Talk of a Jon Gruden return heats up in Tampa

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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.

78 responses to “Talk of a Jon Gruden return heats up in Tampa

  1. When I saw him and Rex Ryan foaming at the mouth on hard knocks over Desean, Mike Evans, Jameis, and the muscle hampster, I thought it was a no brainer. He’s a friend of the family and he’s got privileges in the building. No doubt they’ve considered bringing him back, if not just for turning that talented offense around, but filling seats in the stands. Sounds like a win win for Chucky and the Bucs.

  2. Pro Football has gotten out of hand. The look at me attitude, stupid clothes, political protests, bickering about not enough money, and just the overall poor quality. Pretty tired of the whole thing. Why would Gruden want to be shoveled in to the mess of coaching? Other than money and look at me…

  3. Only one job with a hell of a challenge would make him leave that cushy ESPN gig….his boyhood team, The Browns!

    Pick up the top QB in the 2018 Draft & go grab that veteran west-coast QB Gruden cherishes, Alex Smith.

    It would be a legacy defining job!

  4. Gruden’s agent has repeatedly floated rumors that he was set to go back to coaching in a bid to extract a better deal from ESPN. The simple fact is that Jon hasn’t coached an NFL team for 9 years and he probably still remembers what it is like to be fired by Tampa Bay. Don’t be surprised when he says he’s staying at ESPN, again. This is just a negotiating ploy.

  5. So we’re pushing this agenda now based on one guy’s opinion? How about another source to back up this claim?

  6. I think Gruden should consider how capable he’d be when it comes to dealing with flags on every play. He can hardly stand it from the booth when he doesn’t have a dog in the fight. How will he handle it when it’s his team getting its 26th flag of the game.

  7. As the saying goes, you can’t go home again. And that is particularly true when your one Super Bowl came with somebody else’s players and you never won a playoff game again after that. Without the Super Bowl year he was 6 games under .500 with the Bucs.

  8. Seems like Tampa likes the idea, but I bet they won’t like the reality of Gruden coming back. The first go-round he took Dungy’s team to a SB win, but they steadily declined immediately after. This time, he wouldn’t be taking a ready made championship contender and pushing them one extra step. He’d be having to build from the bottom up and I don’t think his resume reflects he has that capability. He had something going in Oakland, but jumped at the chance to run a team he didn’t have to build up. He just seems like the type who can whoosh in at the last second, make a splash, and fade fast leaving as big or bigger mess for the next guy to clean up.

  9. “Pro Football has gotten out of hand. The look at me attitude, stupid clothes, political protests, bickering about not enough money…”.

    Stupid clothes…how old can you be? Good grief, go watch professional shuffleboard or something. Leave those of who actually like to have fun alone.

  10. Most overrated head coach in recent NFL history. As long as he is handed a packed roster with an accomplished quarterback (as he was in Oakland and his first time through Tampa), he won’t break it for a few years. But that’s not the case now – Tampa Bay is well below average, and so is Winston.

    Caveat emptor, Bucs.

  11. Those clowns at ESPN has totally wrecked the chemistry of that network. It doesn’t look like anyone is having any fun anymore and I wouldn’t blame Gruden if he left. Those bean counters in the corner offices no nothing about broadcasting and how difficult it actually is. I just don’t watch ESPN anymore. Everything is forced and not organic.

  12. He’s not going anywhere. He knows it’s better to be courted by all than to take a job and sully his reputation.

  13. audio2sell says:
    November 14, 2017 at 8:28 am

    why would he want that. He has the easiest gig even if he hates Sean McDermott
    _________________________________________________________

    Why would hating the Bills coach have anything to do with him taking the Tampa job?

  14. All-American Voltron says:
    November 14, 2017 at 8:28 am
    In a league that has become star-starved, the return of Jon Gruden would be awesome!

    ___________________________________________________________________

    the league is anything but star-starved.

  15. Take a look at all the draft busts Gruden has picked in the past.
    An overrated mouth, who took the team built by Dungey to the Super Bowl.
    No thanks.
    Better yet, take him off ESPN

  16. I think that Jon Gruden returning to the Bucs for a 2nd HC stint would be just as disastrous as Art Shell’s 2nd HC stint with the Raiders.

  17. Often times, fans are much more passionate about winning than the families that own or inherit the teams. To a lot of owners, it’s just a business. I read the above arguments about whether or not Gruden can coach, but that doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether or not he can put fans in the stands. I know Gruden can coach if he has great players, but someone else has that responsibility, not Gruden.

  18. “but that doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether or not he can put fans in the stands.”
    ____________

    Nobody goes to games to see coaches. Ever. Winning teams draw fans. And outside the Super Bowl year Gruden had a losing record with the Bucs. And do we even need to mention he wasn’t the architect of the Super Bowl team?

  19. Gruden has a beautiful penthouse overlooking Clearwater Beach. If he went back to coaching, it would be in Tampa.
    I think he enjoys the current lifestyle and will most likely stay where he is currently employed.

  20. For his next act, Gruden floats out rumors hes interested in coaching the Harlem Globetrotters completing his task of being rumored to every coaching job in sports.

  21. Reading these comments over the years, it’s become apparent…In the long and storied history of the NFL there has never been a coach or announcer that anyone liked.

  22. Why would Gruden want to give up his job on ESPN to return as a head coach? The stress on head coaches is enormous and he has it good right now. I do not see him leaving.

  23. so much hat its crazy.. I find him annoying as an announcer as well, but would damn well take him over Mike McCarthy in GB.. McCarthey has zero creativity in play calling and depends on Rodgers to cover up all the stink of his and his Dom Capers led defense.. and if you didnt know Gruden has a history in GB

  24. I hope he gets this gig, but if they do offer him the job, they will need a strong personnel guy/GM to keep a collar on him. He is a good offensive coach but sucks at picking the groceries and managing a salary CAP.

  25. Like a commenter said above, it looks like a sports writer is writing his own script. There’s no way Gruden is leaving the booth.

    But if he DID come back to the Bucs, believe me, I’d be excited. His overall record isn’t amazing, but if you remove the Super Bowl hangover years (yes we had two) and the year we lost our starting QB in the third game and had to start rookie Bruce Gradkowski all year, the rest of the time Tampa Bay was always competitive.

    BUT, I would be MORE excited if Tony Dungy came back. TD would fix the damn defense, and be a steady hand in growing a young team into a consistent playoff team.

    Alas, Dungy has been adamant that he’s left the sideline for good.

  26. Gruden has to know that the ship is sinking at ESPN. It would be good for him to take a HC job somewhere at this point, whether NFL or a college gig. Not sure if TB is where he’d land, though Koetter has to go. But Gruden really needs to face reality about ESPN and jump ship.

  27. Gruden is the highest paid ESPN employee. Why woud he leave? He has a cushy gig on MNF and gets paid handsomely to do it. He gets to keep regular working hours to spend time with his family, friends, and his fishing boat. The Bucs are in a division with Brees, Newton, and Ryan, and he’d be stuck with a below average QB in Winston. Too much of an uphill climb just to compete in that division. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.

  28. Is Tony Dungy going to come back for a couple of years to set Gruden’s table with a ready-made championship team?

    If not, cue the legacy and reputation destruction.(And, the truth about a middling head coach being revealed for all to see.)

    The best thing Jon Gruden’s got going for him is that he’s only the 2nd most overrated coach in his family.

  29. I would much rather Coach college. Forget the NFL and their soft country club practices and weak overall product. Go to Tennessee or Nebraska and restore those programs and live, and get paid, like a king. All you have to do is recruit and stockpile talent, and run over inferior competition, out scheme equal or better competition.

    NCAA D1 is where it’s at.

  30. Bucs were foolish enough to Dump Dungee for Gruden years ago.
    Bring him back would be just as foolish.

    The only reason he won was with Dungees team that Mckay put together and he knew how to beat the one team he was prepared for.

    Didn’t take him long to run the Bucs off the rails after that did it??

  31. It would finally make things interesting in Tampa if nothing else…

    Gruden HC

    QB:
    Kirk Cousins – Jon is likely familiar with him because of his brother…
    Alex Smith – proven reliable and you know what you are getting..
    They will be in the top 5 picks – get best QB if one is there.. Excitement and hope restored to that fan base for a while!

  32. If he does go, can he pull Collinsworth out of the booth as well? Sunday and Monday nights would be much better.

  33. His only SB came with a team he didn’t build against a team he did build, and that team wasn’t even smart enough to change the name of the plays in their playbook after he left. Think about that for a minute.

  34. Gruden already has his Super Bowl ring as a Head Coach. Don’t expect him back coaching any NFL team anytime soon lol

  35. The Gruden’s have created a team of snowflake starters in Washington – the strength coach could be so incompetent as to blame for all of the injuries on this team this year along with Chubb’s Gruden running camp peppermint this last July.

  36. He made a comment last night about “this is why he loves coaching” and I immediately said he’s coming back next year.

  37. gurnblanstonreturns says:

    November 14, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Is Tony Dungy going to come back for a couple of years to set Gruden’s table with a ready-made championship team?
    ————————-
    Just like Tomlin with Cowher’s teams right??? Lol

  38. The most frequently repeated things in this thread are Gruden’s ties to Tampa, and people being tired of him at ESPN. Yet when this season is over close to a dozen teams may be considering a change at HC as well, some of whose rosters are much better suited for Gruden’s skill set than Tampa. It’s hard to believe Gruden wouldn’t weigh the odds on those before jumping blindly into Tampa.

    Now about ESPN. They may feel they need a shot in the arm after years of decline, and even if Gruden is nearly as popular as the folksy and extremely likeable John Madden, they may want a change just for the sake of change, and start looking at alternatives to Gruden. Trouble is that the kind of person it would take would have to be respected for his knowledge of the game, have impeccable credentials as a former player or coach, have the gift of gab along with “having a pair”, and carry an air of at least 1% disapproval to create a stir and passionate arguments among the fan base. At least a part of Gruden’s longevity is attributable to ESPN’s inability to come of with a person matching that package of requisites, and falling flat on their face if they make a bad decision.

    Maybe they think they have a bead on someone like that and are willing to take a chance on parting with Gruden. But who? So fans, be careful what you wish for.

  39. This guy just said Winston is “below average.”

    Christ Almighty.

    Koetter has ruined Jameis. Handcuffed him from playing his game.

    And paralyzed the entire offense in the process.

    Same with Mike Smith and the defense.

    Same for Licht and poorly stocking the roster, ESPECIALLY in the secondary and left tackle.

  40. dirtysouthironmen says:
    November 14, 2017 at 1:02 pm
    If he does go, can he pull Collinsworth out of the booth as well? Sunday and Monday nights would be much better.
    ————-

    Only people with IQs lower than the temperatures outside throughout most of the United States at the current time fail to “get” Collinsworth.

  41. tyelee says:
    November 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm
    It would finally make things interesting in Tampa if nothing else…

    Gruden HC

    QB:
    Kirk Cousins – Jon is likely familiar with him because of his brother…
    Alex Smith – proven reliable and you know what you are getting..
    They will be in the top 5 picks – get best QB if one is there.. Excitement and hope restored to that fan base for a while!
    ———-

    They have Winston, fool.

    And if they get Koetter out of the way, he will exceed (already has) anything either one of them can do individually.

  42. The “won with Dungy’s team” argument falls apart when you look and see 27 of the 53 players on the 2002 team never played for Dungy.

    Besides… Even if he did win with Dungy’s tram, didn’t Gruden’s old Raider team make it to the Super Bowl thar year too?

    Morons.

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