Any NFL teams looking for a new head coach in the offseason (Washington Redskins, we’re looking at you) can cross Jon Gruden off the list of potential candidates to woo.
Jon Gruden is staying put at ESPN, at least through the end of 2014.
“I’m just trying to do my job,” Gruden said via ESPN. “I’m not going to address every little rumor or supposed conversation that takes place, according to these so-called sources.”
“There are a lot of good coaches out there available to coach these teams. I’m just hoping ESPN likes the job I’m doing. That’s my focus.”
Gruden, who won a Super Bowl in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been with ESPN since May of 2009, four months after his fall from grace and eventual ouster in Tampa Bay. Jon Gruden previously served as head coach for the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001 and offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles before that.
The Jon Gruden speculation comes in the wake of Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak getting the axe last week. Also expected to be on the block this year is Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins, who was rumored to have cleaned out his office before the end of last season, so that’s probably not a huge shocker.
It’s not the first time Gruden had to answer to rumors and speculation about his return to coaching. Since Jon Gruden’s name comes up in the event of a coaching vacancy as often as Tim Tebow’s did in the wake of a quarterback injury, it’s easy to understand his frustration with the rumor situation. But at the same time, Jon Gruden only has ESPN to blame for the rumors that Jon Gruden may leave ESPN.
ESPN says Jon Gruden of ESPN is a candidate for the Houston job pic.twitter.com/676yWuVyAJ
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) December 6, 2013
Yep, his fellow ESPN employees are the ones who got the Jon Gruden-Houston Texans conversation started, and they’re certainly ones who kept it going. Then again, since it’s practically become an annual event (“The Jon Gruden Rumor Shuffle” has a nice ring to it), you can hardly blame anyone for simply being first to arrive at the party.