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Could Jon Gruden be Tennessee’s next coach?

By Tom Jones
Published: November 16, 2017 Updated: November 16, 2017 at 03:47 PM
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017 in Tampa. Gruden will be inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor during their game against the Atlanta Falcons Monday, Dec. 13 in Tampa. CHRIS URSO | Times

Could Jon Gruden actually be the next head coach at the University of Tennessee?

According to reports quoted by the website Saturday Down South, Tennessee "power brokers'' are in Tampa to make a pitch to the former Bucs coach.

To which I say: I can't imagine.

I mean, I can imagine why Tennessee wants Gruden. I just can't see Gruden being interested in Tennessee.

Yeah, I know he has ties there. His first coaching job was there as a grad assistant. And that's where he met his wife, Cindy, who grew up in East Tennessee and was  a Vols cheerleader.

And he got everyone fired up recently by going on a Seattle radio station and making a reference to Tennessee's fight song of Rocky Top.

But if Gruden is going to give up his $6.5-million salary at ESPN and leave the pressure-free press box to coach again, it's going to be for a better job than Tennessee. The Vols job simply isn't the job it was a few years ago, and it's getting harder and harder to win the ultra-competitive SEC.

In addition, could you imagine  Gruden sitting in the living room of some 17-year-old kid begging for the kid to come play for him?

Could you imagine Gruden wanting to deal with keeping kids out of trouble and making sure they are getting good grades when all Gruden wants to do is draw up pass plays in the dirt?

Could you imagine Gruden being satisfied with by only have 20 hours a week, per NCAA rules, to coach up his offense?

I just can't imagine.

Gruden might coach again, but I just can't see it at Tennessee.