Just as Linus van Pelt spends hours awaiting the arrival of the Great Pumpkin every fall, those of us interested in the head coaching industry await the yearly appearance of our favorite, seemingly mythical winter creature: The Jon Gruden returning to head coaching rumor.
The former Raiders and Bucs coach, who won a Super Bowl back in 2003, has been associated with the opening in Los Angeles via several publishedreports over the last few weeks. However, the ESPN Monday Night Football announcer appeared on the network's Mike and Mike show Wednesday to say he's happy where he is.
"You know Mike, I love football. I've said that a million times," Gruden said, via ESPN. "And I just want to say that I'm very happy doing what I'm doing. My full attention is on the Cowboys-Lions game, I cannot wait for our final Monday Night game. There's a lot of chips on the table. But right now, I have no intention of coaching. I really enjoy what I'm doing and I feel like I'm really close to the fire. I'm getting plenty of satisfaction out of doing what I'm doing."
While the Gruden comeback rumors often elicit eye rolls, an opening in the Los Angeles market carries a different weight than previous jobs. Like the Giants gig a year ago, it is a premier franchise in a premier location; one of the most visible jobs in professional sports. If anything were to entice Gruden, couldn't it be the bright lights of Hollywood and the sheen of a soon-to-be-completed billion-dollar stadium?
Apparently not. As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo have both said in recent days, the smart money might be on someone like Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan or Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for the Rams job. Perhaps Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith would also come into play.
There is no doubt Los Angeles will want to hoist a big-name candidate at the end of this coaching search. But, according to Gruden, he will not be the one.