Jon Gruden put an end to coaching speculation early this year, halting the speculation of his return to the NFL by saying he’s quite happy in his current job.
Gruden, who works as an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, said this week that he has no interest in coaching the Detroit Lions or Houston Texans or any of the other half dozen or so teams with vacancies.
“I don’t want to be considered for any of these jobs,” Gruden told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “I don’t want to be considered for anything. There are plenty of good candidates out there. I’m just sick for the guys who can no longer coach their teams. … I’m hoping to do the best I can to hang on to my job.”
That is a change from past seasons, when Jon Gruden remained quiet and was considered a dark horse candidate for many openings.
In fact last week reports emerged that Gruden could return to his previous post with the Oakland Raiders. CBS’ Jason LaCanfora reported last week that Gruden may be interested in returning to the Raiders.
Rich Gannon, Gruden’s former quarterback in Oakland, added fuel to the rumors in a radio interview with 95.7 The Game.
“I’ve had conversations with Jon in the past,” Gannon said. “I don’t think [a return to Oakland] is outside the realm of possibilities.”
Gannon added that Jon Gruden may return to coaching soon, even if not with the Raiders.
“I know that he still has the desire to get back and do it at some point,” Gannon said. “I don’t know when. I don’t know where. But I know this, that he had two bad experiences as a head coach with some owners that he just had a tough time with.
“And you know I think it’s pretty clear that he didn’t necessarily see eye to eye with [Al] Davis… and I think he wants to go somewhere where he’s got an owner that’s not gonna, you know, try and pick the roster and try and call the plays, and just a guy that he can just come in and work for and hire a staff and get the thing turned around.”
But Jon Gruden has been out of the NFL since 2008 when he coaches the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though the led the Bucs to a Super Bowl title in his first year there and is still highly regarded as a coach, it seems like it will take quite a bit to lure him away from the broadcast booth.