Former NFL HC and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said Wednesday 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 comes a week after he told PewterReport.com that he has been preparing to return to coaching at some point.
“I’ve met with several people — I won’t deny that,” Gruden said. “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 explained that his current job has helped him stay close to the game and keep up with all of the changes.
“It helps me in my broadcasting and I think if you lose that edge . . . you can’t come back unless you are totally wired with college football, personnel, schemes, the CBA, how people are practicing, trends, you know?” Gruden said. “You’ve got stay on top of this stuff.”
Every offseason, Gruden’s name comes up as a top-tier coaching option for the best available positions, but he’s yet to leave a good situation at ESPN.
“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. I still have a lot of fun.”
It’s fair to wonder if Gruden will ever return to coaching. Some great situations have been available in recent years and he’s resisted taking these jobs to remain in the booth.
Gruden, 53, 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.