Michael Lombardi of The Ringer believes Buccaneers HC Dirk Koetter is officially on the hot seat after the team’s recent loss to the Panthers on Sunday in which they managed to produce just three points on offense.
According to Lombardi, sources around the league have been mentioning Jon Gruden as the name to watch for Tampa Bay if Koetter isn’t able to get things turned around over the second half of the season.
Lombardi points out that Gruden has already made up with ownership and the Bucs could use someone to help the franchise out, especially with all of the offensive talent they have to work with.
It’s worth mentioning that back in August, Gruden said that he doesn’t foresee himself coaching anytime soon.
“I don’t foresee myself coaching anytime soon,” Gruden said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. “But I do like getting as close to the fire as possible.
“All I really have going is football. I don’t know what I would do without it. I’m happy with what I’m doing. I study as if I am a coach. I still make my own breakdowns, I still come up with my own playbook — I just don’t have anybody to give it to.”
This is typically about the time of year Gruden’s name starts surfacing in connection to potential head-coaching vacancies. However, Gruden continues to resist overtures from NFL teams about returning to coaching, as he has a great situation with ESPN that allows him to remain close to the game while being well compensated.
Even so, the Bucs could be an appealing situation for him, considering his ties to the franchise, the fact that they have a young quarterback and there is offensive talent to work with right now.
The Colts have also been tossed out a potential landing spot by some.
Gruden, 54, began his coaching career with the Raiders back in 1998. He was actually traded to the Buccaneers in 2002 after years in Oakland.
During Gruden’s 11-year coaching career, he posted a record of 95 and 81 (.540) to go along with four division titles and a Super Bowl Championship with the Buccaneers.
We’ll have more regarding Gruden possibly returning to coaching as the news is available.