Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Colts, Raiders fire coaches Chuck Pagano, Jack Del Rio

Jon Gruden coaches the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 Jon Gruden coaches the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008
Judith Alexander | 03 January, 2018, 02:01

"I hope I'm a candidate", Gruden said. 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".

Numerous reports have indicated that it is only a matter of time before the Oakland Raiders name Jon Gruden their next head coach, and the ESPN broadcaster all but confirmed that on Tuesday.

Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Yet, following Oakland's 6-10 finish, including an terrible regression on offense, owner Mark Davis apparently will go all in to pursue Gruden with his team just two years away from moving to Las Vegas.

Gruden's Raiders candidacy also complicates his current job status as Monday Night Football color commentator.

Gruden's tenure ended shortly after the "Tuck Rule" loss to the New England Patriots when he was traded the following month to Tampa Bay for two first-round draft picks, two second-rounders and $8 million.

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Gruden is calling his final game of the season on Saturday, when the Titans and Chiefs meet in the wild-card round.

Del Rio was sacked following the 30-10 defeat to the Chargers, leading to the current search. Gruden has been mentioned in coaching rumors in his nine years since parting ways with the Buccaneers, but this is by far the closest he has come to accepting a position.

Tom Flores was the first Hispanic coach to win a Super Bowl and the team also hired Hue Jackson as coach in 2011 and now employs Reggie McKenzie as general manager.

If the Raiders do offer Gruden an ownership stake, there is a huge catch - it must be approved by other National Football League owners and there is a good reason to think they would be reluctant to do so.

"I trust the integrity of Mark Davis and Reggie and what they have done", Pollard said.

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