Jon Gruden on coaching return: ‘I’m preparing’

29 Jul


Jon Gruden hasn’t been a football head coach in nearly a decade. That hasn’t stopped an onslaught of Gruden coaching rumors seemingly every offseason since he was fired by the Buccaneers following the end of the 2008 regular season.

The latest edition of Grumors (sorry, couldn’t help myself), however, comes straight from the horse’s mouth.

“I’ve met with several people — I won’t deny that,” Gruden said in an interview with PewterReport.com. “Just about every year I talk about coming back to coach. I’m not in here every day at 4:30 or 4:00 in the morning watching pinball, you know? I’m preparing myself to come back. I am. Every day. I’m preparing to come back.” 

Gruden has spent his time away from the sidelines as ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst. Even though he’s been in the broadcast booth for the past eight seasons, he’s still kept that coaching mentality within himself.

“I love ESPN,” Gruden said. “I mean I love what I’m doing. I’m with a great team — a great group of guys. I’m still real close to the game. I still stay in contact with a lot of players and coaches at the league at every level. I don’t know if [all the talk] is flattering or irritating. I don’t really pay attention to a lot of it.

“But I am — every year — preparing myself to coach. Sometimes I show up at camp and I show up in the offseason and people let me coach. I jump in drills and they still let me install plays and call plays at some places.”

Gruden compiled a 95-81 record over his 11 years manning the Raiders and Buccaneers. He turns 54 in the middle of August, so time could be ticking away on how many coaching opportunities he is offered.

One thing’s for sure: With the constant whispers every year about Gruden putting back on the headset, we’ll believe he’ll be a head coach again — whether at the collegiate level or in the pros — when we actually see it.

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