The worst-kept secret in the NFL is being guarded even more recklessly.
Former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said this morning on ESPN Radio that there’s a “good chance” he’ll be the next coach of the Raiders, and that he has had talks with owner Mark Davis about the job.
“They’re still, I believe, going through the interview process,” Gruden said, acknowledging indirectly the requirement that the Raiders interview at least one minority candidate before making it official. “When he knows, I think we’ll all know.”
Gruden also said there is “no truth . . . at all” and “no validity to that, none, zero” that he’ll reportedly get a piece of ownership of the team. That technically constitutes ESPN-on-ESPN crime, given that ESPN reported an ownership stake was in place.
Gruden also made it clear that he’s ready to return to coaching, explaining that “you miss the players, you miss the grind, you miss the journey.” He added that “[t]he peaks and valleys that go along with the football season are things that all coaches always miss when they get away from it.”
So he wants to come back, he intends to come back, and none of the other teams looking for coaches are pursuing him.
There’s not a “good chance” he’s coming back. There’s a “great chance.” And there’s a very real chance that the Chiefs or the Titans will be concerned about the future coach of the Raiders hanging out at practice and/or attending production meetings as he plans to jump back in to competing with both franchises directly.
Which is exactly how Al Davis would have wanted it.