ESPN analyst Jon Gruden is widely expected to become the next head coach of the Raiders. Before that happens, he’ll call one more game for the four-letter network: Saturday, Kansas City. Titans at Chiefs.
It could create some tension, especially since the home team plays in the same division as the Raiders. But the friendship between Chiefs coach Andy Reid and Gruden apparently trumps any awkwardness. According to the Chiefs, they have no concerns about Gruden’s presence, and they won’t alter his access to practice or production meetings.
The Titans had no comment on whether Gruden’s access to production meetings involving Titans coaches and quarterback will be adjusted.
The Titans, in contrast, tell PFT that Gruden won’t be attending practice in advance of Saturday’s game. But that’s normal practice. Gruden attended practice prior to Tennessee’s October 16 game against the Colts, since it was a home game. Typically, the production crew attends the home team’s final practice of the week.
If the Titans keep Gruden out of production meetings, they’re handling it the right way. Friendship, schmendship; Gruden will soon be jumping back into the fray, and the Chiefs will be his enemy. Anything he sees or hears can and will be used against Kansas City later. If Gruden didn’t take that approach, he wouldn’t be properly doing the job that he likely will accept in the days after the last game of ESPN’s NFL season ends.