There was a Sunday splash report that former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden is talking to the University of Tennessee about becoming the school’s next head coach. The report emerged just as Tennessee was about to hire Greg Schiano, which made the report a little suspect, to say the least.
But Schiano then got the catch-and-release treatment, clearing the way for more talks with Gruden.
Instead, UT has busted the budget and gone hunting for an even bigger name. Only not Gruden.
So what was the deal with Gruden and Tennessee? Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com explained several weeks ago on PFT Live that Gruden has no interest in coaching at Tennessee. Clearly, however, those who are interested in getting Gruden the most possible money for whatever he does in 2018 are interested in creating as much potential interest in Gruden as possible, even if that interest is embellished, exaggerated, and/or flat-out fabricated.
Gruden clearly wants something; otherwise, he wouldn’t be talking so much about returning to coaching. But here’s the beauty of his ambiguity: If Gruden never makes clear what he exactly wants, it will never seem as if he didn’t get what he wants.
So whether it’s coaching the Buccaneers, the Raiders, or some other NFL team, or whether it’s a new deal with ESPN’s Monday Night Football and, possibly, a new play-by-play partner (Kaufman said that Gruden really misses Mike Tirico), Gruden may indeed get something new — and the impression will be that that’s what he wanted all along.
Gruden’s situation was one of the topics on Tuesday’s PFT PM, which included the Week 12 awards and an interview of Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks.
Unfortunately, we taped it before the Eli Manning news broke. We’ll have plenty to say about that situation on Wednesday morning on PFT Live, where the guests will include Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.