5 Most Likely Landing Spots for Jon Gruden in 2013
Jon Gruden wants to put the headsets back on.
During a recent interview with host Bryant Gumbel on HBO's "Real Sports,'' Gruden discussed his future and said he has rejected several opportunities to coach again, both on the pro and college level.
Gruden said. "I'm trying to figure out where I'm going. If the right opportunity presents itself, I will come back.''
Well because of how impatient some franchises are when it comes to a coach's chances at turning the team around, there will be more than a few potential opportunities available in the 2013 offseason.
Fans and owners want someone that will win now—or at least someone who provides that more emphatically than the incumbent—and Gruden is just the man for the job.
Patience may be a virtue, but not when a guy like Gruden still has the itch to coach.
New York Jets
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The offense needs help, badly.
The New York Jets' defense is fine for the most part, especially when compared to the offense.
There's quite a bit of pressure on Gang Green in 2013, because missing the postseason after two straight AFC title game appearances was demoralizing. Last season the Jets ranked No. 21 in passing, No. 22 in rushing and converted just 34.7 percent of their third downs.
Unsurprisingly, Mark Sanchez minimally improved and the Jets dropped three straight to close out a rollercoaster year.
Adding Tim Tebow was suppose to bring some fire in 2012, unfortunately we've only seen him go 9-of-23 this preseason and both quarterbacks have been sacked a combined nine times in the fake games. Ironically, the Jets have only mustered nine points this preseason as well.
On the bright side, these games don't count. However, if this type of ill-production seeps into the regular season, 2012 will be a long year and Rex Ryan's hot seat will surpass the melting point.
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Unlike the Jets, the Minnesota Vikings' offense has some potential.
Also, receiver Percy Harvin is one of the league's more dynamic receivers and Jon Gruden would simply create a more open playbook.
With the Vikings playing in the NFC North as well, 2012 will be another tough year as the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears all battle for postseason contention. Leslie Frazier is a great defensive coordinator; however, another season like 2011 and it would be surprising to see him remain at the helm.
If Gruden were to join the Vikings, though, retaining Frazier as the defensive coach would be an excellent decision.
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Throughout the 2011 season, the Cleveland Browns' offense was an atrocity.
They ranked No. 24 in rushing, No. 28 in passing, No. 29 overall and managed only 13.6 points per game (No. 30).
In addition, Cleveland moved the chains just 278 times, with 28 first downs coming on penalties. They also ranked No. 28 with a 41.94 red-zone touchdown scoring percentage.
When an offense fails to consistently move the ball and then not get touchdowns once in scoring position, coaching plays a major role.
The NFL is a fast-paced game and attempting field goal after field goal won't lead to any kind of success. Going 4-12 in 2011, the 2012 season doesn't have much more hope and Pat Shurmur needs his offense to explode sooner rather than later.
With a gunslinger like Brandon Weeden and a Brahma Bull like Trent Richardson, Jon Gruden would easily make Cleveland more competitive.
San Diego Chargers
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For years it seems like Norv Turner has been on the hot seat.
Then again, since being named the San Diego Chargers' head coach in 2007—despite never having a losing record in Southern California—the Bolts have made just one AFC title game (2007) and failed to make the postseason two years in a row.
Possessing so much talent on one team, San Diego remains one of the NFL's best offenses while also having a sound defense.
Unfortunately, special teams really cost the Chargers in recent years and until all three phases come together, Turner won't make a deep playoff run.
Jon Gruden on the other hand, would relish with the Superchargers' offense; he also placed a strong emphasis on special teams when coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Not to mention this would also be another opportunity for Gruden to reiterate why the Oakland Raiders should not have let him go.
Jason Garrett is in a similar position as Norv Turner, because the Dallas Cowboys have an abundance of talent but were not able to make the postseason in 2011.
One major difference between Dallas and San Diego, however, is Jerry Jones' impatience. Since Jimmy Johnson's last season with the 'Boys in 1993, Big D has seen five coaches come and go before Garrett.
No one has lasted longer than four seasons in Dallas, and with the Houston Texans on the rise, the Cowboys will gradually take a backseat in the Lone Star State if success doesn't occur soon. And by soon, we're talking 2012.
The good news is that with so much talent on both sides of the ball, the Cowboys offer Jon Gruden much appeal.
Tony Romo is coming off his best season in 2011 and the defense made some impressive upgrades this offseason. Now it just comes down to coaching.
For Garrett's sake, let's be optimistic about Dallas getting it done. If not, then hopefully he at least avoids freezing his own kicker again.
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