Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kicker Matt Bryant Says Jon Gruden May Return To Coaching In 2012

36-year-old free agent kicker Matt Bryant hopes to play a few more seasons in NFL, which could give him a chance to kick for his friend and former head coach Jon Gruden, whom Bryant thinks will return to an NFL sideline in 2012, Joe Kazmar of The Record reports.

"Gruden was 100 per cent committed to his job and was always very focused on what he was doing," Bryant said. "He got fired right after he signed a three-year extension. I believe Gruden will return to coaching after this season when the money from his extension runs out. We are still very good friends."

Gruden compiled a 95-81 regular season record and 5-4 post-season record in 11 seasons as a head coach in the NFL, beginning with the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001 and continuing with the Buccaneers from 2002-08. The Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII in Gruden's first season in Tampa, beating the Raiders 48-21.

Now an analyst on ESPN's Monday Night Football, Gruden has been linked to several head coaching positions, both college and pro, over the last three years. Gruden has also declared himself the head of the "Fired Football Coaches Association" and has been putting the top quarterbacks in the NFL draft under the microscope in the "Gruden's QB Camp" series on ESPNU.

During the first episode of 2011, Gruden was telling University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker that thick skin was a necessity in the NFL, pointing out that even a Super Bowl win didn't keep him from being fired. Gruden added that "he'll be back someday".

"Someday" may be January 2012.

source:  Mac's Football Blog
author:  Brian McIntyre

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