Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden didn't exactly deny things when he was asked about the possibility that he after leaving.
After ESPN reported on Saturday that the Raiders were going to make a hard push to land Gruden, the Super Bowl-winning coach had a chance to shoot down the report during an interview with the Bay Area News Group later in the evening.
When asked about the Raiders job, Gruden gave the most Gruden answer possible.
"I don't want to sit here and speculate. ... There is no news to report," Gruden said. "I can't say I haven't taken any phone calls. I take a lot every year from coaches, some others. ... Yeah, sometimes owners. Guys want to bounce ideas off me. I'm here to help people."
That's a pretty ambiguous answer. If Gruden didn't want the Raiders job, he could have simply said, "I've talked to plenty of suitors, but I'm staying at ESPN."
Of course, the fact that Gruden didn't want to comment actually makes some sense. Gruden and Jack Del Rio actually share the same agent -- talk about awkward -- and there's a good chance Gruden doesn't want to talk about the job unless Del Rio is 100 percent out of the picture.
Raiders owner Mark Davis was also asked about the report that his team was looking to hire Gruden, and although he had the opportunity, he didn't take the chance to shoot anything down. He basically gave a "no comment" comment to NBC Sports Bay Area.
Just ran into Raiders owner Mark Davis. Asked directly about about ESPN report re: interest in Jon Gruden. He played coy. Said focus is on winning next game. Asked about Del Rio’s job status. Wouldn’t touch it. Asked again about Gruden report: “these rumors come about every year”— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) December 31, 2017
If Davis was staunchly behind current coach Jack Del Rio, he would've said something like, "I have no interest in hiring Jon Gruden." Instead, he left the door wide open for a possible Gruden hire.
This is probably the most awkward for Del Rio. Imagine going up to your girlfriend of three years and saying, "I'm going to propose to this other girl I dated from 1999 to 2001 and if she says no, then I'll probably propose to you."
Del Rio is basically an awkward third wheel at this point and it's only going to get more awkward on Sunday, and that's because he's most likely going to have to answer plenty of questions about the Gruden situation after the Raiders play the Chargers in their season finale.