With the Raiders possibly looking for a new head coach and with Jon Gruden’s agent in mid-late-season form when it comes to creating the perception that multiple NFL and college teams want to hire Gruden to be a coach, it makes plenty of sense to combine the two story lines.
Especially since former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon already has said regarding a Gruden return to the Raiders, “I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibilities.”
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Raiders owner Mark Davis engaged last year in “protracted talks” to try to land Gruden in late 2012.
A report regarding talks between the Raiders and Gruden surfaced last December on the same day coach Dennis Allen’s father died, prompting an angry response from former P.R. chief Zak Gilbert: “There are two people on this planet that have the ability to make talks happen between Jon Gruden and the Raiders, with regard to him allegedly taking over the football operations, and/or the position of head coach. Each of those individuals, owner Mark Davis and general manager Reggie McKenzie, wanted me to communicate that this rumor has no validity whatsoever. And for the record, I’m personally disgusted that Hub Arkush would spread such an untruth on the day our head coach, Dennis Allen, had to determine with his mom, his brother and sister, whether to take his dad off life support or wait and hope that he would regain consciousness. Dennis didn’t have an opportunity to say goodbye to his dad, but he did have an opportunity to take a phone call regarding Hub’s story.”
Making the rumor/report/whatever a bit more intriguing this time around is the fact that former Raiders CEO Amy Trask currently works for CBS. It’s possible, however, that she wasn’t privy last year to any interest in or discussions with Gruden’s agent last year.
For now, it’s obvious that Gruden’s agent is the one repeatedly discussing with the media Gruden’s interest in jobs that are vacant (like the University of Texas) and jobs that aren’t (like the Raiders and the Falcons). Which should do little to ensure that Gruden or his agent will be getting a holiday card from Allen or current Atlanta coach Mike Smith.
The overriding goal seems to be keeping Gruden’s name at the top of the annual “A” list, and possibly to make prospective owners forget that, after Gruden was fired by the Buccaneers, former Tampa defensive end Simeon Rice publicly called Gruden a “scumbag” — and none of Gruden’s former players rushed to his defense.