PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jon Gruden is preparing to return to the NFL as a head coach.
“I’ve met with several people — I won’t deny that,” Gruden said in an interview with PewterReport.com. “Just about every year I talk about coming back to coach. I’m not in here every day at 4:30 or 4:00 in the morning watching pinball. You know? I’m preparing myself to come back, I am. Every day. I’m preparing to come back.”
Gruden, 53, hasn’t coached since 2008 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He joined ESPN as an NFL color analyst on Monday Night Football in May of 2009.
Gruden was the head coach for the Bucs from 2002-2008, winning a Super Bowl in 2003 where the Bucs upset the Eagles in the NFC Championship game. Prior to that he was the head coach for Raiders, from 1998-2001. He compiled a record of 100-85 as an NFL head coach.
Before joining the Raiders, Gruden was the offensive coordinator of the Eagles from 1995-1997. Gruden’s name was floated around for the Eagles head coaching gig in 2016 after the firing of Chip Kelly. The Eagles, however, hired Doug Pederson.
Pederson went 7-9 in his first season as Eagles head coach with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. Before the season, the Eagles moved up in the draft to acquire the North Dakota State QB with the No. 2 overall pick — a player that Gruden has spoken highly of.
Before the 2016 draft, Gruden called Wentz the “most ready NFL quarterback” we’ve seen in a few years.
Many fans and media members believe Pederson may need to win at least nine games this season to keep his job, which invites speculation that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has Gruden in his mind as a potential replacement.