Longtime Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has been connected to the Tennessee Volunteers head coaching job. Dan Patrick noted on his radio show that Witten is a name the Vols could consider to fill their vacancy.
“Here was a name that was brought to my attention by somebody else, how about Jason Witten?” Patrick noted. “Just a what if, Jason Witten as the next head coach. Throw that out there, whether it sticks or not, no idea, but that’s the information that I have with the Tennessee Volunteers.”
Tennessee recently fired Jeremy Pruitt after an investigation found recruiting violations. In addition to the Witten nugget, Patrick noted that Vols coaches were handing recruits McDonald’s bags full of cash on their campus visits, not an ideal scenario to keep the NCAA from discovering improper benefits.
Here is a look at Patrick’s full comments on Tennessee along with Witten.
Witten Played for the Raiders in 2020 But Is Uncertain on His NFL Future
Witten briefly retired from the NFL in 2018 after 15 seasons with the Cowboys but returned to Dallas in 2019 after a year in the ESPN Monday Night Football booth. During his last season with the Cowboys, Witten notched 529 yards and four touchdowns before opting to join the Raiders last offseason.
Witten had little involvement in the Raiders’ offense this season finishing with 13 receptions along with 69 yards and two touchdowns. The veteran tight end noted at the end of the season that he was unsure about playing in 2021.
“I’ve always been a firm believer to focus on the task at hand,” Witten explained, via TheSpun.com. “I’ll take some time, really just give myself some organic time to reflect and think through it. Certainly I know where I’m at in my career. But regardless, it’s been a great experience out here in Las Vegas with the Raiders, first-class organization. The players, the coaching staff, the management — they’ve earned my respect. Coach Gruden, I know we came up short this year, but I was proud to be a part of the football team. I’ll take some time after this season to figure that out.”
While Playing for the Cowboys, Witten Was Previously Linked to the Job at His Alma Mater
Witten has no previous coaching experience but that has not stopped him from being connected to the Vols. While playing for the Cowboys in 2017, Witten was also linked to the head coaching job at his alma mater. At the time, Witten noted he did not have an interest in the gig but did leave the door open for a coaching career in the future.
“Coaching is something I can see myself down the road having one of those opportunities,” Witten noted in November 2017, via The Dallas Morning News. “But right now, I’m all in with this team. My feet are planted firmly here with this opportunity I have here in 2017, getting it right this week. Not only that, but I really love this team I have and what we’re trying to build and get it right, right now and beyond for the future.”