Jon Gruden coached the Buccaneers to their only championship. Could they bring him back to try to win another?
They might, as talk is heating up in Tampa that head coach Dirk Koetter is on the hot seat and Gruden could be his replacement.
Longtime Tampa reporter Ira Kaufman said today on PFT Live that he thinks Koetter needs to close strong if he’s going to save his job, and that the Buccaneers’ owners may think Gruden would energize the fan base.
“I think Koetter’s got seven weeks to prove that this team is still buying what he’s selling,” Kaufman said. “The stands are half empty, and there’s a guy out there that has a lot of juice and can fill those stands. . . . I’m starting to believe it for the first time, that Gruden’s coming back.”
Kaufman said he has heard that Gruden would be open to returning to coaching and would prefer the NFL, not college football, because he doesn’t like recruiting. Kaufman also said Gruden’s announcing career has run its course and that Gruden doesn’t have the same passion for the job now that he’s not paired with Mike Tirico, who became a close friend during their years together. Kaufman added that Gruden thinks highly of Jameis Winston, has mended fences with the Glazer family after they fired him at the end of the 2008 season, and would love to work with his son, Deuce Gruden, who currently works as a strength coach on Jay Gruden’s staff in Washington but would likely leave his uncle’s staff for his dad’s if Jon Gruden became a coach again.
Add it all up, and there are a lot of reasons to think a Gruden return would make a lot of sense.