Since we all know Jon Gruden is set to become the Raiders’ next head coach, it’s all just going through the motions at this point.
When Mark Davis fired Jack Del Rio immediately following the Raiders’ season-ending loss to the Chargers, it was fairly clear he did so with the idea being that Gruden would be taking the job.
Gruden has had conversations with Mark Davis, which is to say he has interviewed. Not that he would necessarily need to, Mark’s interest in Gruden has been well known for some time and he has courted him each time he was seeking a new head coach, but up to this point Gruden turned him down, opting to stay with his Monday Night Football gig.
Last week, Gruden began putting out feelers for coaches on his prospective staff, letting everyone know he was looking to get back into coaching. This week he made his mutual interest in the Raiders job known, saying “I hope I’m a candidate,” which clears up that end of things.
But just for good measure, But even still, Gruden spoke with his ESPN colleagues Trey Wingo and Mike Golic who tried to pry some more definitive answers from him. He was asked if should Mark Davis go through his interviews -- which will likely include an interview with a minority candidate to satisfy the Rooney Rule — and then offer Gruden the job, would he take it?
“I think there’s a good chance,” said Gruden of accepting the Raiders head coaching position. “I’m excited about where I am in terms of studying the game and preparing to come back and coach.”
Along with the initial reports Gruden was coerced out of the booth to the return to the sideline, were reports the team had offered him $10 million per season and a stake in ownership. The salary would make him the NFL’s highest paid coach. But a stake in the team would take this to a whole different level. Gruden flatly denies that is part of the offer.
“There’s no truth to that at all,” Gruden said. “I heard Stephen Smith screaming at me yesterday on one of his shows. That’s one of the most...there’s no validity to that at all. None, zero, so that’s a nice segment that I saw, but no ownership that’s for sure.”
Taking him at his word, that’s good news, because that aspect of things would certainly make things tricky with regard to who was calling the shots between he and Reggie McKenzie. As if Davis’s affinity for Gruden doesn’t already do that.