Gruden keeps door back to coaching wide open


One of the things that makes Jon Gruden such a great broadcaster is that he has a tremendous amount of passion.  The kind of passion that comes from a guy who is still a head coach.

The kind of passion that, by all appearances, inevitably will make him a head coach again.

Gruden shares some of that passion with Bryant Gumbel in a profile to debut tonight on HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel (9:00 p.m. ET).  Gruden also addresses whether he has turned down offers to get back into coaching.

“Yeah, I’ve had opportunities to come back,” Gruden said, both at the pro and college levels.

So why hasn’t he?  “I don’t know,” Gruden told Gumbel.  “I’m trying to figure out — I’m trying to figure out where I’m going.  If the right opportunity presents itself, I will come back.”

That mindset speaks to the deeper tension that is keeping Gruden from becoming the best broadcaster he can be.  Though he predictably has denied it, Gruden suffers from the same affliction as any coach who chooses broadcasting as a bridge to his next job.  Coaches in that sort of professional limbo pull punches, choose words carefully, and (as in Gruden’s case) opt for superlatives over expletives when assessing any franchise, owner, coach, G.M., or player.

After all, the “right opportunity” may never present itself if Gruden burns bridges.

ESPN isn’t making it any easier for Gruden, narrowing the Monday night booth from three men to two and setting Gruden up to be in the star, quietly hopeful that he’ll become the guy we see when he’s breaking down film at the world headquarters of the Fired Football Coaches Association.

Ultimately, that’s what Gruden has to decide.  Does he want to jump back into the fray of full-blown stress and grinding and accountability along with 31 other coaches in the hopes of getting a second Lombardi Trophy, or does Gruden want to become the next John Madden?

For now, Gruden is delaying that decision as long as he can.  ESPN likely hopes that, via the passage of time and the unfolding of circumstance, that decision will make itself.

Until then, Gruden will remain perched on the middle of the fence as a very good broadcaster and very good coach but not nearly as good as he could be if he would pick one over the other.

60 responses to “Gruden keeps door back to coaching wide open

  1. “Or does Gruden want to become the next John Madden?”

    He can WANT to be the next John Madden, but he won’t.

    No way.

  2. I really wish that he would hurry up and do it.
    It’s painful to listen to his constant blather on MNF.

  3. “Gruden’s ego is huge. He’s probably planning for one of these jobs to open up: Pats, Eagles, or Packers.”

    Pats & Packers I understand. But why would anyone want the Philly job? Don’t HCs want to win the Super Bowl as much as players do? Philly is where you go when you want hype, not results. Unless your idea of winning the Super Bowl is winning it in August in the media. Then, Philly makes perfect sense.

  4. Gruden’s a horrible broadcaster because he’s never honest. You can’t love everybody as much as he does. And not every player on Monday is a great player.

  5. “One of the things that makes Jon Gruden such a great broadcaster is that he has a tremendous amount of passion.”

    Remember before PFT went corporate and they would rip on announcers who deserved it like Joey “Sunshine” Theisman? Those were good times. Jon Gruden is not a great broadcaster. Jaws was better, but apparently he didn’t say “this guy…” enough for the suits at ESPN.

    As a coach, Gruden is waiting to be able to jump into a situation with a talented team that hasn’t quite gotten over the hump like he did in Tampa. In other words, he’ll be in Detroit in three years.

  6. There is a strong possibility that his wife has everything to do with him not getting back into coaching for now. Gruden was notorious for burning the midnight oil. If he has young children, this allows him to make good money and have his thumb on the football pulse without having to commit the time required of an NFL coach. Time that he can spend with his family…

  7. It will be at the college level. There are rumors that if Dooley fails, he will take the Tennessee job. Sounds crazy, but its an SEC job and I doubt there are many openings in the SEC next year.

    I hope that Dooley does not fail. Really pulling hard for him and this years Vols. I like the addition of Sal Sunseri as the new Defensive Coordinator.

  8. As a Monday night football broadcaster he makes Mike Tirico look like a firebrand. Color, OK; analyst not so much. Add to this a kind of cavalier attitude to what the current rules are and how they apply and you have a broadcaster whose commitment should be questioned.

  9. He’s waiting for Juan Castillo to get Andy Reid kicked out of Philly or Jerrah to park a Brinks truck full of money along with total roster control in his driveway. Whichever comes first.

  10. Jaws was great but remember when he slipped and cursed on national tv?? Yea that eventually got him off the air.

    I don’t think chucky will coach again and deal with the stress. Why would he, he already won a Super Bowl with the team he grew up with. His dad was a bucs coach back in the bucs early years (late 70s). When he was still a adolescent/teen. He also grew up in Tampa. Why go back to the stress of being a head coach??

  11. He is not coming back for college jobs. And for those of you delusional Cleveland fans…how much style could new ownership set him up with in…Cleveland??? Detroit could be a possibility except he likes warm weather for the most part…..Would have taken him in a heartbeat in Charlotte 2 years ago (but we are very happy with Rivera).

  12. Chuckie as a commentator and Chuckie as a coach are polar opposites. Chuckie the coach collected QBs like trading cards and yelled at all of them. Chuckie the commentator loves everyone. Everyone is great and he’s just excited to be able to call the game.

    Honestly, he’s horrible and fake. It’s amazing that half the viewership doesn’t become diabetic from all the sugary, saccharin, sweetness of his broadcasts.

    You are correct in that he’s avoided ticking people off (mainly because he refuses to say anything bad about anyone) but I fail to see how that is a selling point to hire him as a coach. As a commentator he never honestly evaluates anyone or anything.

  13. Yes hes got passion I’ll give you that but he comes off as disingenuous because there is no one he can look at objectively. Everyone he talks to or about is the best ever.

  14. For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone can think that Gruden is a good broadcaster.

    I turn the sound off whenever I watch one of their games–which saves me a lot of aggrivation–and I KNOW I am not the only one who does that.

    To me, he’s the Worst, most Self Absorbed broadcaster since Bryant “Rick Romo” Gumbel.

    Try going to youtube and listen to Madden or Ray Scott, where worthless, self-promoting gibberish was NOT the norm–then watch a video of Gruden calling a game. I Guarantee you won’t be able to keep the sound on!

  15. “One of the things that makes Jon Gruden such a great broadcaster is that he has a tremendous amount of passion.”

    Except he isn’t a great broadcaster.

    He is awful.

    Although I did appreciate during last night’s broadcast that he let us know what U.F.O. stands for. Thanks Coach!!!

  16. I think Dallas would be the perfect spot for him next year if Garrett can’t get them over the hump this year. Gruden guided both Gannon and Brad Johnson to big things late in their career and he could possibly do the same thing for Romo and company.

  17. Like too many broadcaster-ex-football coaches, he’s too full of himself. Plus – he apparently can’t stand for there to be an “average” play. He simply MUST run his mouth on each and every one – regardless of whether there’s anything worthwhile to say. He’s mostly annoying. He also needs speech training to lose that monotonous sing-song delivery. No doubt he knows football – but his attempt to impart all his knowledge to the audience is a mistake. He needs to pick his places and replace quantity with interesting quality.

  18. The only NFL head coach more overrated than Gruden was Dungy.

    That said, I hope some foolish owner hands him the keys so we can get him off of Monday Night Football.

    A once proud announcing franchise has to be rolling over in their graves. This is the worst MNF broadcasting team EVER.

  19. I like Gruden the broadcaster. I think he could be even better explaining the intricacies of the game.
    You can see how involved he gets when he recognizes certain (favorite?) plays.

    A little less showbiz-ness and more football knowledge dissemination would make him the top broadcaster, IMO.

  20. He’s got a trophy. Why not travel around and have everything paid for and get more family time? Chucky will coach again when his kids grow up. Like him or not he’s livin the dream.

  21. Calling MNF games year after year has got to get boring after a while. Can’t blame him for still wanting to coach.

  22. I don’t believe the dismissal of Jaws was due to anything other than MNF trying to compete with the ratings of SNF. Copycat syndrome with only 2 in the booth now.

  23. I totally disagree with the premise that Gruden’s “such a great broadcaster”. Please let him know that there aren’t many jobs where he can take over a SuperBowl-ready team and win a championship in his first year while running it into the ground.

    That was Dungy’s team and he destroyed it. The Bucs still have not recovered.

  24. The expression “great play” or “great player” have completely lost their meaning thanks to broadcasters like Chucky. When a superlative is used to describe EVERY play, it has no meaning. Thank Brent Musberger for that as I think he started it 106 years ago.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Chucky, just not as a broadcaster.

  25. The next Dallas cowboys head coach: John Gruden. I could see Gruden thriving with America’s team, but Jerry Jones might be too overbearing for him to want to coach there. Now that we’re talking about Gruden coming back, what about Bill Cowher?

  26. jnewby74 says:
    Aug 21, 2012 9:34 AM
    Gruden’s a horrible broadcaster because he’s never honest. You can’t love everybody as much as he does. And not every player on Monday is a great player.
    He’s not as good as he could be because he avoids controversy like the plague. That doesn’t make him “horrible” though. His game analysis is very in depth from an x and o standpoint. I’m not sure that a color commentator really SHOULD be constantly talking about how bad certain people stink. There is such a thing as just talking about football without character assassination.

  27. Speaking of Bryant Gumbel. I don’t don’t how anyone could stand to watch the man. But each to own. Definition of a arrogant snob. So glad he is not on the traditional networks anymore.

  28. He’ll get back into coaching in San Diego. West Coast, solid yet under-achieving team and the ability to work with Rivers. At some point this season, Turner will go.

  29. If we use the same standards by which Gruden was calling every 3rd string player in the Eagles-Patriots game one of the best ever, then yes, Gruden is a “great” broadcaster.

  30. Here’s the thing about Gruden. He can’t coach. So he is waiting for a team on the verge of a championship to fall in his lap. Developing a team isn’t what he does.

  31. I love it when he broadcasts games with teams that run the West Coast offense. He learned from Mike Holmgren who learned from Bill Walsh who invented the offense. He gets excited seeing that the offense he loves and believes in still works 30 years later. I love it.

  32. Gruden is way too nice for broadcasting. He never critiques. Example, if a guy for Philly sucks on a specific play, Gruden will flip it and make it seem like the Patriot player is a football god in the making. Love Gruden, but I don’t care much for his broadcasting.

  33. Gruden is just increasing his leverage (to use one of PFT’s buzz words).

    If you want to maximize your pay as a broadcaster always keep the option to return to coaching available and if you want to return to coaching let it be known that it would take a HUGE contract to lure you away from your broadcasting gig.

  34. Pat Summerall and Al Michaels could say to Gruden ” I knew John Madden. i worked with John Madden. Sir, you are no John Madden”.

  35. the picture says it all…..i mean did anyone see how happy Chucky was walking around the field in Napa at camp….i mean he had perma grin on his face the entire day…..then he was high in the clouds running around the black hole before the kickoff against the cowboys Monday night…….that dude is a raider …plain and simple

  36. He’s gonna need to come back and win a Lombardi trophy in Oakland first…..if you’re gonna be calling him the next John Madden….eaaaasssy guy.

  37. Gruden and Jim Mora Jr. both want to coach in Cleveland (Gruden is from the area). Listen to their commentary when it comes to anything about the Browns. They’ll both babble about how the team just needs the right “leadership” and I’d put down money that both will spend the 2012 season giving their expert opinion on what a great job Clevelands new owner is to anyone who’ll listen even if the team is 0-12 and loosing by 20 in the 3rd quarter of game 13.

  38. I think John Gruden will coach agian and is most definately using ESPN to get his next gig… that is why he is sucking so badly being a broadcaster.

    He is by no means a great coach or will ever be in the same circle has Parcells, Walsh, Lombardy or Belichek… but he is good… Loved him with the Raiders … too bad mr just win baby didn’t think so.

  39. I love Gruden, but narrowing the MNF booth to two guys is too much Gruden. He’s passionate, and he definitely knows his sht, which is why he is awesome, but with only two guys in the booth now, and no Jaws to balance it out, its ALL Grueden ALL THE TIME. Every damn thing that comes up in the course of conversation, football related or otherwise, and Gruden comments. Its too much. Its gonna backfire. Im a fan of Gru-dawg, but its too much. Go back and coach the Eagles in a year or two.

  40. Are you kidding me? Gruden is NOT a great broadcaster. He gushes over every play and every player. Not every player is great. An announcer needs to be honest.

    Speaking of not being honest, he has no intention of returning to coaching as long as he has the TV gig. Why would he? Why go from a cushy job, that pays very well, and has pretty good job security to a job that is a pain in the butt, probably pays only marginally better, and has horrible job security?

    I realize coaching may pay quite a bit more, but it is relative. He will make millions either way, and be a lot more secure in the booth, so the difference in money is likely less of an issue than it would be at the pay levels most of us are at.

  41. He’s not good a coach, especially judging talent. Check out his drafting, it sucks. He took Tony Dungy’s team to the super bowl. Check that out as well.

  42. Ego always wins for guys like him. He will coach again, and if he fails, he can crawl back to the booth. It will be waiting for him with open arms. And he sucks there. He has nothing to lose.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!