On Sunday night, the Raiders announced that they were moving on from Del Rio after only three seasons at the helm in which he had a winning record of 25-23.
For all of Gruden's prestige as an analyst and Super Bowl-winning head coach, it might be surprising to recall that he hasn't coached in the National Football League in a decade, that he really only had two especially good seasons in Tampa Bay, and that one of those seasons was spent coaching a team that had been raised up from the mud by his predecessor, Tony Dungy.
Gruden made it seem as if it is only a matter of a time that he takes the job in Oakland by saying the following when asked if he'll indeed take the job with the Raiders on ESPN's Golic & Wingo, transcription via Tom Shad of USA Today.
Rumors about Gruden's return to the sidelines have been going on ever since he entered the booth, and it always seemed like a matter of when not if he chose to take a job. I take a lot of phone calls from coaches, some others ... yeah, sometimes owners.
The Raiders already fired Del Rio and Tuesday morning on WFAN, Boomer Esiason said that it's considered a "done deal".
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However, he said the decision ultimately comes down to what owner Mark Davis wants. "It's nearly like - I don't know what's going to happen, Mike", he said. "He's one of the rare people that I think has been away from the game but he's been as involved in the game as anybody, where he kind of is getting exposure, the ins and outs".
Black Monday has come and gone and of course there were casualties in the coaching ranks with more likely to follow.
However it is clear that Gruden was the Raiders choice from the start after his fired Jack Del Rio and will eat a sizeable contract of $20 million. Following the Super Bowl run of his first season in charge, the Bucs never won another playoff game under Gruden.
The Raiders finished the season losing four straight, with Carr shouldering some of the blame for the downturn.
It should also be noted that Gruden now works for ESPN and presumably Schefter would not make such a proclamation without some assurance that his statement was accurate. However, it would not be shocking to see them be the first team to hire its head coach during this coaching carousel and possibly violate The Rooney Rule in the process. Us as players, we need to do better.