Whenever a head coaching vacancy in college football or the NFL stirs speculation, Jon Gruden is frequently tossed into the mix. Despite the endless rumors though that have tailed Gruden, who last coached at Tampa Bay before being canned in 2008, he hasn’t budged from his broadcasting perch as an analyst on Monday Night Football.
“I haven’t lost a game in 3½ years. But no, I would like to give coaching one more try,” Gruden said in October during a speaking engagement in Ocala, Fla.
That comment didn’t raise as many eyebrows as ESPN’s John Clayton floating Gruden’s name at the top of a list of candidates to replace Gary Kubiak, who was dismissed earlier this week by the Texans. The respected Clayton has to know something, no?
Gruden hasn’t spoken publicly about Houston, but with Clayton mentioning his name, the subject could come up when Monday Night Football airs.
It might be another case of much to do about nothing. Still, the rumors never seem to cease. USC AD Pat Haden might have inadvertly fueled them during an interview Wednesday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”
“I talked with Jon a while back,” Haden said when Patrick asked if he had spoken to Gruden about the Trojans’ head coaching job, which went to Steve Sarkisian. “Yeah, he wants to coach in the pros. If he’s going to coach, he’s going to be a pro coach.”
Since Gruden fancies himself as a quarterback guru, no one needs a mentor more than the basket case known as Matt Schaub. Or maybe Gruden salivates at the thought of grooming a young gun like Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater or Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, expected to be among the first QBs taken in the NFL Draft, while rebuilding the Texans back to respectability.
Or maybe it’s another tease. It won’t be the first time. Probably not the last either.