It’s that time of the year again when rumors about Jon Gruden leaving the broadcast booth start to pop up at every corner.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gruden has been reaching out to potential assistant coaches to gauge their interest in joining him on the sideline if he does make the decision to return to coaching, particularly with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“As it’s being explained to me this year may actually be different,” reported Sunday on NFL Network’s GameDay Morning. “Gruden right now is going through the process of reaching out to for former assistants and friends in the coaching industry just to see if they would be available, if they would potentially come with him if he were be able to get a head coaching job. And of course the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do have Dirk Koetter on the hot seat — that would be his preferred destination. The Bucs have often swung big. They’d have to give up a lot of money to outbid ESPN and pay Gruden what he would want — something that would be worth it to come back to coaching. As a source close to him told me, this year may actually different.”
Dirk Koetter is in his second season as the Bucs’ head coach, but there are reports he will be relieved of his duties at season’s end, as the Bucs’ 4-10 season has disappointed ownership.
Gruden went 57-55 during seven seasons with the Bucs, which included winning the Super Bowl during his first year and winning the NFC South three times.
The 54-year-old Gruden has been out of coaching for nine years, and it’s anyone’s guess how many of his past assistants would jump at the opportunity to work for him again. But apparently he’s looking to see what kind of staff he can build, even before he decided to make a return to the NFL.