By Eric Schmidt

So, with less than a week to go in the regular season, the rumor mill is in full swing over the future of coaching staffs around the league and one name which is linked to rumors on a yearly basis is Jon Gruden, this time he is linked to the head coaching position for the St. Louis Rams. I don’t believe this for one second.

Chargers beat writer Kevin Acee for SignonSanDiego.com writes this evening that according to his sources, the San Diego Chargers are expected to part ways with head coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith. So far, so good, I agree that those moves are likely a done deal. Let me skip ahead in the column he scribed this evening and he states that St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kronke is likely to clean house as well, jettisoning head coach Steve Spagnuolo and General Manger Billy Devaney. Still good here, I can envision this happening as well.

Then the column gets all cloudy, referencing that the Rams will hire former Chargers GM A.J. Smith and Jon Gruden is going to come out of retirement to become the head coach of the St. Louis Rams. Stop the presses.

The article states that Gruden plans to return to coaching in 2012. Okay, that’s possible despite having just signed a five-year contract extension with ESPN to remain on Monday Night Football, but he has the luxury of being currently employed, in a very high profile job, he could pick and choose the team he wants when and if he decides to return to coaching. Why would he choose the St. Louis Rams?

If this article is partly correct and Norv Turner is fired in San Diego, the Chargers would be a much more likely fit for Gruden. Gruden currently lives in Tampa and has said openly that he loves warm climates, St. Louis is not warm in the winter time. Gruden is regarded as an offensive genius in coaching circles, yet he prefers to work with veteran players. In his career, he’s never drafted or developed a young quarterback. Not to say that couldn’t happen, but if he had to choose between coaching Philip Rivers and the Chargers or Sam Bradford and the Rams, I think he’d lean towards the Chargers.

I’ll take that logic one step further. Coach Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams or remain on Monday Night Football, I’m staying on MNF.

Acee writes, “Sources said Gruden has decided to return to coaching in 2012 and that his current employer, ESPN, is already preparing for his departure”.  And in the past two seasons, didn’t sources state that Jon Gruden was going to- Notre Dame, University of Tennessee, University of Florida, University of Miami, the Cleveland Browns and just about 12 other teams last season.

Don’t get your hopes up Rams fans. I just can’t see Jon Gruden heading to St. Louis.

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