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Monday, January 21, 2019

Jon Gruden shares moment he knew he needed to return to coaching

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden knows the moment he realized he wanted to get back into coaching.

Gruden told Mike Florio on “PFT Live” this week that it was during his induction to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor that he realized how much he wanted to coach again.

“You know, we had an event in Tampa,” Gruden told Florio during a recent visit to PFT Live. “We had a Monday night game in Tampa, and there was a Ring of Honor event that I was a part of down on the field, and I got to be around 60 or 70 of my ex-players in Tampa. It just hit me like a brick. I just missed being around those guys, I missed being around that coaching environment, and I got all choked up emotionally. I remember driving home that night thinking, ‘I gotta get back on the field, I just wanna be a part of a team again, and see if I can help somebody.’ So I think that was the signature moment for me really.”

Even before his induction ceremony, reports had said Gruden was interested in returning to coaching prior. But apparently that solidified things for him. He eventually agreed to become head coach of the Oakland Raiders on a 10-year, $100 million deal. He’ll be leading them as they transition to Las Vegas.

Gruden also told Pro Football Talk that he believes his years off have helped him become a better coach because he’s been able to learn from others in the meantime.

“I remember when I was a coach for the Raiders in 1998,” Gruden said. “I was always wondering what was Marty Schottenheimer doing on the practice field. I wonder what their weight room looks like. I wonder what their practice facility’s like. I wonder what’s going on in Kansas City. And over the last several years I’ve had a chance to sit down and talk to the head coach, see their training rooms, see their facilities, watch them practice. So it has made me certainly a lot more well-rounded. I’ve had a chance to see things I never got to see before when I was a head coach.”

Gruden has filled out his Raiders coaching staff. He has also confirmed that he will be calling plays for the team next season.

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