Raiders to pursue Gruden as head coach, could offer ownership stake
01 January, 2018, 03:10 | Author: Greg Wolfe
Gruden has yet to say either way whether or not he's interested in the Oakland job - a job he previously held from 1998 to 2001 before leaving to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As with all things in life and in the National Football League, context matters a great deal. He played coy. Said focus is on winning next game.
Check back for more on this breaking story. Gruden was in the booth for his final Monday Night Football game of the season last week in Philadelphia, when the Eagles hosted Davis' Raiders. Two years later he got them their first division championship and then won another the year after that.
That ground-and-pound and chuck it deep style had long since been dated by the time of Shell's return in 2006, but that didn't stop owner Al Davis from asking him to attempt to execute it all over again with far lesser players. And there were the wacky rumors of Gruden going to Tennessee, which even involved a Knoxville BBQ joint apologizing for contributing to the rumors.
After leading the Raiders to a 12-4 record last season, Del Rio and the Raiders were expected to challenge the New England Patriots for AFC supremacy, but have instead stumbled to the finish line and will finish either 6-10 or 7-9 after playing the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Said ESPN employee Gruden to ESPN: "I don't want to sit here and speculate". And it's of course notable that these are two very plugged-in reporters that happen to work for the same network Gruden does. "I can't say I haven't taken any phone calls". Guys want to bounce ideas off me. "Im here to help people".
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"The owner", one source said about Davis, "has an affinity for him". What have they got? But it makes sense why fan's reactions have been split early on after the reports.
Though he doesn't have coaching experience, it's hard to overlook the personal connection he has with Gruden.
So, is Gruden the next man up for the Raiders?
However, Gruden should be better than Shell was given the plethora of talent on the team's current roster. His agent always uses the threat of going back to coaching as leverage with upping his deal at ESPN.
Oakland's top brass must be growing frustrated of Del Rio's performance with the Raiders not making the playoffs for the second time in three years under Del Rio.
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