Jon Gruden Makes a Lot of Sense for the Philadelphia Eagles

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistNovember 8, 2012

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 30: Coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers directs play against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on November 30, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Get used to this, because it's only going to pick up between now and Dec. 31, which is also known as Black Monday in the NFL coaching world. On or around that day—barring a miraculous turnaround—Andy Reid's tenure as the head coach in Philadelphia is likely to come to an end after 14 years. 

In the meantime, new head-coaching candidates will emerge in the rumor mill—a trend that kicked off earlier this week with Sean Payton talk and has now entered chapter two with WIP Radio's Howard Eskin reporting, via Twitter, that Jon Gruden wants to coach again

Coincidentally or not,'s Charlie Campbell also reports that Gruden wants to return to the game.

As the Eagles spiral out of control and the thread Reid's job is hanging by becomes thinner and thinner, more names will likely emerge as real or imaginary candidates to replace him. But very few names will carry the weight Gruden's does. 

More from Campbell: 

"Sources have said that Gruden's return to coaching is dependent on it being a perfect situation. He isn't interested in smaller-market teams like those he has coached at previously. Gruden wants a big-market team with good ownership and some talent on the roster. Thus, teams like Dallas, Philadelphia and the New York Jets could be potential landing spots if they make a change."

With that in mind, it's slightly surprising this rumor took so long to emerge. He won't just jump anywhere because he seems relatively happy in broadcasting and ESPN really seems to value him, but Philly would likely be at or near the top of Gruden's shortlist, regardless of the quarterback situation (Chucky would love to get his hands on Vick, but I think he'd be just as excited about a raw missile launcher like Nick Foles). 

I also get the feeling that owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman would be quick to jump at a coach like Gruden, who ran the the offense in Philadelphia early in Lurie's time with the team, between 1995 and 1997. 

I believe Gruden's at least a little overrated. His .540 career winning percentage as a head coach doesn't blow me away and he inherited his Super Bowl-winning 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team from Tony Dungy. But he'd still be a nice fit in Philadelphia. Roseman is used to ceding control over personnel to head coaches (something Reid has and Gruden would require) and this offense needs a spark, particularly through the air. 

What's more, they have the pieces in place to succeed immediately, and Gruden might have the offensive brain to get the most out of a unit that won't likely change much over the next few years.

Eskin has written off the assistants currently in place, but I don't think that's fair to Todd Bowles or Marty Mornhinweg, both of whom have been head coaches in the past. If Lurie and Roseman do part ways with Reid, as expected, and they opt to go further outside of the box than Mornhinweg or Bowles, Gruden should be a prime candidate for the job.