Jon Gruden: Best Possible Landing Spots for Former Head Coach

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Former head coach of the Oakland Raiders and now ESPN Monday Night Football Analyst Jon Gruden looks on during pre-game warm ups before an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 18, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden is reportedly interested in returning to the NFL, according to Mike Freeman of CBS Sports:

Despite public protestations he's happy in his current position as a television analyst, Jon Gruden will interview with NFL teams for their head coaching position, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Over the past few weeks, teams have quietly contacted Gruden and/or his representatives to gauge Gruden's interest. In response, Gruden and/or his representatives informed teams Gruden would speak to them once the regular season ended.

While rumors of Gruden’s possible return to the league have run rampant since the veteran coach joined ESPN as an analyst, the quality of jobs that opened up this year may be too intriguing to keep him out of the league for much longer.

All of the following landing spots would be best suited for the former head coach.



As much as Gruden is talented enough to make a comeback in the NFL, the coach has found a great job with ESPN and is living a much less stressful life.

NFL head coaches get a lot of glory, but they work as hard as anyone in an organization.

Gruden would have to give up his cushy job for one that entails plenty of hard work and time away from his family; that’s a sacrifice many would not be willing to make.

ESPN loves what Gruden brings to the table for Monday Night Football and their other NFL coverage, and staying with the multimedia giant is a very real possibility.


San Diego Chargers

After yet another losing season, the San Diego Chargers have parted ways with former head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.

With so much talent on the Chargers' roster, Gruden will be very intrigued by what San Diego has to offer.

With a star quarterback in Philip Rivers, who could use the guidance of a mentor like Gruden, and a front office that the coach could help construct—if San Diego would be willing to listen—him being involved with the rebuilding process of the Chargers is a real possibility.

Depending on how much control the team would be willing to hand over to Gruden, the head coaching job in San Diego could be the best landing spot for the veteran leader.


Philadelphia Eagles

As much as staying at ESPN or going to San Diego may pique Gruden’s interest, there is no better landing spot for the former coach than the Philadelphia Eagles.

After 14 years with Andy Reid as the head coach, Gruden knows Philadelphia provides stability.

While Gruden wouldn’t have as many personnel decisions to make with GM Howie Roseman on the case, the sheer talent on the roster already and the fact that Reid and Gruden both cut their teeth under Mike Holmgren in Green Bay means both men run a similar style of offense.

With most of the players on the Eagles already fitting the schemes Gruden would implement if he took over the team, the veteran coach’s best chance at making a serious run at the Super Bowl over the next few seasons would be with Philadelphia.


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