The Analyst Makes His Return To Coaching
Jon Gruden said he felt right at home when he walked into whatever they call the old Oakland Coliseum nowadays. He, of course, won’t be calling it home for long, with the Oakland Raiders heading for Las Vegas and a new stadium in 2019.
But he’s back in the Bay Area for a second turn coaching the Raiders after nine years with ESPN and that coaching stretch with Tampa Bay that saw the Buccaneers beat the Raiders in Super Bowl 37.
“This is the organization that I want to be a part of. And I’m all in. I only live one time. This is something that I feel deeply, strongly, about,” Gruden, 54, said Tuesday at a news conference that was also part tribute to his first go-round with the club.
The Raiders, under owner Al Davis, traded Gruden to the Buccaneers for two No. 1 draft picks, two No. 2 picks and $8 million. Two years later they began a long, slow decline only partially reversed. And the Bucs won a Super Bowl in Gruden’s first season, though they never won another playoff game.
The Raiders are now owned and run by Mark Davis, the son of the Hall of Fame coach/owner. He has stayed in constant contact with Gruden over the last half-dozen years, always hoping to lure him back.
“It is the biggest day of my life right now to have him here,” Davis said.
The reported terms: 10 years, $100 million. That’s a new bar for coaching salaries in the NFL.
Will it work? Can it work? As an ESPN analyst, Gruden stayed on top of the league. But that’s not the same as coaching.
He’s got 10 years to get it right. And this time, Gruden said, he has a no-trade clause in his contract.
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