Dec. 24 (UPI) — The Gruden football family could again coach two of the NFL’s 32 teams, according to sources.
Those sources told NFL Network that Jon Gruden has been reaching out to former assistants and friends in the coaching industry to see if they would be available to potentially join him if he got a head-coaching job. The report specified that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are his “preferred destination.” This isn’t the first time he has been linked to the NFC South squad. League sources told Pewter Report in November that there is interest “from both sides” regarding a reunion.
Jon Gruden, 54, is employed by ESPN. That means the Buccaneers would possibly be in a bidding war to acquire the veteran coach. The coach entered the NFL ranks as an offensive assistant in 1990 with the San Francisco 49ers. He also had stops with the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, before coaching the Oakland Raiders from 1998 to 2001. He took over as coach of the Buccaneers in 2002 and led the franchise to a Super Bowl XXXVII victory against the Raiders on Jan. 26, 2003.
He owns a 95-81 regular season record and a 5-4 mark in the playoffs.
Jay Gruden still coaches the Washington Redskins. The 50-year-old entered the NFL coaching ranks in 2002 as an offensive assistant for his brothers’ Buccaneers in 2002. He was the Cincinnati Bengals‘ offensive coordinator from 2011 through 2013, before being hired in 2014 for his current gig. He owns a 27-34-1 record in the regular season and an 0-1 mark in the postseason.
Gruden and the Redskins reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension in March.
The Bengals are expected to part ways with Marvin Lewis this offseason. NFL Network reported that the franchise would be “targeting” Jay Gruden to be the new head coach. The Bengals have also been linked to Cleveland Brownshead coach Hue Jackson, but the report specified that Gruden would be the “preferred candidate” over Jackson. Sources in “league circles” also told Pro Football Talk that the Bengals are hoping to be reunited with Gruden or Jackson.
Jackson, 52, owns a 9-37 record as an NFL head coach for the Oakland Raiders and Browns. He served as the Bengals’ wide receivers coach from 2004 through 2006. He also coached the Bengals’ secondary in 2012 and the running backs in 2013, before becoming the offensive coordinator in 2014. Jackson bolted for the Browns job in 2016.