Time to warm the milk and put the “Grumors” to bed. Over the last month, the usual rumors about the return of Super Bowl-winning coach, Jon Gruden have been gathering wind. Having supported the Bucs since the early 90s this reporter is well used to rumors about coaches and players; and when to listen and when to take with a side of salt. This year was different. The right people were saying the right things and the stars seemed to be aligning.
Then it all came to nothing. The Buccaneers organization announced that Coach Koetter was returning and fans would be treated to more of the same next year; whilst we all pray that he’s learned from his mistakes or this was just a bad year, or it was the Hard Knocks Curse in full effect. So from then until now what happened?
Looking at all the information, news releases, tweets and sound bites a story seems to emerge. The Bucs are said to have sent out feelers and opened a dialogue with Gruden about a potential return to Tampa, obviously with the incumbent coach still here those statements are denied by the Glazer’s, which makes perfect sense for not rocking the boat. Exactly what was said between Gruden and the Bucs will probably never be known. All we can go off are the mentions that Gruden was looking for a BIG contract to make him leave the comfort of the studio. It is likely probable that the amount of money was a stumbling block for the Glazer’s as they are already paying coaches not to coach and paying even more on top would be the same as burning Dollars. As the cons outweighed the pro’s, Koetter remained at the helm.
With two teams being at the center of these rumors and one publicly standing by its current head coach, only the Oakland Raiders were in the picture. After the sacking of Jack Del Rio the stars aligned again, this time for Oakland and Gruden has now publicly stated if he is offered the role he will accept it. With the legacy of Al Davis showing the Raiders aren’t afraid of throwing money at publicity a contract the size Gruden is asking for would not be a stumbling block for Mark Davis.
Barring a highly surprising turn of events, in 2018 Jon Gruden will be trying to finish business from his time on the sidelines, sadly in Raider black rather than the pewter and red.