Jon Gruden to call Saturday’s Titans-Chiefs game, creating potential for conflict

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ESPN has reported that Jon Gruden is the next head coach of the Raiders, but Gruden isn’t done working for ESPN.

An ESPN spokesman confirmed to PFT this morning that Gruden is still scheduled to call Saturday’s Titans-Chiefs playoff game, along with play-by-play man Sean McDonough and sideline reporters Lisa Salters and Adam Schefter. It was Schefter who reported for ESPN on Sunday night that Gruden is going to be the next head coach of the Raiders.

That raises questions about whether there’s a conflict between Gruden doing his job as an analyst and Gruden preparing for his next job as a coach. When FOX made Panthers tight end Greg Olsen a guest analyst for one game this season, the Vikings complained that it gave a player on an opposing team more access to their preparations than they were comfortable with an opponent having. FOX agreed to limit Olsen’s access, but the Vikings still weren’t satisfied and didn’t want Olsen working the game at all.

So will the Titans and Chiefs feel the same way? Despite Gruden having a good relationship with Andy Reid dating to their days together on the Packers’ staff in the 1990s, the Chiefs presumably don’t want the Raiders’ next head coach to have access to their preparations. The Titans don’t play the Raiders next year but will still be competing for them for an AFC playoff berth and likewise can’t be thrilled with the idea of the Raiders’ next coach having access that they’d never afford the head coach of another rival team.

And how closely will the NFL monitor Gruden’s contact with Titans and Chiefs players? If Gruden makes a comment about a pending free agent on one of those teams along the lines of, “That’s the kind of player I’d love to coach,” he would surely argue that he was just doing his job as an analyst by pointing out a player who’s playing well. But the Chiefs, the Titans and the NFL might consider such comments an example of the coach of one team tampering with players under contract to another team.

So it’s a thorny situation Gruden will be on Saturday, when he steps into the ESPN booth for what everyone expects will be the last time.

65 responses to “Jon Gruden to call Saturday’s Titans-Chiefs game, creating potential for conflict

  1. Thorny why? He hasn’t taken the job yet. Until that paper is signed, no matter what people think, there is no legal conflict. He has every right to finish out the year in his old job.

  2. I’m curious if any other HC has been away from coaching the game for several years and make a successful comeback? My prediction is “train meet wreck”…..

  3. The Chiefs and Titans are two sorry — teams like the guy on Jacksonville said. Waste of space in the playoffs. So many good teams have to be left out because the league can come to there senses and have the teams with the best records in the playoff field instead of this goofy system.

  4. NFL might consider such comments an example of the coach of one team tampering with players under contract to another team.

    Really, I thought he was still employed by ESPN, what team has hired him as a coach?

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gruden waits a year for the Bucs job to open up. He left Oakland for a reason and it would not shock me if he changes his mind.

  6. He doesn’t have the job yet, what about the Rooney rule? Surely no team would would bring in someone just for a token interview.

  7. I don’t understand all the hate for gruden here on pft. I thought he was great on tv. I always liked how he would call out the refs for bad penalties.

  8. So there is a difference between him sitting up in the booth or sitting at home watching the game? I’ve heard some stupid stuff before but people continue to amaze me this idiocy. I would argue that he is more distracted when he’s sitting up in the booth explaining what a Turkey Hole is.

  9. He’s coaching the Raiders right? They still have Derek Carr right? Yeah, it won’t matter….they will still be lucky to win 6 games next season…

  10. This is no issue at all. Gruden already knows everything there is to know about Andy Reid. There is a mutual respect between Reid and Gruden. Gruden is the last guy Andy Reid is worried about.

  11. .
    Another screw up by the lame brains at 345 Park Avenue. Why should the coach of one division rival be given unfettered access to the players and practices of another? Nobody is tuning in for the game solely for the color commentator.

    The NFL and ESPN are creating an unnecessary controversy because “Next man up” works in the broadcast booth. Aikman, Romo and Collinsworth are interchangeable to me. Their analysis is essentially the same. ESPN has plenty of people who could handle this assignment.
    .

  12. logicalvoicesays says:
    January 1, 2018 at 10:48 am
    The Chiefs and Titans are two sorry — teams like the guy on Jacksonville said. Waste of space in the playoffs. So many good teams have to be left out because the league can come to there senses and have the teams with the best records in the playoff field instead of this goofy system.

    ———
    You want to make the playoffs….win your division. It’s pretty simple.

    Moreover, I can think of no formula in which that steaming pile in Washington would have earned a spot in the postseason

  13. The difference is that Gruden is not currently employed by an NFL team.
    A future game 9 months from now is far different than a future game 3 weeks from now.

    I think the potential tampering issue is a bigger concern.

    But I still think Gruden is angling for a raise from BSPN.
    He does this every couple of years.

  14. mrbigass says:
    January 1, 2018 at 10:47 am
    I’m curious if any other HC has been away from coaching the game for several years and make a successful comeback? My prediction is “train meet wreck”…..
    _______________________________________________________________

    Yes, Dick Vermeil.

  15. No conflict and a complete non-issue. If it was, the NFL would have a prohibition on teams signing players or hiring assistants from teams they will be facing the following year.

  16. The great thing about the Raiders is they could have the Chiefs playbook and still lose the game. I like Gruden but what’s going to happen if the owners don’t agree to the sweetheart ownership deal Mark Davis is offering?

  17. What the Chiefs and Titans will be doing over the next week is preparing and installing a game plan. That game plan will be on full display for the entire world to see next Saturday. Film of the that game will be openly available for any coach in the league to obtain and study. There is, in fact, zero competitive advantage to be gained by Gruden, or any coach, for next season by seeing that game plan in advance. The Chiefs most likely won’t even have the same starting QB next year.

    The Olsen situation was different. The Panthers were playing the Vikings a few weeks later. Information such as the true status of injured players which might have been valuable to Olsen will be meaningless for Gruden.

    As for contact with players, I’m not sure what year you think it is, but people today don’t need to be in the same room to talk to each other. If Gruden wants to tamper with a player, there are far better ways than to walk up to one of them on the practice field.

  18. When exactly did Jon Gruden become Vince Lombardi? I’ve never seen a guy so sought after. I don’t think he’s a bad coach, he obviously won a Super Bowl, but we haven’t seen this guy on a sideline for a decade. I’m not saying he is or isn’t a good head coach, I’m just saying that clamoring you hear for this guy at both the NCAA and NFL level, you’d think he had Bill Belichick’s resume.

  19. If he would rather be on a sideline in December in Cleveland than a nice warm booth (I would guess money is not a factor) then good for him

    I personally would not miss his “That guy really knows how to make that play!” schtick.

  20. mrbigass says:
    January 1, 2018 at 10:47 am
    I’m curious if any other HC has been away from coaching the game for several years and make a successful comeback? My prediction is “train meet wreck”…..

    How about a little bit of homework before posting, Dick Vermiel He returned to coaching after 15 yrs and won a SB with the St Louis Rams in 1999

    Like Gruden he was an TV Analyst.This a very good move by Raiders, Demential Al should have never fired him in the first place!

  21. occoconut says:
    January 1, 2018 at 10:57 am
    He doesn’t have the job yet, what about the Rooney rule? Surely no team would would bring in someone just for a token interview.
    ——————-

    Why does the Rooney rule even apply for each and every vacancy? Surely the Raiders have played a substantial role in giving minorities and women opportunities and should be given a waiver: Flores, Shell, Jackson, Trask, McKenzie, and a number of offensive/defensive coordinators.

  22. shadywarrior says:
    January 1, 2018 at 11:16 am
    When exactly did Jon Gruden become Vince Lombardi?

    Right about the time the ratings dropped. More hype than substance. Not saying he sucks but the fraternity of coaches has guys landing on teams after failing in the previous city. Sorta Hollywoody kinda thing.

  23. shadywarrior says:
    January 1, 2018 at 11:16 am
    When exactly did Jon Gruden become Vince Lombardi? I’ve never seen a guy so sought after. I don’t think he’s a bad coach, he obviously won a Super Bowl, but we haven’t seen this guy on a sideline for a decade. I’m not saying he is or isn’t a good head coach, I’m just saying that clamoring you hear for this guy at both the NCAA and NFL level, you’d think he had Bill Belichick’s resume.

    ———

    BB forgot more about football this morning when he relieved himself than Gruden ever knew.

    I feel bad for Raiders’ fans as they are once again giving themselves false hope

  24. The EZ way to end this is to just ask Gruden if he has a verbal agreement to coach the Raiders.

    If he says yes he’s off the broadcast. And if he says no he should be off the broadcast to. The guy is totally annoying no matter what game he calls.

  25. Romo is an amazing commentator. I never liked him as a player or a person but he is truly a league above anyone else calling games today.

    I agree with most people here, this is a non-issue. However, image is everything. If there are enough people that take umbrage with it, reassign him or just release him from his duties. No big deal, no big loss.

    As for Rooney rule, it is a simple concept. If you can’t comprehend it, that’s just your racism. It is simply adding a minor step to ensure guys don’t get overlooked, and that they get experience in the process. It doesn’t require any kind of favoritsm or advantage.

  26. Chucky and Andy ; “Friends till the end” lol I’m curious to see how this return to coaching goes. Yes he is still very much involved with the game, but the dude hasn’t been a coach in a very long time. Wish Chucky and Mark much success in the future.

  27. So all it takes is a rumor to get somebody canned from their TV job, that’s what’s next from the far left.

    Talk about a slippery slope, wow.

  28. Olson situation completely different: he was a player on roster, scheduled to play the team he was reporting on. To stay on the broadcast was completely self-serving.

    Gruden may not want to tip his hand until the deal is inked, but the honorable thing would be to limit yourself from accessing information & let the teams you are reporting on determine their own level of comfortability.

  29. Gruden has been out of coaching too long…… the game has passed him by……. he will be an average 6-10 coach his second time around

    Vermeil was out for 15 years…how did that turn out for him? Both went into broadcasting after coaching and kept up to date with the players and the game during that time. Gruden is the type that will be there first and leave last, like he was the first go around with the Raiders…he has much to gain with getting the team back on track, the outcome will be his legacy.

  30. If Gruden is able to get Vic(Lord Fangio) you can start taking the Raiders seriously. A good O Line Coach running game Coordinator like Greg Roman or Bill Callahan is the key as well. Actually he can just retain Mike Tice.

  31. What does it matter he has already called games for both of these teams already this season….and for the last several seasons, this game he isn’t going to learn anything more about the teams than he already knows.

  32. Gruden is a good football coach who won a Super Bowl with the Bucs and lost a chance at another one when he was Raiders coach because of the dumbest rule on the planet — the tuck rule.
    Gruden lives and breathes football by all accounts and the only knock I have on him as a commentator is the last guy to make a big play is the greatest NFL player who ever lived (at least that’s what Gruden tries to make us believe).
    The question is, can he go back with the same commitment he had before? The key for him if he signs with the Raiders I think, is he had a franchise QB and he knows GM Reggie McKenzie well from their days in Green Bay together.
    The most successful coach to have left the game for any period of time and then return is Dick Vermeil. He is the rare head coach who returned and won a Super Bowl with a different team.

  33. @nyneal

    Fwiw, not all that rare for former Head Coach of one team to win a Super Bowl as Head Coach of another team. In the last ten years alone you have Belichick, Coughlin and Carroll as HC’s of five Super Bowl winners combined. They all cut their HC teeth with different teams.

  34. Ultraviolet Thunder says:
    January 1, 2018 at 2:45 pm
    No more conflict than with Troy Barkman calling nearly every Cowboy game.

    ————–

    There no explaining the clear difference if you don’t see it automatically.

  35. wny49er says:
    January 1, 2018 at 10:56 am
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Gruden waits a year for the Bucs job to open up. He left Oakland for a reason and it would not shock me if he changes his mind.

    ——————————–

    He was traded because of conflict with Al Davis. Not sure how that applies to the Raiders now, so the ‘he left Oakland for a reason’ doesn’t really hold any water.

  36. Gruden has already covered multiple Chiefs MNF games this year, along with most the other teams in NFL. Coaches are aware of his brother Jay being in the league, and the possibility of his potential return to coaching. The idea that teams are openly divulging all their secrets is a little ridiculous.

    Does Jon have a little advantage having been around all these teams? Sure. But he’s also been out of coaching for 9 years. I doubt the Chiefs are sweating this and will be cautious as they usually are about what they share with media people.

  37. Since his new team is not in the playoffs and he isn’t even “officially” a Head Coach yet, this is not a conflict of interest. It’s just made up nonsense.

    This is what happens when you go for a 24 hour news cycle. There is just not enough real news to fill the space so they make up stuff.

  38. Gruden pass his broadcasting gifts to Tony Romo. Can’t wait to see how Gruden coaches again you know he has some Spider 2 Y Banana-type plays

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