Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has yet to declare he won’t be the Eagles or the Cardinals coach. But he has come close to doing that.
In an interview with his current team’s website, Jay Gruden says he’ll interview with Philly and Arizona for their vacant head-coaching jobs. But Jay Gruden has no plans of leaving.
“I got called to interview for these jobs,” Jay Gruden told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I figure I better say yes or they’ll quit asking me.”
Under that logic, he’d better accept any offer he gets, or they’ll quit asking that, too.
Still, the younger brother of former Raiders and Bucs coach Jon Gruden claims he wants to stay in Cincinnati.
“I think it will be a great experience and it’s exciting,” Jay Gruden said. “I have every intention of coming back here. We’ve got a great group of guys here. We’re excited for the future here.”
He also could become excited for a future elsewhere.
“When you enter the coaching profession you necessarily don’t do it to be an assistant your whole life. Eventually you’d like to be top dog and run your own ship,” Jay Gruden said. “When the time’s right. Every team has their issues and their problems. That’s why they’re looking. Eventually when the time is right, hopefully I’ll get a chance. If not this year, or next year, or the year after. I’ll be happy here because it’s a great place.”
But Jay Gruden realizes “here” may not permanently be happy with him.
“I also know in this business your welcome mat doesn’t last forever and I’m sure mine has probably been kicked off the doorstep,” Jay Gruden said, three days after a playoff performance that triggered significant criticism of his play-calling. “People probably want me out of here right now. That’s just the way it is in this business.”
That’s why he needs to answer the door when opportunity knocks. After all, you never quite know when the knocking will stop.
If Jay Gruden has any doubts about that, he needs to only listen for all the knocking that isn’t happening on his big brother’s door.