The speculation on who will replace Andy Reid as the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles has included a lot of big name players, notably Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, and Brian Billick. All are former Super Bowl-winning coaches who have since retired and taken on a broadcasting/analyst position.
According to Philadelphia Eagles sideline reporter Howard Eskin, Gruden heading to Philly could be more than just a rumor. It could be a reality.
Obviously, the Eagles will need to fired Reid, but he’s currently guiding a 3-5 team in the middle of a four-game losing streak and a postseason appearance seems extremely unlikely, let alone a deep playoff run.
Gruden, who is currently an ESPN analyst, has expressed interest on coaching again. He led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in 2002, his first season with the team. But he disappointed in his final six seasons in Tampa Bay, losing both postseason games (at home) and winning just 45 of his final 96 games.
His Buccaneers collapsed in 2008, losing their final four games after a 9-3 start to miss the postseason. Their last game, ironically, came against the Oakland Raiders, and it was the loss that propelled the Eagles into the postseason (they crushed the Dallas Cowboys 44-6).
Gruden also coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001, where he led the team to the postseason twice. His most memorable moment with the Raiders was losing the Tuck Rule game against the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the 2001 divisional round–the game that propelled the Patriots into their dynasty.
Gruden has some history in Philly too. He served as the offensive coordinator for the Eagles from 1995 to 1997, leading the team into the playoffs twice. He worked with Reid in 1993 and 1994, when he served as the wide receivers coach for the Green Bay Packers.
It’s still way too early to know if Gruden will actually come to Philly, but the signs are there. I remember hearing rumors about it back in 2010.
It’s going to take me some time to determine how I feel about Gruden potentially coaching the Eagles. On the one hand, you have a former Super Bowl champion coach who has proven that he can take a very good team and turn them into a great team. On the other hand, he did absolutely nothing in his final six seasons in Tampa Bay.