Gru­mours are true about Gru­den

‘I’m pre­par­ing my­self to come back’

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MATT BONESTEEL

Gru­mour sea­son — a.k.a. the time when ESPN colour com­men­ta­tor Jon Gru­den’s name is con­nected with nearly every big-time job open­ing in the Na­tional Foot­ball League and col­lege foot­ball — tra­di­tion­ally starts around Thanks­giv­ing, when coaches start get­ting fired. But this year we’re get­ting big-time Gru­mours in July, thanks to the man him­self.

“I’ve met with sev­eral peo­ple — I won’t deny that,” Gru­den told Pewter Re­port. “Peo­ple — 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.

“It helps me in my broad­cast­ing and I think if you lose that edge ... you can’t come back un­less you are to­tally wired with col­lege foot­ball, per­son­nel, schemes, the CBA, how peo­ple are prac­tic­ing, trends, you know. You’ve got stay on top of this stuff.”

Gru­den last coached in 2008 with the Bucs and re­port­edly is ESPN’s high­est-paid com­menta- tor at $6.5 mil­lion per year. He says he likes his role in the “Mon­day Night Foot­ball” booth, but it doesn’t quite scratch his coach­ing itch.

“I love ESPN,” Gru­den said. “I mean I love what I’m do­ing. I’m with a great team — a great group of guys. I’m still real close to the game. I still stay in con­tact with a lot of play­ers and coaches at the league at every level. I don’t know if [all the talk] is flat­ter­ing or ir­ri­tat­ing. I don’t re­ally pay at­ten­tion to a lot of it. But I am — every year — pre­par­ing my­self to coach. Some­times I show up at camp and I show up in the off-sea­son and peo­ple let me coach. I jump in drills and they still let me in­stall plays and call plays at some places. I still have a lot of fun.”

It seems like Gru­den only has eyes for the NFL. The most re­cent Gru­mour sea­son fea­tured Gru­den’s name con­nected with both the Los An­ge­les Rams, who hired Red­skins of­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor Sean McVay, and the In­di­anapo­lis Colts, who re­tained the eter­nally hot-seated Chuck Pagano but re­placed GM Ryan Grig­son.

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