Jon Gruden dangles the coaching carrot once again

Retired NFL head coach Jon Gruden is, once again, flirting with the idea of returning to the sidelines.

Charlie Campbell, via NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal, reports that Gruden has already began the process of finding potential assistant coaches in the event that the “perfect opportunity” opens up. Becoming a bit of an annual event, as the NFL season wears on and coaching vacancies become more anticipated, Gruden — having the leverage of a plush ESPN commentary gig — leaves the door open for a potential return. In this instance, however, Gruden’s idea of a “perfect opportunity” does not involve his home state of Ohio as much as it does a large market like, say, Philadelphia and the struggling Eagles.

Given his name and successes as a head coach, Gruden has long been linked to potential jobs in Cleveland, though recently being rumored to have turned down any chances at coaching the Browns upon the arrival of Mike Holmgren. As rumors surrounding Pat Shurmur’s job continue to swirl, it is safe to expect Gruden’s name thrown into the mix despite the chances of him even considering the lakefront job being less than remote.

[Related: Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 9, the Fullback Pass]

  • mgbode

    yeah, in Philly he can attempt to be an organizational builder rather than just a HC. That is usually the career path for these guys, so I would suspect that is what he desires.

  • JK

    On one hand I can’t see him taking the Cleveland job, on the other hand Ohio ties are often very strong. Brother Jay gets the job in Cinci, that could be fun.

  • RGB

    Ugh. No way I want Jon “I love this guy!” Gruden.
    He’s an attention whore who rode the perfect storm to his Super Bowl victory.
    I suspect Andy Reid will be in the mix, if he doesn’t survive this season.

  • mgbode

    yes, Gruden is overhyped, but considering that he played the team that he built in Oakland w/ a team Dungy built (but couldn’t get over the hump) in TB in that SB, I think it’s fair to say he has some talent at coaching.

  • hoffman912

    banner’s already showing lack faith in BW.. and we know shermer is gone. when will revolving door QB/coach madness
    end!? thats why no one comes to CLE, guaranteed 2 & out and end of career. they need to keep weeden, and i hate to say it, they need to keep shermer so there is some stability and break the trend. (then again they also need to break the tend of loosing. needless to say no one with a recognizable name will ever come to cleveland until there is stability. i have high hopes for haslam and banner.. but a new regeme (holmgren) going through 2 coaches and QB’s followed a few years later by new owners nuking everything is not stability…. will take a while for Haslam and Banner to get stability if they change it now… unfortunately a double edged sword.

  • hoffman912

    and thats not to support shermer personally.. he sucks. just arguing for stability is all

  • thepaledragon


  • Harv 21

    Yesterday I doubted the chances of Banner or Reid wanting Reid to end up here given the circumstances of Banner leaving Philly. After reading the whole Banner interview transcript in the PD, getting the feeling that Reid might be at the top of Banner’s list if Philly cans him.

    Re Gruden, enjoyable sports commentary and head coaching require different skill sets. Gruden was certainly a decent HC but Banner says he’s targeting excellence. Show biz is one thing, but don’t remember thinking “excellence” when Gruden left Tampa. Do remember his passion, and that translated well to TV commentary.

    Loved Banner’s description of the HC qualities he’s seeking based on prior searches – “incredibly strong leaders, they all had hired great staffs, they managed them well and were all very detail-oriented.” Inability to handle details is where Bud Carson, Romeo, and Shurmur failed big time. Mangini rigidity and fear of delegating was bad management, and led him to hire Kokinis and Daboll who killed him with personnel and on game day.

  • nj0

    Who is this Shermer you speak of?

  • Garry_Owen

    You know who’s excellent? Yeah, you do.
    Start the music . . .

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Gruden is no Shurmur that’s for sure!

  • Kenny_Chill

    I agree with the underlying idea that Cleveland can’t improve until it exhibits stability. I was pro-Colt simply for keeping stability. At 2-7, I don’t know what upgrade Weeden’s shown, but now we have to keep him until his body starts falling apart in 3 or 4 years simply to show we can give people stability and room to develop. I hate Shurmer’s coaching, but I’m also aware no one will ever come here if they fear a 2 year and out career arc unless they deliver huge improvements.

    In other words, it may be worth sticking with Shurmer a few more years just to show stability. Lose the short term to win the long term – that sort of thing.

  • mgbode

    I 100% disagree. The only way we are going to ever get stability is if Haslam/Banner fully trust those working beneath them. If they do not, then there will always be a good chance that a rough spot will create more churn.

    So, it is a huge responsibility for Haslam/Banner to figure out how they want this organization to run and who they want to run it and get those guys into those positions.

    They get a mulligan on replacing guys right now (they just got here). After this initial wave though, any churn is on them for making bad choices (and continuing the crazy since ’99).

  • mgbode

    well thanks Garry. yes, I will still accept the Browns HC position.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    I get the “stability” argument…but if anyone really thinks that Jon Gruden is not a significant upgrade over Pat Shurmur…well…I don’t know what to tell you. He has a winning record as a Head coach (100-85), a winning record in the playoffs, and a ring. He put a team together in Oakland that was 38-26 in his 4 years there, and went to the Super Bowl the year after he left. For all of the talk about him “running TB into the ground”, the Bucs were 11-5, 4-12, 9-7, and 9-7 with 2 playoff appearances in his last 4 years.

    Are there better candidates out there? Probably. Is he annoying at times as an announcer? Sure. But we could certainly do worse than hiring Jon Gruden.

  • deesh

    you guys don’t actually want Andy Reid coaching us, do you?

  • So we should keep a terrible HC in the name of stability? No. We all want some stability…some stability that produces wins. But, you can’t do it with the current HC, whether it causes perception problems or not.

  • NoVA Buckeye

    Gruden would be 1000x harder on this team than Pat the Punk has. Could be great for teaching them to never take any play for granted. Also, when he was fired, I think the blame should be shouldered on to Monte Kiffin for being a lame duck after agreeing to go to Tennessee after the season when the Bucs were 9-3.

  • DontbringLBJback

    Maybe he means, Pat Shurmur.

  • CBI

    Keeping Mangini the extra year didn’t seem to help.

  • Give him the talent that needs that extra push to get over the top and Chucky’s your guy. But ask him to build a team? To develop young talent? Look elsewhere.

  • Wheel

    We’re into Year 14 of losing in the short term.