When Jon Gruden’s name comes up as a candidate for head-coaching vacancies, ESPN likes to point out that Gruden is under contract to remain the color commentator for Monday Night Football. But the reality is that Gruden could leave the booth for the sideline if he gets the right offer, and one of ESPN’s top NFL information men acknowledged that today.
Appearing on Mike and Mike in the Morning, Chris Mortensen said that when looking at the seven teams that fired their head coaches on Monday, it would be wrong to overlook the possibility of Gruden filling one of those vacancies.
“I have to say, we all have to watch our Jon Gruden — ESPN’s Jon Gruden,” Mortensen said. “It makes everybody at ESPN nervous when we say that, but we haven’t heard one way or the other. He is very happy at ESPN, but we know that he is on the tip of a lot of tongues with NFL people.”
Mort deserves credit for acknowledging what ESPN sometimes tries to ignore: Gruden is a Super Bowl-winning coach who would surely be an intriguing candidate for several NFL owners, and he’s a competitor who would surely be intrigued by an offer from a place where he thinks he could win. Gruden could coach somewhere in 2013, and it’s good to hear that fact mentioned on ESPN.