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Is Jon Gruden in play to return as Raiders head coach?

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The Oakland Raiders being 50-50 on head coach Jack Del Rio coming back next year could be tied to Jon Gruden.

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Ever since former Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008, there have been rumors that he would return to the Silver and Black. But it never happened, each year Gruden opting to to stay in the booth as a Monday Night Football analyst.

"As it's being explained to me this year may actually be different," NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Sunday morning. "Gruden right now is going through the process of reaching out to for former assistants and friends in the coaching industry just to see if they would be available, if they would potentially come with him if he were able to get a head coaching job. And of course the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do have Dirk Koetter on the hot seat -- that would be his preferred destination. The Bucs have often swung big. They'd have to give up a lot of money to outbid ESPN and pay Gruden what he would want -- something that would be worth it to come back to coaching. As a source close to him told me, this year may actually different."

The recent report out of Oakland has current head coach Jack Del Rio’s chances of coming back for 2018 at 50-50. That could suggest Mark Davis sees a 50-50 shot on whether or not Gruden comes back to the Raiders. I can’t think of anyone else Davis would fire one-year into his extension for.

Gruden is rumored to be interested in coaching again as he even said so in July and his name has come up in Tennessee (college) and Tampa Bay of late.

“I am — every year — preparing myself to coach,” Gruden told “Sometimes I show up at [a training] camp, and I show up in the offseason, and people let me coach. I jump in drills and they still let me install plays and call plays at some places. I still have a lot of fun.

"I haven’t lost the itch, though. I miss the players. I won’t deny that. I don’t want to start anything, but I say the same thing to everybody. There are very few passions in my life. The man upstairs, family and football.”

Gruden told USA Today back in July that he’s had opportunities to return to coaching but he’s just holding out for the perfect fit. Of course, the perfect fit is a talented roster with a franchise quarterback for him to work his magic with. Perhaps that fit is in Oakland, where there’s a talented roster and QB that underachieved this year.

Back in 2014, he told Sports Illustrated that if he were to return to coaching, it would be with the Raiders. He turned Davis down after that season as the Raiders were just starting to rebuild. No coach of Gruden’s caliber wants a rebuild. But that was a few years ago as his interest in returning appears to have piqued as of July.

“I’ve met with several people. I won’t deny that,” Gruden told USA Today. “Just about every year I talk about coming back to coach. I’m not here every day at 4:30 or four in the morning watching pinball, you know? I’m preparing myself to come back. I am. Every day. I’m preparing to come back.”


What do you see Jon Gruden doing?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Staying in the booth
    (2325 votes)
  • 8%
    Becoming Buccaneers head coach
    (752 votes)
  • 66%
    Becoming Raiders head coach
    (6201 votes)
9278 votes total Vote Now