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Jon Gruden on Raiders job: ‘I’m not thinking about coaching’

Jon Gruden Raiders

Jon Gruden is the most high-profile name linked to the Oakland Raiders in the wake of the team’s decision to fire head coach Dennis Allen. If Gruden has any interest in the vacancy, he is keeping it to himself.

During a chat with “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on Wednesday, Gruden joked that he appreciates sports bloggers always linking his name to head coaching jobs but is only focused on his career as an ESPN broadcaster at the moment.

“I appreciate those seven or eight bloggers who bring my name up every year when there’s a coaching job,” Gruden said. “I’m just trying to hang onto my job. It’s four weeks into the season. Some of these teams haven’t even played (four) games yet, so I’m not really thinking about coaching. I’m thinking about heading to Washington next week to watch the world champions (Seattle Seahawks) and my brother coach.”

That’s the exact type of non-answer we would expect him to give, but it should be noted that sports bloggers aren’t the only ones linking Gruden’s name to Oakland. Raiders owner Mark Davis even admitted on Tuesday that Gruden is in the mix for the job and that the team could be in contact with him in the future.

While it’s only natural to link Gruden to Oakland because he had success there in his first stint with the Raiders, he would be a candidate for any vacant job in the league if he chose to return to coaching. Some teams would probably open up a vacancy for Gruden if they were convinced he was going to return. Despite what Rich Gannon said last year about the Raiders being in the mix, there are probably plenty of other opportunities out there that would be more enticing.

Could Jon Gruden return to Raiders as head coach?

Jon Gruden Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have not had a winning season since 2002 and are still searching for a head coach who can help them return to the success they had in the early-2000s. Might they consider hiring the man who is responsible for those successful seasons as their next head coach?

After firing Dennis Allen on Monday night following an 0-4 start, Raiders owner Mark Davis said at a press conference Tuesday that Jon Gruden will be in the mix for the team’s head coaching job.

Here’s how the exchange went between Davis and reporters:

-Q: Do you plan on reaching out to Jon Gruden to coach this team?

-DAVIS: I don’t know. He may reach out to me, I may reach out to him. I may reach out to anybody. That’s the future and I’m not going to talk about future coaches.

-Q: Does Reggie [McKenzie] have the ability to reach out to a Jon Gruden or whoever?

-DAVIS: He has the ability to reach out to people–he’s the general manager of the Raiders and he’s able to do that.

Davis could have outright dismissed the possibility, but it’s telling that he will consider it.

The Raiders already have Tony Sparano as their interim head coach, and Davis told the media that the team’s next head coach could already be in the organization, but you have to figure that they will go for a home run this time. They’re on their ninth coach! Ninth! since trading Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They can’t afford to screw it up again.

The obvious question becomes: would Gruden be interested in the position?

Though his name has come up in connection with multiple college and NFL coaching jobs since being fired after the 2008 season, Gruden has remained out of the coaching profession and instead insists he enjoys his position as a broadcaster for ESPN. However, Gruden, 51, is still young and could probably be one of the better coaches in the league if he ever took a job.

Also take this into consideration, via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:

NFL Network also reports that Davis is willing to pay Gruden a lot of money to get him out of the broadcast booth.

And here’s reporter Jim Trotter, who closely profiled the Raiders for SI a few years ago:

It sounds like this is a legitimate possibility, though we wouldn’t say it seems likely to happen.

Jon Gruden: ‘I don’t want to be considered for any of these’ NFL head coaching jobs

Jon-Gruden-BucsThere are currently six head coaching vacancies in the NFL — the Texans, Redskins, Browns, Buccaneers, Vikings and Lions. Jon Gruden is one of the most common names we hear come up every time an NFL job opens, but none of the events that took place on Black Monday seem to have him excited.

Instead, Gruden said he feels “sick” for the coaches who have lost their jobs and hopes he can keep his own.

“I don’t want to be considered for any of these jobs,” Gruden told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press on Monday. “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.”

Gruden called former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier a “class act” and praised the way he got his team to perform down the stretch. That was pretty much the theme of the interview, so it’s tough to tell if Gruden was telling the truth or just trying to be respectful.

Over the past few weeks, there has been speculation that Gruden is open to hearing from the Raiders and even one prominent college team. Despite that, the most likely scenario is that he continues his career as an ESPN analyst. Most people seem to agree that Gruden will return to coaching someday, but it’s a total mystery when that day will come.

H/T Eye on Football

Rich Gannon would not rule out Jon Gruden returning to Raiders

Jon-Gruden-Miami-HurricanesOakland Raiders fans would love to somehow avenge the infamous tuck rule loss with Jon Gruden back on their sidelines. Current head coach Dennis Allen is already on the hot seat, and the Raiders have not had a winning season since 2002 — when they lost to Gruden’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. Would Gruden ever consider returning to the place where his NFL head coaching career began? Rich Gannon is not ruling it out.

Gannon, a four-time Pro Bowler who played for Gruden for three seasons, told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco on Tuesday that he does not think a Gruden-Raiders reunion is impossible.

“I know that he still has the desire to get back and do it at some point,” Gannon said, via Pro Football Talk. “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.”

Gannon added that he believes Gruden “certainly” wants final say over personnel decisions, which would seemingly undermine the authority of any team’s general manager.

Like every other year, Gruden’s name has been mentioned in association with almost every NFL head coaching vacancy. He’s even had his name tossed into the college rumor circle this time around. It would make for a great story if he returned to Oakland, but I think the real takeaway from Gannon’s insight is how certain he is that Gruden will eventually return to coaching. Gruden is already 50, so you’d have to imagine the return is coming sooner rather than later.

Jon Gruden reportedly ‘open to hearing’ from Texas about coaching job

Jon-Gruden-BucsJon Gruden hears his name mentioned when just about any high-profile head coaching position opens up. With Mack Brown recently announcing that he is stepping down, Texas will soon have such a vacancy.

According to Orangebloods.com, Gruden may be interested in coaching the Longhorns. While it is certainly premature to say that the former NFL head coach would give up his career as an ESPN analyst, Gruden is reportedly “open to hearing from the Texas athletic department.”

Gruden was previously linked to the Houston Texans after Gary Kubiak was fired, though a follow-up report indicated the Texans are not interested in trying to hire the 50-year-old. A source reportedly told Orangebloods.com that the Texas job is one of the few Gruden would consider, as he believes it is one of the “premiere” jobs in the nation.

“It’s Austin, it’s not like any other city in Texas or anywhere, really,” the source said. “It’s a destination, but with the state capitol, the university, the politics and the media, it’s the eye of a hurricane. (James) Franklin, (Jim) Mora, they’re are great coaches – but stepping into this sort of situation for the first time? You’re going to have limited success.”

It still seems unlikely that Gruden would leave ESPN, given the success he has head since joining the Monday Night Football broadcast crew. We hear the same stories about teams contacting him every year, and the result has been identical for the last five or six years.

“It’s no secret that every major position that comes open stirs Gruden rumors,” Orangebloods.com’s source added. “The reason why the talks never go anywhere is because there are definitely two, maybe three, situations he’s always said he would have to listen to. When Texas calls, you gotta listen.”

Time will tell if that is the way Gruden feels or simply the way a source who is supposedly familiar with the situation feels. What we do know is Texas could offer Gruden plenty of money. He’d almost certainly be one of the highest-paid coaches in college football.

Texans reportedly not interested in Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan

Jon-Gruden-Miami-HurricanesWith the Houston Texans having fired former head coach Gary Kubiak last week, the usual big names have been flying around as potential candidates for the vacancy. Two of the more popular ones are Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, neither Shanahan nor Gruden are a possibility.

McClain wrote on Sunday night that the Texans “will not try to hire ESPN analyst Jon Gruden” and “won’t be pursuing Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan” even if he is fired after his team’s disappointing 2013 season. Texans owner Bob McNair has said he wants a coach with head-coaching experience and NFL experience, which both Shanahan and Gruden have. Still, it sounds like the team is not interested.

Sports Talk 790 in Houston’s Lance Zierlein reported on Sunday night that there is “no way” the Texans hire Shanahan and that Shanahan’s name is probably being leaked by his own camp.

One candidate who is expected to draw serious interest from the Texans is Lovie Smith, who took a season off this year after being unexpectedly fired by the Chicago Bears. McClain said he expects Smith to be the first candidate the Texans interview. Other candidates include Stanford head coach David Shaw — who worked as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for the Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens — and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

The Texans are having a horrendous season, but they are only a year removed from the playoffs and have core pieces like JJ Watt and Brian Cushing on what has been an underachieving defensive unit. The job should have plenty of appeal.

Jon Gruden reportedly a candidate for Houston Texans coaching job

Jon GrudenWhenever 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.

Cabin fever?

“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.