By Eric Schmidt

Jon Gruden has been linked to virtually every coaching vacancy in the college and professional ranks in the last few years after he joined the broadcast booth. This year, reports have suggested that Gruden may indeed be willing to re-join the sidelines as his time away from the game might make his coach relevancy less important. Gruden has a premiere job, siting alongside Mike Tirico on Monday Night Football, so are his competitive juices flowing so strongly that he could return to the NFL coaching ranks with the Cleveland Browns?

Superb beat writer Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer suggests this afternoon that the Browns might now be looking at Jon Gruden as a coaching possibility. Cleveland passed on the odds-on favorite to win the coaching job, Oregon’s Chip Kelly. While entertaining Kelly, the Browns lost out on Doug Marrone of Syracuse, a coach they interviewed twice, and eventually signed with the Buffalo Bills.

Cleveland is rumored to be interested in interviewing CFL coach Marc Trestman and Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was released from a Baltimore hospital this morning.

I know that in recent years, several people have tried to connect the dots to add Gruden to the Browns. Last season it was the Mike Holmgren relationship and his history in the state of Ohio. This year, Ms. Cabot draws out the same logic. Gruden is from Ohio, he went to the University of Dayton, he now knows the new owner of the Browns-Jimmy Haslam. Haslam is a big-time booster of the University of Tennessee and Gruden’s wife is a former Volunteer’s cheerleader.

What’s next? Gruden was recently seen leaving a Costco purchasing some orange ShamWOW towels?

I can understand the frustration in Cleveland, but I think Ms. Cabot is really making a reach here, trying to link Jon Gruden to the Browns as the team’s next head coach.

In order to extract Gruden from the broadcasting booth, the perfect scenario will have to be in place. I have said all along, it will require a warm weather climate, a quarterback he can work with and a program he thinks he can turn around and reach the Super Bowl within two years.

I suggested last week on that Gruden might be negotiating with Jerry Jones behind the scenes for the Dallas Cowboys head coaching job. I would not be shocked if Jones pulls a press conference in the middle of this week and announces Jon Gruden as the Cowboys next head coach. Dallas has not been relevant in post-season play, Jones wants to make the team relevant again and what better way to make a splash than to make a big announcement prior to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs? The media covering the NFL would be buzzing all week about Gruden to the Cowboys.

Gruden is a Super Bowl winning coach with a big ego. I’m sorry to disappoint Browns fans, but Cleveland is not a desired landing spot for a coach that likely in wanting to get in and out within three years with another championship. And in all reality, the Browns flirtation with Chip Kelly, Doug Marrone and even conducting an interview with Penn State’s Bill O’Brien, leads me to believe that this is a team under new ownership that is going to move forward with young players and a young head coach. Jon Gruden will not land with the Browns in 2013, despite offseason rumors once again.






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