Could Jon Gruden return to coaching with the Bucs?
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Rumors of Jon Gruden returning to coach football are an annual occurrence, and it’s usually best to ignore most of them. But talk of Gruden potentially coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers again is gaining steam, and one reporter who covers the team thinks it may actually happen.
Longtime Tampa reporter Ira Kaufman, who covers the Bucs for JoeBucsFan.com, told PFT Live on Tuesday that he feels the possibility of Gruden returning to the Bucs is greater than ever.
“I think (Dirk) Koetter’s got seven weeks to prove that this team is still buying what he’s selling,” Kaufman said. “The stands are half empty, and there’s a guy out there that has a lot of juice and can fill those stands. … I’m starting to believe it for the first time, that Gruden’s coming back.”
Kaufman listed several reasons why he believes Gruden may finally be ready to leave his broadcasting gig with ESPN. One of them is that Gruden supposedly does not have the same passion for announcing games as he did when he was working alongside Mike Tirico, who is a close friend.
Gruden admitted over the summer that he misses coaching, and the former quarterback has been hosting his own QB camp with top NFL prospects for several years at ESPN, so he might enjoy working with Jameis Winston. Kaufman also noted that Gruden could have his son Duece Gruden, who currently works as a strength coach for Gruden’s brother Jay with the Washington Redskins, on his staff if he became a head coach again.
Given how much money he has supposedly been making at ESPN, it’s no surprise Gruden typically turns down head coaching opportunities. However, he is still young by NFL coaching standards at age 54. If he decides he wants to get back to it, there will be no shortage of suitors.