Mort: Keep an eye on Jon Gruden as a coaching candidate


When Jon Gruden’s name comes up as a candidate for head-coaching vacancies, ESPN likes to point out that Gruden is under contract to remain the color commentator for Monday Night Football. But the reality is that Gruden could leave the booth for the sideline if he gets the right offer, and one of ESPN’s top NFL information men acknowledged that today.

Appearing on Mike and Mike in the Morning, Chris Mortensen said that when looking at the seven teams that fired their head coaches on Monday, it would be wrong to overlook the possibility of Gruden filling one of those vacancies.

“I have to say, we all have to watch our Jon Gruden — ESPN’s Jon Gruden,” Mortensen said. “It makes everybody at ESPN nervous when we say that, but we haven’t heard one way or the other. He is very happy at ESPN, but we know that he is on the tip of a lot of tongues with NFL people.”

Mort deserves credit for acknowledging what ESPN sometimes tries to ignore: Gruden is a Super Bowl-winning coach who would surely be an intriguing candidate for several NFL owners, and he’s a competitor who would surely be intrigued by an offer from a place where he thinks he could win. Gruden could coach somewhere in 2013, and it’s good to hear that fact mentioned on ESPN.

51 responses to “Mort: Keep an eye on Jon Gruden as a coaching candidate

  1. Who would know about this guy … If it wasn’t for the roster that Dungy built and was forced to hand over??

  2. Chucky has been a very good coach over the years and would do very well somewhere in the league. As a MNF viewer, it’s obvious that Chucky has kept his options open – especially when describing players. He “really loves this guy” or he thinks “this guy could be special”. It was obvious that Chucky didn’t want to have any negative comments to affect any potential future coaching relationships with prospective players that could come under his command one day.

  3. Something about Gruden makes it seem like he wants to be chased around and fought over more than him having a serious desire to return to coaching.

  4. ESPN…… the final straw came the other day when mort or one of their other nfl insiders proclaimed the Jets drafting has been horrible since Eric Mangini left. Now they are just sucking up to each other around Bristol…..

  5. Let me tell you something about this guy Jon Gruden. This guy gives 110% every day. He comes in at 5 am and leaves at midnight and just eats, sleeps, and breathes football. He’s one of the best in the business. This guy is a gamer and I tell ya, I’d love to have a guy like that on my team.

  6. Cant help but think he’d fit in Chicago. That Tampa defense was great when he won the title with them, this Bears defense is pretty darn good too. And the offense is much better than Tampas was.

  7. I hope he ends up in Philly so they can get tired of his losing and that chucky face he makes it would be classic !

  8. Dungy consistently failed with that same roster in Tampa that Gruden won a SB with. I swear people have selective memory. It wasn’t until he had Peyton as a QB that he won a SB. Gruden won it w/ Brad freakin’ Johnson.

  9. If Jeff Lurie really wants to win a Super Bowl he’d make Jon Gruden an offer he couldn’t refuse.

  10. By far the most overrated coaching candidate. We go through this every year.

  11. Gruden may gave won a SB with a Dungy built team but in that SB he was playing against a team he built.

    Callahan took Gruden’s Raiders (#1 offense) to the SB and Chucky destroyed them with his #1 defense. Callahan wasn’t even smart enough to change the audibles for the game, Gruden knew EVERYTHING that was going to happen. Hell, Gruden played Gannon in the scout offense leading up to that week. That was Gruden’s team in silver and black and I have no doubt that had it been Gruden/Dungy in that game, Gruden win a SB for Oakland.

    Gannon had what 5 INTs that game?

    Heck he was the last coach to really do ANYTHING in Oakland.

    Gruden can coach. 100-85-0 with a ring.
    40-28 in Oakland

    Show me another available HC candidate with such a record.

  12. Saying he took Dungy’s team to the Super Bowl is a fair argument. However, with that argument you need to remember the team he beat in that Super Bowl was the Raiders…a team that Gruden groomed for success.

  13. So what if Gruden took “Dungys team” to the Super Bowl? What about the Raiders coach who took “Grudens team” to the game? Why has nobody been pissing and moaning about that?

  14. All of the people that say he inherited the team from Dungy are wrong. They both inherited the team Sam Wyche built.

  15. Gruden is going to be roaming the sidelines soon, and deservedly so. If he would have stayed in Oakland ( I mean, if Mr. Davis didn’t trade him to the Buc) the RAIDERS would have a couple extra rings.

    Even despite that travesty in the snow that was Gruden’s last game with the Silver and Black.

    Good luck Chucky, the NATION still appreciates what you did for the team and the franchise.

  16. Gruden grew up in Sandusky, OH an hour west of Cleveland as a Brown’s fan. His father said last year if he ever coached again, the Browns would be his dream job. His son said a year ago he thought they would be mving to Cleveland because his dad wants to coach the Browns.

    All this talk of Philly, 2nd city is speculation. Probably is staying at ESPN but if he goes anywhere, it’ll be Cleveland.

    Just do some research.

  17. I don’t care where he goes as long as he is out of broadcasting forever. MNF with the sound up … what a concept.

  18. Please. Some team … any team … hire him and get him off TV. His interview/butt kissing routine is ridiculous.

  19. maddenisfordorks says:
    Jan 1, 2013 9:37 AM
    Who would know about this guy … If it wasn’t for the roster that Dungy built and was forced to hand over??

    Could really care less what Gruden does, but he did what Dungy could not do with that team, win the Super Bowl. Every team is “built” by someone else.

  20. @oakraid

    You might be on to something my friend. The conditions are very much the same in Chicago now as they were in TB prior to Gruden arriving. You have a top notch team with an awesome defense and well respected coach that for one reason or other, they can’t get to the “promised land”. Enter Gruden to tweak the team and just maybe….

    I see Lovie Smith to a young team with the great young qb in place that may just need to hear a new calm voice in his ear to be a winner. Lovie in Carolina would be a very bold, and I think, solid move from a Panther team that is trying to move passed the Saints and Falcons in their division. Could be deja vu all over again.

  21. Dungy and Gruden are about the same level as coaches go. I don’t think one is really better then the other to be honest. And when you look at their careers it was their GM’s who really put the talent out there and they coached the players.

    I could agree and say he inherited Dungy’s team but you could say the same thing about Gruden’s opposing team in the Superbowl the Raiders wasn’t Callahan’s and it was Gruden’s team couldn’t you? Tit for tat. Good coaches when you got the right GM

  22. Who wants to bet his intention is Chargers? He needs a QB and a defense. He wants to win immediately.

    Philly is just a leverage play.

  23. Gruden is a tease, much like Bill Cowher he only likes to be danced at this point. They prefer wearing designer suits & getting free manicures rather than competing on the gridiron anymore

  24. As an Eagle fan i would like to see Gruden named a head coach of an Eagle opponent. it would be like coaching against a “pop warner coach”.

  25. What gets me is Gruden’s reputation as some sort of quarterbacking guru.

    If that’s the case, then you should have no trouble naming a young QB that Gruden has developed into a quality NFL quarterback. Just one name?

    Chris Simms? Bruce Gradkowski? Come on.

    Gruden’s success happened with veteran QB’s like Rich Gannon, Brad Johnson, and Jeff Garcia, each of whom had years of NFL experience prior to playing for Gruden.

    And once they became successful, it was only a year or two before Gruden would publicly undermine and alienate his quarterbacks, thereby compromising their role as team leaders. Just ask Brad Johnson, Jeff Garcia, or Chris Simms what they think about Gruden. It isn’t pretty.

    Personally, I think Gruden’s ego won’t allow him to share any of the credit for the team’s success. It’s okay for his players to be recognized… long as everyone understands that he’s the one calling the shots. And when one player starts receiving too much credit (which is typical of quarterbacks), then Gruden starts looking for ways to knock the guy back down.

    And if that criticism undermines the entire team’s success… be it. As long as Gruden’s ego remains intact.

  26. I really hope Gruden gets a job. That way I won’t have to listen to his inane, redundant lauding of every player on the field.

  27. Tony Dungy couldn’t get over the hump in Tampa. Then he took over Jim Mora’s team (no one ever mentions that) and sat by as Peyton Manning coached the Colts to a Super Bowl. Enough of this Tony Dungy as some kind of great coach nonsense. Andy Reid used to out-coach him in the playoffs every year, but when Gruden took over Gruden took Reid to school.

  28. Gruden had 2 teams in the Superbowl that year. He built the Raiders, and did what Dungy couldn’t and won the Superbowl with the Bucs. He would be a great addition for any team. Don’t understand all the negative talk about one of the hardest working guys in NFL history.

  29. Stop talking about “Dungy’s team. Gruden built the other team in that Superbowl. If you recall the words from Lynch and other Bucs, gruden’s insight on Oakland is what won that game. He didn’t walk into the raider team, he built it.

  30. I don’t know if Lurie is interested, but I do know that:
    1) Gruden loves Philly. He was OC there and always raves about the intensity of the fans.
    2) Nick Foles is his guy. Foles was at his camp and on his show prior to the draft. I have also heard that he is partially responsible for Foles being an Eagle, and if that’s true, the connection/foundation is already in place.

  31. I would imagine that his buddy, and good friend, Jimmy Haslam will make a big run for him. He tried to get him in at University of Tennessee earlier this year.

    Now that he officially owns the Browns, I think Haslam has his sights set on him becoming the Browns next head coach. A few GM’s around the NFL said that the Cleveland opening, would be #1 or #2 in terms of roster. Here’s the link.

  32. Gruden has recently signed a contract extension with ESPN, beginning in September 2012, which will lengthen his tenure with the broadcasting company for another five years.

    Don’t know what it would take to get out of this contract. He may want to call Saban……LOL

  33. Enough about Dungy this, and Gruden that, give Rich Gannon some credit to, he set a superbowl record by throwing 5 TD passes that game.

    About time we start hearing about the ex-coaches…let start the circus, let me hear about Cowher, Billick, Dungy, etc….and why you are at it, see if Parcells or Switzer are interviewing as well

  34. Here’s what everyone else seems to ignore: Gruden did not build that Super Bowl winning team…he inherited it from Tony Dungy. Make no mistake, that team was going to the Super Bowl with or without Gruden.

  35. Not only did he have coach Dungy”s team, his only made the playoffs twice after the SB victory. His record after the victory was very average. I simply do not understand the FRENZY surrounding his possible return! Meanwhile, coach S., formally of The Bears, who has a similar record receives the pink slip.

  36. Jon Gruden will be a good coach for an established team with an established roster such as the Philadelphia Eagles or the Chicago Bears just because he has that experience with Oakland and Tampa. He failed miserably his last few years in Tampa because his roster got old except for a rookie QB. Yes, he can scout a QB pretty well but maybe he can make Chicago/Philly (if hired) to go back to the promise land while grooming a young rookie QB behind Cutler or Vick (who he loves to watch when commentating). He can definitely do it like Mike Shanahan/Plummer/Cutler.

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