|No word on whether Gruden will bring back the robot if he returns to Oaktown. (Getty Images)|
Last week, there was a report that Monday Night Football analyst and former NFL coach Jon Gruden was offered the University of Tennessee job along with a Browns' ownership stake. Gruden and the Browns promptly denied the report, and Gruden went on to say "I'm just excited about Monday Night Football. I like what I'm doing. I'm just trying to hang on to the job that I have."
But that hasn't stopped the rumors from flying. The most recent one comes courtesy of ProFootballWeekly's Hub Arkush, who told WSCR radio (via PFT) that Gruden and the Raiders are in talks to bring him back to Oakland.
So there you go.
Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998-2001 before leaving for Tampa Bay in 2002, where he won the Super Bowl.
Frankly, his return to Oakland seems like a long shot, partly because Gruden says he's happy about the MNF gig (that's a joke; we wouldn't be shocked if he quit tomorrow to become a shepherd -- that's how unpredictable he is) but mostly because the timing seems a little too convenient.
Owner Mark Davis told first-year coach Dennis Allen just last week that the Raiders' 3-8 start wasn't "good enough." (Then again, maybe Davis, unable to reconcile losing to the Browns at home -- and being eliminated from the playoffs in the process -- has decided to take a page from the Al Davis playbook and mix things up.)
"He just wanted [Allen] to know, from the owner, that we have to get better,'' general manager Reggie McKenzie said at the time.
Davis added: "I wouldn't say it was heated; the most heated I got was when we first got on the plane (after the loss to Cincinnati in Week 12) and I told him it's not good enough. And that's what I said. I told him not long after we boarded: 'It's not good enough.' I admit I was pissed off."
"He's frustrated,'' Allen admitted. "He wants to win; we all do. He's frustrated, and he expresses his frustration. So he and I had a long sit-down on the plane and talked about it.''
Make of this what you will.
In the meantime, we're using it as an excuse to bust out these fantastic photos of Raiders' fans after Gruden left them hanging to go win a Lombardi Trophy with the Bucs. You're welcome.
|We're guessing Raiders fans would gladly welcome Gruden back now ... (Getty Images)|
|... Even this guy. (Getty Images)|