After Jon Gruden was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009, he spent years being a highly sought-after coach. Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis pursued him for years and finally convinced him to come back in 2018. Things didn’t go according to plan as the coach couldn’t get the team to the playoffs in any of his first three years.
Year 4 started off promising until a litany of emails were leaked to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that contained racist, homophobic and sexist language used by Gruden. The coach resigned and is now engaged in a lawsuit with the NFL for the emails getting leaked to the media.
Many of the Gruden emails were from before he took over the Raiders but that wasn’t enough of an excuse for his job to be safe. Bob LaMonte, the coach’s agent, recently came out and defended Gruden.
“And it was 10 years ago. And then why Jon and why the Raiders? He wasn’t even in the league at the time of those e-mails … that’s the tragedy of it,” LaMonte said, per Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan. “You can say what you want, but if anyone really understands Jon, they know he’s not a racist. That’s quite obvious. No one would ever say that.”
Some of Gruden’s former players came out and defended him but it’s going to be difficult for him to get back into the NFL.
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LaMonte Predicts Gruden Will Coach Again
Considering Gruden’s tenure with the Raiders was already under fire for the poor product he put on the field, it’s difficult to imagine an NFL team would want to hire him again, especially as a head coach. He could have value as an offensive coordinator but his ability as a head coach has come into question. Factoring in the controversy that now surrounds his name, it makes it even less likely he’ll land a coaching job in the NFL.
LaMonte has represented Gruden for years and knows the coach well. He defended the coach and predicted that he will be on the sidelines again one day.
“I really believe in my heart and soul he will coach again,” LaMonte said. “I’d be very surprised if he didn’t. My question is what did Jon really do? Most people wouldn’t want their private emails from 10 days ago looked at.”
LaMonte also called out the NFL for the emails leaking.
“I can tell you right now that was a hit job,” LaMonte added.
Could Gruden Coach in College?
The fact that Gruden is suing the NFL only hurts his chances of coaching in the league again. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick also sued the NFL and the fact that he can’t land on a team is consistently a national storyline. Gruden won’t garner the same passion from fans as Kaepernick has.
If Gruden hopes to coach again, it will likely need to be in the college ranks. Controversial coaches have gotten college coaching jobs in the past. Gruden is still a huge name so a small school looking to up its profile might like the idea of creating a media frenzy by hiring the coach.
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