Every time a new report surfaces connecting Jon Gruden to a coaching job, the company line at ESPN is that Gruden is committed to remaining in the Monday Night Football booth. And so far, every time the company line has been right.
But the latest report to link Gruden to a coaching vacancy appeared on ESPN, where John Clayton reported today that Gruden could be one of the candidates in Houston. An on-screen graphic accompanying Clayton’s report put Gruden atop a list of candidates that also includes Lovie Smith, Mike Shanahan, Ken Whisenhunt, and Tom Cable.
That’s an interesting list. Smith’s presence on it isn’t exactly news, considering that Texans owner Bob McNair specifically mentioned that he plans to interview Smith for the job. Whisenhunt’s presence isn’t surprising, either, as Whisenhunt had some success during his tenure as head coach of the Cardinals and is having a good first year as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator.
The other two names are a little more surprising. Shanahan already has a job in Washington, so if Clayton thinks McNair will be interviewing Shanahan, he also must think Dan Snyder will be firing Shanahan. And Cable had an uninspiring tenure as head coach in Oakland, although his work as the offensive line coach in Seattle the last three years may have rehabilitated his image enough that some team will give him a second chance.
But Gruden’s name is the one that will raise eyebrows. Perhaps Gruden can address his colleague’s report on Monday Night Football.