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Gruden apparently out of everyone's coaching search

ESPN announced within the hour that former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden has signed an "exclusive agreement" with the network  that will "keep him on sports television's signature series and out of coaching for the next five years."

That obviously means scratch Gruden from the list of folks who might be lining up to coach the Dolphins should Tony Sparano not be able to turn things around and keep the Dolphins on their present winless course.

Gruden guided the Tampa Bay Bucs to a Super Bowl victory during his tenure with the team.

“Jon is a rare individual who has been successful at everything he has done, going from one of the youngest coaches to win a Super Bowl to reinventing himself with this new broadcasting career in his 40s," Bob LaMonte, the agent for Gruden said in a statement. "He has an unmistakable enthusiasm for football that will continue to entertain fans on ESPN.”

This obviously affects the Dolphins. As I reported to you in my column today, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is already making contingency plans on what to do with the Dolphins if his team doesn't turn things around.

Part of that plan would include hiring a new coach. The thing is, Ross doesn't want just any coach. He thinks one way to get the Dolphins on the right track might be to hire a "star" coach that would have final say over all football operations matters. That coach would then hire a general manager of his choice.

Obviously, Gruden would have qualified as a "star" coach. Gruden served as an NFL head coach for 11 seasons with the Oakland Raiders (1998-2001) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-08). He compiled a career record of 100-85 and led his teams to five division titles. Gruden’s best season was 2002 when the Buccaneers finished the regular season 12-4 and captured the Super Bowl XXXVII title with a 48-21 victory over the Raiders, the team he had coached just one season earlier.

So the list of possible "star" coaching candidates shrinks by one. That list now only includes Jeff Fisher, Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy. (I don't think Dungy wants to come back to coaching, but I'm putting his name there anyway.)

I must warn you: As I write in my column, Ross may opt to go another direction on the hiring front if the Dolphins don't turn things around. He might hire a "star" personnel man or GM type. He might hire his own Football Czar typeand that person would hire a coach.

And that hire might not necessarily be a "star," but simply a coach the "star" Football Czar/GM believes is ready to take the Dolphins to the next level.

[Update: Mike Florio makes the point on ProFootballtalk.com that ESPN is refusing to say how this contract extension prohibits Gruden from going to the NFL. Thus, Florio believes Gruden can go to the NFL at any time if he wishes. So there's that.]


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To all the Gruden fans...

Let's take a stroll down memory lane. Gurden took over the Bucs from Tony Dungey and in his first year won the SB against the Raddddders...

He had to credit Dungey for setting the team up for years and Gruden was on Dungeys coattails. After 7 years with the Bucs Gruden was FIRED and went to da Raders.

How in hells bells can you call this guy a STAR? His record below is pathetic.

95–81–0 (Regular Season)
5–4 (Postseason)
100–85–0 (Overall)

COWHER aka THE JAW is the STAR choice and is much, much more experienced and disciplined.

Now tell me you're not impressed at Cowhers accomplishments.

In Cowher’s 15 seasons, the Steelers captured eight division titles, earned ten postseason playoff berths, played in 21 playoff games, advanced to six AFC Championship games and made two Super Bowl appearances.

He is one of only six coaches in NFL history to claim at least seven division titles.

At the conclusion of the 2005 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the best record of any team in the National Football League since Cowher was hired as head coach.

Now folks... If you don't like COWHER that's fine BUT you can NOT argue that COWHER IS the best choice as he has a proven record and TODAY, Mike Tomlin reps from what COWHER built with the Rooney family backing him up.

This is a no brainier.. COWHER IS the STAR and first choice. Give him the keys and guaranteed the Fins will be turned around as one of the best Teams in the NFL since Shula.

Gruden has never proven and cant hold the apron strings for Cowher as there is just no comparison whatsoever and mentioning Gruden in the same sentence as Cowher as better is being naive as the numbers don't lie.

THANK GOD chucky is not available. All talk and the press made him likable despite his crappy record.

Bill Cowher's Career
Win / Loss Record
Year Win Loss Tie
1992 11 5 0
1993 9 7 0
1994 12 4 0
1995 11 5 0
1996 10 6 0
1997 11 5 0
1998 7 9 0
1999 6 10 0
2000 9 7 0
2001 13 3 0
2002 10 5 1
2003 6 10 0
2004 15 1 0
2005 11 5 0
2006 8 8 0
Reg Season 149 90 1
Playoffs 12 9 0
Total 161 99 1

Don't tell me about Fisher either.

17 seasons ONLY 6 of them were better than 8-8.

Two AFC championship games (1-1)

One Superbowl appearance (0-1)

Not good enough!

What about Brian Bill

What about Brian Billick?

Dan Marino loved the Dolphins too much to continue playing for another team...but given the opportunity to be the team czar he passed...because working in TV is so fun and lucrative you just don't walk away.

Same applied to Gruden. He's got it made and he knows it. Plus, I don't see him as the type to sign a 5-year deal if he PLANNED to come back. This seems like a sincere commitment to the career he has now.

Can't say I blame him.

Yea that's what I would do, Hire a football czar. Isn't that what they did with Parcells and he got us what we have now. Ireland who doesn't know talent and Sparano who had to try to make this work with the clowns Ireland picked. I feel he could have been a good coach if he had a better front office. If your gonna shake things up give Cowher what he wants and let him pick his own GM and he will right this ship!!!!

Gruden is the man - and I hope he has an Ohio State Buckeye hat on next fall, NOT a dolphin hat.

Why waste that talent on such poor leadership that the dolphins have.

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