Until all five of the remaining head-coaching openings are filled, Jon Gruden’s name is going to continue to come up.
The Gruden conversation revolves around two key questions:
1. How interested is he in returning to coaching?
2. How interested are teams in bringing him on board?
There have been plenty of rumors, but Ron Jaworski has discussed the possibilities directly with Gruden.
“Jon has gotten a lot of discussion,” Jaws said during an interview with Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic Monday. “It’s just not as public as some of the other ones. I spoke to Jon earlier, and we spoke about it. He’s had numerous meetings. He has told teams that he is not interested in certain jobs. There are jobs that he’s interested in, but no one at those teams has reached out to him, or they may even have a coach in place.”
The obvious follow-up was: Are the Eagles one of the teams he’s not interested in?
“No, I didn’t say that,” Jaworski said. “They haven’t reached out to Jon.”
Opinion on Gruden is mixed. In 11 seasons with the Raiders and Bucs, his teams got to the playoffs five times. Gruden won a Super Bowl with Tampa in 2002. After that season, though, he went 45-51.
A league source told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer yesterday that the Browns were showing some interest in Gruden. But Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk aggressively shot down the report. Between the Browns report and Jaworski’s comments, it sounds like the market for Gruden might not be as inviting as one would expect.
Any owner or GM looking into hiring Gruden would need to do thorough homework on what happened with him during the final six seasons in Tampa. But one thing Gruden has going for him is that he’s been very much involved in the game since leaving the sidelines. As an analyst for ESPN, he watches film and talks to coaches/players/executives on a weekly basis. Shortly after he was fired by the Bucs, Gruden spent time with Chip Kelly to learn about his spread offense.
The Eagles have plans to interview Jay Gruden, Jon’s brother. They appear to be in the middle of what looks like an extremely thorough search, especially now that Kelly is off the market.
If the plan is to leave no stone unturned, you would think they would at least have a conversation at some point with Jon Gruden.