MMQB: Jon Gruden Rumored to Have Been Interested in Coaching Colts

Jan 23, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; ESPN broadcaster and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders former coach Jon Gruden at Team Irvin practice at Scottsdale Community College in advance of the 2015 Pro Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; ESPN broadcaster and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders former coach Jon Gruden at Team Irvin practice at Scottsdale Community College in advance of the 2015 Pro Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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According to the Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was rumored to have been interested in the Indianapolis Colts head coaching position–should it have become available:

"“4. I think the word on the coaching circuit is that Jon Gruden would have listened, very earnestly, if the Indianapolis job came open,” writes King."

Of course, Gruden is currently a commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football, where he’s both excellent and engaging in the booth.

Jan 23, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; ESPN broadcaster and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders former coach Jon Gruden at Team Irvin practice at Scottsdale Community College in advance of the 2015 Pro Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; ESPN broadcaster and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders former coach Jon Gruden at Team Irvin practice at Scottsdale Community College in advance of the 2015 Pro Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

However, at age 52, Gruden is still more than young enough to get back into the coaching ranks. In 11 seasons (1998-2008), Gruden was 95-81 (.540) in 7 seasons with the Buccaneers and 4 seasons with the Raiders respectively.

With the Raiders, he made the playoffs in 2 of his 4 seasons–including an AFC Championship Game appearance in 2000 and a 2001 Divisional Round loss to the New England Patriots (‘Tuck Rule’ anyone?).

Replacing Tony Dungy, Gruden’s Buccaneers made the playoffs in 3 of his 7 seasons–most notably a Super Bowl XXXVII Championship.

As a coach, Gruden has always been highly regarded for his ability to work with quarterbacks. He turned Rich Gannon into a 4x Pro Bowl quarterback under his tutelage in Oakland and veteran Brad Johnson into a starting Super Bowl champion quarterback and Pro Bowler with Tampa Bay.

While Gruden no doubt has a cushy gig in the booth with ESPN, he’s been long enamored with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

After all, who else can run “Spider 2 Y-Banana” with such an attention to detail?

Like many other potential head coaching candidates, Gruden likely saw that Luck is one of the best young quarterbacks in football to come around in a long time and wanted the opportunity to coach him for himself.

However, it’s all for naught, as head coach Chuck Pagano was recently given a 4-year extension and appears to be the guy calling the shots on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.