Jon Gruden: Best Fits for MNF Announcer If He Returns to Coaching

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2012

Apr 28, 2011; New York, NY, USA; ESPN analyst Jon Gruden during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Is Jon Gruden going to return to coaching?

That seemed to be the rumor of the week, with folks suggesting the Monday Night Football announcer was quietly priming for a return to coaching. Mike Freeman of CBS reported the following:

The way sources portray the situation is that Gruden wants to be ready if and when teams begin to ask about his availability. If the right situation is available, these sources say, Gruden will have a skeleton staff ready and can move quickly. If the right situation does not appear, he would simply stay at ESPN until it did.

I guess we'll see. But if Gruden does return to the NFL in a coaching capacity, which teams would make the most sense for Chucky?


Philadelphia Eagles

While I'm not sure this would be a very popular move in Philadelphia, it would make a lot of sense. Gruden spent time as the Eagles offensive coordinator prior to the Andy Reid years, so he would be returning to a franchise he was familiar with.

The Eagles have enough talent that they likely won't want to completely rebuild, so bringing in an established coach like Gruden would make sense. Plus, you know the offensive-minded Gruden would have fun with Philadelphia's weapons.

I don't know if Gruden will return to coaching—or if Andy Reid will lose his job after the season—but if both happen this seems the logical landing spot for Gruden.


Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones likes to make a splash. Bringing in Gruden would certainly fill his splash quota for the offseason.

Much like the Eagles, the Cowboys seem destined to miss the playoffs, and given the talent they have on the roster it's hard to imagine Jason Garrett surviving that. And much like the Eagles, the Cowboys already have plenty of talent on the roster and would be served well with an established coach.

I don't know if Gruden could change the culture in Dallas and get the Cowboys to play up to their potential, but he'd certainly be the sort of hiring Jones would love and he couldn't possibly be a worse game manager than Garrett.


Cleveland Browns

If Gruden is more interested in a rebuilding situation, Cleveland would make a lot of sense. He's familiar with CEO Joe Banner from his Philadelphia days. He was born in Sandusky, Ohio, and was a Browns fan as a child.

Now, it's possible that Gruden could have gone back to Cleveland in the past and decided against it, perhaps hoping for a higher profile gig. But if those type of jobs don't come knocking and the coaching itch has to be scratched, don't be shocked if Chucky heads back home.


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