Jon Gruden may be committed to sticking with ESPN as an analyst instead of taking the head coaching job at Tennessee.
But does that mean he’s committed to stay at ESPN instead of taking a head coaching job in the NFL?
Although Gruden just recently shot down rumors that he was headed to college football’s coaching ranks, he’s already in the middle of discussions about the Oakland Raiders’ head coach job, according Pro Football Weekly, as reported by Dan Bernstein of WSCR in Chicago.
Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) December 04, 2012
The Raiders are once again near the bottom of the AFC West, having gone 3-9 this season. With more than a half-dozen NFL teams likely looking for a coach next season, Gruden will be in high demand — if he’s willing to coach.
What makes the Oakland speculation even more interesting, of course, is that Gruden coached there before a contentious split with former owner Al Davis. Gruden went 38-26 in four seasons with the Raiders and won the AFC West twice, including 2000, when Oakland went as far as the AFC championship game. But Gruden left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a complicated trade after butting heads with Davis, incurring the wrath of Raiders fans.
New owner Mark Davis, Al’s son, is reportedly not pleased with the direction of the team and is willing to bring Gruden back. If he did, though, it would involve stepping on general manager Reggie McKenzie‘s toes. McKenzie makes most of the personnel decisions (a power Gruden has had when he’s coached before), and the Raiders’ current head coach, Dennis Allen, was picked by McKenzie and has had less than a year to show what he can do.
Oh, and did we mention that Gruden said he’s committed to staying with Monday Night Football?
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