The Washington Redskins were 0-5 and had lost 11 of their last 12 games when they finally fired Jay Gruden in early October. By then, the sixth-year coach was expecting it.
"I was kind of ready for it, to be honest with you," he told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport in a recent interview. "I knew it was going to happen."
A lot of Gruden's free time has been filled with golfing, working out and going out of town. That hasn't made being out of coaching for the past three months normal for him. He still wakes up early. He still pores over film. He still misses the camaraderie of coaches and players.
"I'm itching to do something," Gruden said. "I'd like to have an office to go to. That's the hardest thing. ... Definitely it is a life-changer."
Gruden might know soon whether he'll be involved in the NFL next season. While appearing on the RapSheet and Friends podcast, the 52-year-old said his primary objective this winter is to interview for a head coaching vacancy.
"Hopefully I'll get an opportunity to talk to some owners and maybe get another opportunity to be a head coach," he said. "I could take a year off if I don't get that job that I'm looking for, or if I don't get offered one."
A 35-50-1 mark with just one playoff appearance in five-plus seasons could make an interview, much less an offer, hard to come by. Perhaps Gruden draws interest as an offensive coordinator, a position he occupied for three seasons with the Bengals prior to becoming the Redskins' head coach in 2014. Gruden made it clear, however, that as much as he'd love to get back in the game, he wouldn't simply work anywhere.
"We'll have to wait and see what's available. Some of these jobs are not easy, the situations," he said. "You just got to make sure you're with the right people, that's the most important thing. Whatever the opportunity is, whether it's a coordinator or a head coach, you got to make sure you mesh with the people that you're working with."
Like your brother? Jay worked alongside Jon Gruden for the entirety of the latter's head coaching tenure in Tampa Bay as an offensive assistant. It's an arrangement Jay Gruden said he would be open to, only the opportunity doesn't currently exist with the Raiders.
"He's got a complete staff right now, so they don't have any job openings right now," Gruden said. "I'll have to look at different avenues first and then if that offer comes at a later time then I'll have to look at it."