By Josh Ward
Jon Gruden was asked a question about ongoing speculation that he could be Tennessee’s football coach next year.
Not surprisingly, Gruden’s answer provided very little insight.
Gruden was a guest on Mike & Mike on Wednesday morning and was asked about the possibility of him returning to coaching next year (the video is below).
As Mike Golic pointed out before he asked the question, this has become an almost annual tradition during Gruden’s appearances on the show.
Here’s the full answer from Gruden when he was asked about the speculation:
“I haven’t talked to anybody. All I really have in my life is my family and football; that’s about it. I’m real sensitive to the coaches that are out there coaching so I don’t speculate. I just love football. I’m trying to hang onto the job I have. I’m very fortunate to be with the people I’m wit. I don’t know what’s goin to happen in the future. I just know this: I’m going to continue to givem y best effort to the game, stay prepared, and I love Monday Night Football. I don’t plan on leaving, but as you know in life, you never say never to nothing.”
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) November 15, 2017
That answer is similar to what Gruden has said in the past. It provides very little insight into his actual plans.
Gruden’s name has been connected to Tennessee’s vacancy just like it was in 2012. And as was the case five years ago, WNML’s Jimmy Hyams has continued to report he does not believe Gruden will be Tennessee’s coach.
Gruden could be the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next year, according to one reporter.
Ira Kaufman told PFT Live on Tuesday that Gruden returning to the team he coached from 2002-08 is a real possibility if Dirk Koetter is unable to save his job. From ProFootballTalk:
“Kaufman said he has heard that Gruden would be open to returning to coaching and would prefer the NFL, not college football, because he doesn’t like recruiting. Kaufman also said Gruden’s announcing career has run its course and that Gruden doesn’t have the same passion for the job now that he’s not paired with Mike Tirico, who became a close friend during their years together.”
So could Gruden return to coaching next season?
“Never say never.” But don’t expect it to happen in Knoxville.