Jon Gruden, the former head coach of the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been in the spotlight in recent weeks amid rumors that he’s returning to the NFL to join a team.
The speculation and rumors started last week for the Monday Night Football analyst after rumors that he was offered the University of Tennessee job along with a Cleveland Browns’ ownership stake.
Gruden and the Browns promptly denied the report, and Gruden went on to say “I’m just excited about Monday Night Football. I like what I’m doing. I’m just trying to hang on to the job that I have.”
But that hasn’t stopped the rumors from flying. The most recent one comes courtesy of ProFootballWeekly’s Hub Arkush, who told WSCR radio (via PFT) that Gruden and the Raiders are in talks to bring him back to Oakland.
Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998-2001 before leaving for Tampa Bay in 2002, where he won the Super Bowl.
A return to Oakland seems like a long shot, partly because Gruden says he’s happy about the MNF gig, although we know his heart and soul is being a coach on the field and not off.
In addition, the timing seems a little too convenient.
Owner Mark Davis told first-year coach Dennis Allen just last week that the Raiders’ 3-8 start wasn’t “good enough.”
“He just wanted [Allen] to know, from the owner, that we have to get better,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said at the time.
Davis added: “I wouldn’t say it was heated; the most heated I got was when we first got on the plane (after the loss to Cincinnati in Week 12) and I told him it’s not good enough. And that’s what I said. I told him not long after we boarded: ‘It’s not good enough.’ I admit I was pissed off.”
“He’s frustrated,” Allen admitted. “He wants to win; we all do. He’s frustrated, and he expresses his frustration. So he and I had a long sit-down on the plane and talked about it.”