Oakland 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.