, carrol and gruden…

  6. “Gruden gushed about Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers”

    Gruden “gushes” about every player that plays on Monday Night Football. According to Gruden, they are either already stars or will be in the future.

  7. San Diego or Miami are the best jobs that will be available. St. Louis isn’t close to the likes of the Packers & Saints.

    If he wants to win in good weather, go to San Diego.

  8. As a Raider fan the last place I want Gruden is in San Diego…..

    A real life Chuckie movie. Mark Davis keeps the worst DC in football Chuckie the clown Bresnahan. Then the other Chuckie Al got rid of comes back to haunt us as SD-HC……

  9. Gruden lives in Tampa and ST. Louis about a 1000 miles north compared SD is about 2500 miles

    I dunno if he wants to be to far away from his favorite golf course and Gruden hole.

    But then again the weather is nice in SD and the Best Team fit,the money and job decides the location.

    I think Gruden would make the chargers terrifyingly good. I couldn’t of imagined Gruden having the team that Marty built when Norv took over. But that is all in the past.

    I wouldn’t want Chuckie in the AFC west because he made the Raiders a fun team and it would be hard to compete with him after having him on the Raiders. Al couldn’t stand Gruden’s toughness and got rid of one of the best coaches the Raiders ever had. If he didn’t go to Tampa and coached the raiders to the super bowl because he was getting close ,well we all know the conclusion to that whooping the Raiders took.

  10. Didn’t Gruden actually question whether Bradford could be the man in St Louis a couple weeks ago and suggest the Rams might want to replace him at QB ?

  11. I think San Diego could be a very interesting destination. Much like the Bucs did back in 2002, the Chargers just need someone who can get them over the hump. Gruden could be that guy.

  12. Why would anyone want Gruden? The only Superbowl he has came riding the back of the Bucs defense, he was an awful coach. He never touched the defensive side of the ball, that was all left to the Dungy holdovers. On offense the Bucs were as awful as always, if they hit middle of the pack it was an amazing season, generally they were near the bottom on offense for what was supposed to be an offensive genius. Gruden completely destroyed what should have been a Bucs dynasty along with his mentally challenged and self chosen GM Bruce Allen. Note that after you get past the 2002 season Gruden didn’t win another playoff game. Why anyone would want this washed up, predictable team destroyer is beyond me. If you love 40-year old QBs and giving millions to sign 35-year old WRs and RBs then Gruden is your guy. Do you homework people.

  13. Gruden always wanted to coach Peyton Manning and according to David Shaw, Gruden’s ex Quality control guy with the Raiders, Luck is the perfect QB for his system.

    Gruden = Colts.

    I need my own blog. You all are super slow.

  14. MNF letting Gruden go is the same kind of thinking that gave us George Bush as President. Texas figured if he was President, he couldn’t be Governor of Texas any more.

    Addition by subtraction.

  15. Whoa.

    Remember on MNF when Gruden said he’d take a long look at RG3 if he were the Rams, despite Sam Bradford’s presence?

    We could have quite the story on our hands, folks….

  16. If Gruden gets hired in San Diego it’s three steps back for that franchise. He is the most over-rated coach in recent memory. He won a Super Bowl with a team that Tony Dungy put together. They could have won that championship with Dungy still the head coach and Gruden the offensive cooridantor. He’s ok, but he won’t get the Chargers any further along than Norv Turner did. The owner needs to pull his head out and look at better prospects (and not suck-ups like Gruden). Bill Cowher would fit the the Chargers much better than Gruden.

  17. See, the “exclusive” part wasn’t specified. What he signed was a deal when the team he decides to coach will have every game shown on ESPN. “Are you ready for some Grudennnnnnn??????”

  18. One of the few guys that I wouldn’t hesitate to upgrade from HueJack is Chucky. FTR, that doesn’t mean Bresnahan gets to stay; I’m sure he was the same puppet DC back then too.

    Trading Gruden for those first rounders looked brilliant at first, then they got destroyed the very next season, in the biggest game of all. Raiderkarma.

    This team is still too bipolar for my liking. Chucky instilled the killer instinct in the Raiders that they had been missing for so long. He’s got unfinished business in Oakland, and the Raider Nation knows it.

  19. Excellent news. That’s one less opportunity for Wade Phillips. OCCUPY WADE PHILLIPS!!!

    Here’s what my coaching tarot cards say for next season:

    Colts: Tressell
    Rams: Gruden
    Chargers: Fisher
    Dolphins:
    Jags: B. Schottenheimer
    Chiefs: Crennell
    Bucs: Billick
    Bears: keep Smith
    Vikings: keep Frazier
    Giants: keep Coughlin
    Cowboys: keep Jones, hahaha
    Eagles: keep Reid

    In the event Wade Phillips gets a HC job, Jac Del Rio to Houston as DC.

    My feeling is Phillips would be a great fit in Chicago.

    Thumbs up, beotches!!!!

  20. SD is by far the best opening this year because of where it is and Rivers…
    __________________________________________

    sorry bud, window is closed. O line in shambles, gates is fat and slow, and even if they did get Gruden do you honestly think he would put up with Pip’s temper tantrums?

  21. GREAT! As long as I don’t have to hear him on MNF anymore I’ll be happy….. Now this guy here, boy, I can’t say enough about Jon Gruden! The way he gets those words out of his mouth, man, he might be the best talker in the league! I’m going to call this guy the… enough already

  22. The AFC West is wide open and in turmoil, you will have the Tebows, a new coach for the Chiefs and the ever schizophrenic Raiders. If I’m a coach who wants immediate success I’ll go there instead of going to an improving NFCW or the slaughter houses of the NFCN or NFCS.

  23. Gruden on MNF is (hopefully was now) like every other former coach ESPN hires to commentate on whatever sport. They were hired to offer their insight and educated opinion but offer nothing because they don’t want to upset any potential future employer, so all we get are platitudes and slobbering over marginal players. I Laughed a few weeks ago when Gruden crapped all over Eli Manning’s 20 completions in a row, saying “let’s be onset, it has been against a prevent.” I knew right then and there he knew he would never be coaching the Giants. I am sure, though, that ESPN will replace him with some other “name” guy who will offer nothing of value. One other thing, didn’t ESPN just say a few weeks ago that Gruden had a new deal and wouldn’t be going anywhere? Guess that was as accurate as their report of McNabb getting a $77 million dollar deal from the Redskins.

  24. I don’t care if they make him Queen of the May … ANYTHING to get this idiot off MNF. He is utterly unlistenable. Worst color announcer in the history of the game.

  25. For everyone who thinks Gruden was “fired” in TB, they are half right. Gruden may not be a great coach, but he is a good one and the only reason he got canned in TB was because of Raheem Morris. RM was like a tattle tale and while he spent a lot of energy making Gruden look bad, he also spent a lot of energy playing the race card and forcing himself into the job. Don’t be fooled for one minute by the Raheem Morris, who was only an assistant coordinator when he sprang his trap. ASSISTANT COORDINATOR.

  26. As a Raiders fan, Chucky already haunted us once in San Diego and I’d hate for him to do it every season. Any team but San Diego would be great.

  27. As a Bucs fan, I wish Jon Gruden was still the Bucs Head Coach. It’s a shame that they had to lose their last 4 games in his last year because I think if the front office told him to get rid of the veterans and go after younger players, he would’ve been great.

    Hope the Bucs players are satisfied. They got Morris, and they are getting worse.

  28. Spanos letting AJ Smith go makes sense if he’s signing Bill Cowher to HC/GM.

    What’s interesting is that there’s a chance there’ll be three sets of brothers all HC’ing next year. John and Jay Gruden, Rex and Rob Ryan, and the Harbaughs.

  29. Like him on MNF or not really doesn’t matter. Gruden is a football guy 24/7 and can get the best out of his players, unlike softee Norv. Another ex-Raider HC, but he is much better than Norv. We have the players, we just need them to be properly coached. Gruden would be a welcomed addition for me. Still gotta get rid of A.J. though, if that is possible while securing Gruden. Gonna be a fun week!

  30. I’d like to see Skip Bayless on MNF, he could fill the missing role that Howard Cosell once occupied.

    Mike Tirico, Bayless and Gruden (if he stays) if not perhaps a Brian Billick,

    Billick’s ego would stir the pot just like the old days with Dandy Don. I’m not set on Billick if you have a better suggestion lets us all know!

  31. A great catch overrules a bad throw. If Bradford had Calvin Johnson he would look good too. Considering that the Rams have a high draft pick and the most cap room is eye catching to any possible head coach. However, as a Rams fan, now that NFC west is a strong defensive division Gruden would be good for the Rams.

  32. John has also mentioned that if he was STL that he would pick the 3rd to run his club. Poor Sam looks like he will
    Be. 52 Million bench rider. Cant trade him, and he just is one to spend to much time injured to be worth anything.
    Rams will screwup the draft anyway. Does LA really want this team back?

  33. QUOTE: “ratbastardshanahandjob says:
    Dec 27, 2011 12:26 AM

    A real life Chuckie movie. Mark Davis keeps the worst DC in football Chuckie the clown Bresnahan”

    I feel your pain. We Bengal fans had to put up with him for years. The guy cannot make a halftime adjustment to save his life. I do not understand how he got another DC position.

  34. I can’t see him going to the rams. Bradford is locked up under a, huge contract, but chuckie would prefer drafting luck or RGIII. A new tackle and corner won’t win the rams the division. Aj smith is a notorious bad gm. Why would Gruden follow him?

  35. Great news! Can someone get Jaws a job too? These two clowns should not be in the booth. Hopefully the NFL network will wise up too and get rid of Irvin and Sapp.

  36. I’m not a Gruden hater but I believe we’ll find out he’s a mediocre head coach. He inherited his Super Bowl ring from a team built by Tony Dungy. I’ll be curious to learn whether Gruden is any better in winning percentage than Turner, both solid coordinators who cannot as effectively lead the ship.

  37. This guy is the biggest phony in the NFL as well as overrated as a coach. I heard him call Andy Reid the best coach in the NFL earlier this year.
    Just a complete fraud. Go ahead, hire him and enjoy the mediocrity

  38. johnshawisgay, why would they move to L.A.? You most know that with the current demographic out there L.A. would much rather have a futbol team than a football team.

  39. So if we want gruden to get a coaching job so he gets the hell out of the booth…is there a job we can find for collingsworrh???

  40. Why does anyone want Gruden?

    When he was with the Bucs, he won his first year with Dungy’s team while he was tearing the program apart and he left it in shamble. Players didn’t like him and his domineering and profane ways turned a lot of people off.

    Plus Sam Bradford doesn’t really need to learn ANOTHER offense, does he? One of the best ways to ruin a young qb is to make him start over every year which is what the Rams seem to be doing to Bradford. I’m not McGenius fan, but at some point all this change is going tos tunt Bradford’s development.

    Finally, isn’t Gruden about a foot shorter than Philip Rivers? Would he wear stilts or would he just require Rivers to wear his communicator helment 24×7?

  41. Most of the negative comments about St. Louis come from the mindset that a warm-weather opportunity must trump a Midwest opportunity.
    San Diego would be the plum job, but not just because of the weather. That is a team that is loooaaaaded, as Ron White would say, from a talent perspective. It isn’t often you have a Pro Bowl talent at QB when you arrive. But San Diego must be one of those classic California head-case teams who play well when they feel like it.
    So, yes, in this case a warm-weather team would be a good spot for a new coach.
    Jacksonville doesn’t have the talent. They have a running back…Gabbert? Jury is still out. They need a talent upgrade.
    St. Louis has a QB that could be very good. They have some talent at key positions. The right coach might be able to bring it out.
    But Gruden likes the spotlight and would be in a position(like he did at Tampa Bay) to walk into a talent-rich team and motivate them for one year.

  42. Howard Cosell just did a backflip in his grave after someone above compared Skip Bayless to him. Cosell could be the most significant member of the sports media of the last 50 years and Skip Bayless is nothing more than a twit.

  43. Gruden gushes over every quarterback. That’s right. AND, as a coach he collects QBs like stamps and then ignores them and never develops any. Make a note: the team that hires Jon Gruden will be making a mistake and the record will prove it.

  44. Why are so many people actin like there are a ton of great coaches availible for there loser teams? The truth is there is NOT a guy who is gonna lead you to the superbowl just with his coaching, PERIOD. If there was he’d be the only guy to interview for every job every year. I absolutely HATE the patriots but the hoodie(bellichek) seems to be the best coach in the NFL.now go ahead and try to argue with results.

  45. Even if u take away the superbowls (they cheated to win) his x and o knowlege and gameplanning is remarkable not to mention his ability to make adjustments… see Matt cassel, edelman, troy brown, and halftime of the miami game last week. Hate the new England panty waste but c

  46. Even if u take away the superbowls (they cheated to win) his x and o knowlege and gameplanning is remarkable not to mention his ability to make adjustments… see Matt cassel, edelman, troy brown, and halftime of the miami game last week. Hate the new England panty waste but coach is the best around

  47. I’ll tell you what, that guy would be a good coach. This guy built the Raiders. This guy took Dungy’s team to the next level. I’d take 10 of this guy if I could find ’em. And he’s a true fan of football… that guy loves to see big bodies bang. I’ll tell you what, if I was this guy I’d spend every day at the beach… When you see this guy with his shirt off, this guy is really put together.

  48. packerjer says:
    Dec 27, 2011 12:07 AM
    For the love of god, this needs to happen. Anything to get Gruden out of the booth.

    ^ 182 v 66

    ~25% disapproval for that? Not buying it.

    Those 66 thumbs down have to be from players whose posterior he exuberantly kissed. Or hearing impaired fans with their CC turned off.

  49. If he is so bad then we know that Miami will offer him a can’t refuse deal, then we will see if he is good or what. Bill

  50. robigd says: Dec 27, 2011 12:04 AM

    Has Bradford shown any glimpses of being a #1 draft pick? Give me Stafford all day over this guy.

    Jacksonville is a much more attractive job than St. Louis.

    ——————————————————

    Last time I checked Bradford doesnt have Megatron either, so you cant compare the 2.

  51. Gruden built the Raiders up from nothing if he had stayed they would have won a bowl. The only thing stoping him in Tampa was having a good QB and the salary cap was jacked when he got there. Go back and look at the QB’s he could have drafted there wasnt much talent to pull from. he will go to SD and they will go 12-4

  52. thank goodness he’s returning to coaching because i can’t stand his fubar and butchered commentary another season on monday night football! i can’t stand to hear him talk! please,no more hearing names like “Tony gone-zaleus”
    anymore!

  53. “jordiway73 says: Dec 27, 2011 10:42 AM

    Gruden built the Raiders up from nothing if he had stayed they would have won a bowl. The only thing stoping him in Tampa was having a good QB and the salary cap was jacked when he got there. Go back and look at the QB’s he could have drafted there wasnt much talent to pull from. he will go to SD and they will go 12-4”
    _______________________________________

    your new years resolution should be to lay off the drugs!

  54. Gruden gushes about EVERY SINGLE player he talks about, especially when he talks about bums like Blaine Gabbert like he’s the next Joe Montana, just by that (him NOT having a real opinion) proved he was coming back to the NFL real soon. But people shouldn’t get mad that he signed that deal for MNF, in his contract with them, he had an “out” so he can coach when he wanted to. Plus, I want him to go back to coaching just so I can watch MNF with sound, he was getting so bad I had to mute the damn TV!!!

  55. Please, please, please let him go somewhere – ANYWHERE but the broadcast booth! The guy never knows when to shut up! He talks over the most important plays and is constantly gushing over the most mundane plays and players. I can’t imagine him being a good coach but he is a horrible sportscaster!

  56. Even the most anti-Raheem fans don’t think he engineered Gruden’s exit. Jimmysimpson55 you are smoking something. Gruden’s exit was a consequence of not having developed any young talent, not just on offense where they were led by a 40-year old Jeff Garcia; but mostly on defense – their bread and butter. Gruden/Allen regime was a disaster for their draft acumen and success. Devon Joseph and Cadillac Williams (both first rounders) were the only two they hit on, most of their picks, especially on defense, like Saby Piscitelli were not memorable. Raheem was not an assistant coordinator – no one on the Bucs had that title. He was the secondary coach, and was promtoed to defensive coordinator after Monty Kiffin left to join his son at Tennessee. At the time, that promotion made sense.

  57. You know what drives me nuts as a die hard bucs fan?

    People only know how to credit Dungy, Dungy did not build that defense just like he couldn’t build one in Indy. Monte Kiffin and Rich McKay built it thru the draft and a few free agents. Than gruden came in brought some key offensive guys, made the offense twice as good, compliment that with arguably the greatest defense of all time, and the greatest defensive coordinator ever, you get a Superbowl.

  58. Perhaps not coincidentally, Gruden gushed about Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers when San Diego recently played the Jaguars on Monday Night Football.

    ———————————————-

    ummm the guy had seven QB’s on his 53 Man Roster in Tampa Bay at one Time…He Thinks Qb’s are the neatest thing since Sliced Bread!!

  59. preakin says:
    Dec 27, 2011 2:47 PM
    You know what drives me nuts as a die hard bucs fan?

    People only know how to credit Dungy, Dungy did not build that defense just like he couldn’t build one in Indy. Monte Kiffin and Rich McKay built it thru the draft and a few free agents. Than gruden came in brought some key offensive guys, made the offense twice as good, compliment that with arguably the greatest defense of all time, and the greatest defensive coordinator ever, you get a Superbowl.
    ________________________________

    Agree completely, it drives me up the wall. Only people who aren’t Bucs fans (or clueless Bucs fans) think that.

    No one seems to remember how inept the Bucs were on offense under Dungy. The likes of Les Steckel, Clyde Christianson, and Mike Shula were utterly worthless as offensive coordinators.

    Gruden turned over more than half the roster and almost the entire offense that year, and had the offense playing their best in the playoffs when it was needed the most.

    Go back and watch America’s Game where they interview Sapp and Lynch and they both say Dungy needed to go and they would have never won the Super Bowl under him. Take it from the players on that team, Gruden won that Superbowl, period, end of story.

  60. Give Sam Bradford a break. He is working for Josh McIdiot for crying out loud. He looked pretty damn good under former OC Shurmur. Get John Ramsdell or even Norv Turner to coach him and he’ll be as good as Stafford.

    BTW, Stafford has Megatron at his side and Linehan calling the plays. That’s a pretty good combo.

  61. LOL! What a difference 24 hours makes! ESPN just released a statement saying Gruden just signed a multi-year contract and is staying with ESPN and, heaven forbid, MNF! It’s a huge disappointment for me, as I cannot abide the guy and he’s ruined MNF for me!

  62. He looks like Robin Williams. Can you see him on the sidelines: “Hey, Gimme a 43 Nannoo Nannoo and watch out for the tight end. If he makes a pass he may become a wide receiver. Just make sure you get on top… Oh and those linemen, why do they eat so much? If you had to slam into another man for a couple hours after church you’d eat that much too… Well, Hellllllooooooooo. We need to put up a goaline D. And what’s with the field goal. the goal is actually not on the field and the grass is not cut so I’d hardly call this a field in the first place…
    He’s gonna be awesome! Gruden is probably his nephew…

  63. please!! Someone hire Gruden and get him off MNF!!!!

    I’ve watched MNF from its first days and Gruden’s the worst commentator yet. He ruins a great franchise.

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