As seats heat up, Gruden muses about a return to coaching

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With all teams playing eight games and some already with nine in the books, the coaches who are coaching for their jobs through December 31 are coming in to focus. So is one of the potential candidates to replace them.

Former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden took a break from talking turkey hole to talk turkey with Rich Eisen on Friday. And it’s clear that, regardless of whether Gruden ultimately decides to return in 2018, it’s worth making a call.

It’s in your blood,” Gruden told Eisen regarding a possible return to coaching, via “You get some people calling maybe to see if you’re interested in coaching again and maybe if you can help recommend a couple of guys. I’m pretty much involved with every level of football every day of the week, so I try to help if I can.

“One of these days, who knows, Rich? One of these days, you never know.”

Translation: One of those days could be coming soon.

“I have talked to people in years past. I plan on just keeping my options open,” Gruden said. ”If something comes along down the road, we’ll take a look at it.”

Translation: Call me.

It’s a very delicate spot for Gruden. Coaches who fear losing their jobs typically don’t appreciate it when a candidate for one of those jobs starts waving and shouting “over here!” while owners are trying to figure out what to do with the coaches they have. And with Monday Night Football games over the rest of the year including embattled (that sounds nicer than “sucky”) teams like the Texans, Ravens, Bengals, and Buccaneers, things could get a little awkward in the production meetings.

Things definitely will get awkward on December 18, when Gruden returns to Raymond James Stadium to call the Week 15 game against the Falcons — and to enter the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor. With the pirate ship taking currently taking on more water than the Orca, it could be even worse in five weeks, which will make fans chant even more loudly for Gruden’s return to the team.

If ownership, which fired four coaches in eight years before hiring Dirk Koetter, decides before Week 15 to make it five in 10, don’t be shocked if Dirk already is residing in the belly of the shark when Chucky comes back to Tampa.

Until then, Gruden will be vaguely whistling Show Me the Way to Go Home.

40 responses to “As seats heat up, Gruden muses about a return to coaching

  1. I would love to know if Gruden is gearing up for another contract negotiation with ESPN. One of the biggest scams in the NFL is how these coaches-turned-broadcasters try to drum up interest from NFL teams so they can tell the executives at their network, “if you don’t pay me X million to sit in this cushy chair and work two days a week I’ll get X million to work my tail off 7 days a week for 80 hours as a head coach.”

    Like they would do that (not to mention risk pulling a Joe Gibbs and soiling their reputation).

    Bill Cowher has perfected this. Jimmy Johnson before him. I would love to see one of these networks call their bluff for once.

  2. wib222 says:
    November 12, 2017 at 8:34 am

    maybe he should go to Miami,they need all the help to beat the pats
    Gase isn’t on the hot seat in Miami. Maybe you’d like to try a smarter guess?

  3. He wasn’t that good the last time he coached, and he had control of everything after he pushed McKay out and installed his lackey, Bruce Allen. So he’s supposed to be better 10 years later? Okay.

  4. This has become an annual event. Gruden reminds me of Charles Barkley. Those guys like to keep their name in the paper. When Barkley was a player, he’d put out the rumor that he might be retiring that year. That went on for several years. Then, after he retired, he’d put out the rumor every year that he was thinking about a comeback. That went on for several years too. None of it ever happened, but it kept his name in the headlines. It was a great strategy because it helped build their brand, but don’t take it too seriously.

  5. Gruden is an overrated coach. He inherited a great roster and turned it into a ring – which I why I say rings aren’t the only or even the best way to judge an individual. Team maybe, individual, no. But if it would get him out of the booth? I’d take it.

  6. The yearly tradition, where a “lot of teams” show interest, gruden bats his eyes, and ESPN gives him more money. Funny or embarrassing, not sure what it is.

  7. I can see the Ravens and Bengals benefiting from a change and the Bucs being the Bucs and the Glazers being the Glazers its to be expected that Koetter’s chair has never been cool to the touch but things were looking pretty good in Houston before Watson went down. Coming back from injury to a new system isn’t the way to set him up for success, it’s the GM that needs to go there. Curious why it wasn’t noted the seats are probably more than a little warm in Cleveland, NY (Giants) and possibly Miami never mind Indy where Pagano’s derriere is already burnt to a crisp.

  8. Don’t think Gruden’s going to give up his cushy broadcasting gig, ‘Gruden’s QB Camp’, NFL Draft commentary, and the Corona commercials to go back to the grind and accountability of being an NFL HC. He’s just doing his periodic thing to keep himself even more in the slimelight. And yet people fall for it.

  9. Gruden can cook the meal. He doesn’t know how to shop for the groceries. If he really went back to coaching, I hope he would have a competent GM, not a puppet like Bruce Allen.

  10. The only place he wants to coach is with the Raiders. That’s the only job he would take. He said that at least 5 times already. Raiders almost hired him but he decided to stay with ESPN instead, he thought Del Rio would fail and he would get Carr at his prime….Maybe he will

  11. If he comes into the right situation, he could help put a team over the top. Some like him and some don’t but if he does come back and does win another SB he will be the modern day John Madden and will take over as such for EA sports.

  12. ihateravens says:
    November 12, 2017 at 9:20 am
    If players listen to him as much as I do during his broadcasts then he will lose the team in 2 weeks.
    Exactly what I was thinking here. Comment of the day.

  13. Not a fan, but given that the other she was about the drop at ESPN I think it’s probably smart for him to start looking around and take a good opportunity coaching.

  14. I don’t like Gruden, never have. He inherited a great team in Tampa, rode them to a Super Bowl HIS FIRST YEAR and then RODE THEM INTO THE GROUND thereafter.
    All that said, remember this name: Dick Vermiel
    He was out of NFL coaching a long, long time as a college football announcer and he got hired again. TWICE.

  15. ESPN is losing money, have already fired several on-air personnel and have stated they intend to do more cuts–specifically targeting SportCenter anchors (their bread & butter throughout their history). That turkey hole fiasco was absurd and many fans were angry (more than normal). It is possible ESPN told Gruden they are dropping him after this year (or dropping MNF altogether in the future) and that means his income is now in jeopardy. THAT is the only reason he would return to coaching regardless of any aw shucks I love coaching garbage that comes out of his mouth. Remember, he was always talking about returning until he landed a long term contract. After that not a word…until now.

  16. If Gruden throws his hat in the ring, you know he will be looking for a huge salary number along with a high level of team control. If I am an owner, that’s a risk I am just not taking. There are younger, cheaper guys out there with as much potential upside at a much lower cost.

  17. If he’s coming back… he’s coming back for $15 millions a year… AND HE MAY GET IT.I wish him well. I was a big time Raiders fan but after Al Davis “did him” and he went to Tampa Bay I was rooting for Gruden in the Super Bowl. His players but in and bleed out for him. You cannot find those kind of coaches anymore. We are one, one are we is not coached anymore. He isn’t only a coach, he’s a leader of men. Men who don’t want to let him down and buy into his system. I would blame him though if he stayed in the booth where he doesn’t have to deal with those owner DIVA’s. Jimmy Haslam should bring him BACK to Cleveland to bleach us of this losing mentality but he’s just a hick with lots of money and not smart enough or brave enough to make a move like that.

  18. It’s amazing how bored entertainment media must be to have to dredge this up every year. Where are the Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Mike Ditka, and Tony Dungy to return to coaching stories?

  19. dejadoh says:
    November 12, 2017 at 1:21 pm
    Where are the Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Mike Ditka, and Tony Dungy to return to coaching stories?

    Shula is in an old folks home wearing Depends instead of pants, Ditka is in his own home wearing no pants, Dungy is wearing a fraudulent halo and Jimmy is wearing a smile all the way to the bank. And even now every one of them could probably still coach rings around Pagano or McaDoodle.

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