You really gotta love Jon Gruden. Whether you think he’s the answer to the Raiders’ prayers or not, you gotta love him. While the rest of the NFL world is abuzz with the foregone conclusion that he is the Raiders next head coach, he’s playing hilariously coy about it.
Bay Area News Group’s Jerry McDonald — probably the only current Raiders beat writer who was covering the team during Gruden’s tenure as Raiders head coach — spoke with Gruden over the phone Tuesday and asked him about his candidacy for the Raiders head coaching position and this is what he said.
“My understanding is they’re interviewing candidates this week and they’re going to let everybody know sometime early next week or whenever they make their decision,” Gruden said.
Asked specifically if he was a candidate, Gruden said, “Well, I think I am being considered, yes. I hope I’m a candidate.”
Aside from this being quite funny, there is actually a few things to note about it.
First, he kinda can’t outright say he’s taking the job. He is still employed by ESPN and slated to cover this weekend’s Wild Card playoff match-up between the Chiefs and Titans. That means he will also have access to the Chiefs — obviously a division rival of the Raiders — practices all week.
Second, the Raiders must comply with the Rooney rule this week before giving Gruden the job. So, it’s best that he not say outright what we already know and thereby brazenly exposing that the Rooney rule was a speed bump in the process as it all too often is.
Third, what he said does have content to it. We have all known for years the Mark Davis wants Gruden for the job. He was just waiting for Gruden to reciprocate. Gruden’s statement “I hope I’m a candidate” says without a doubt that Gruden is onboard.
He also reveals that we should all receive official word early next week.
But it’s still funny. And I’m sure he said it with a smirk.