Jon Gruden: 'I love MNF, don't plan on leaving'

Photo of Jon Gruden: 'I love MNF, don't plan on leaving'

At this time of year, when coaches start losing their jobs, former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's name tends to surface as a possible candidate.

This year, the Gruden rumors have centered around Tennessee, though athletic director John Currie recently declined to comment on the school's potential search for a replacement for Butch Jones.

Gruden was asked about the Volunteers gig on Wednesday and passively dismissed the idea of leaving Monday Night Football for a return to coaching.

"I don't know what's going to happen in the future, I just know this: I'm going to continue to give my best effort to the game, stay prepared, and I love Monday Night Football, don't plan on leaving, but as you know in life you never say never to nothing," Gruden said on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike.

While the school where Gruden got his coaching start as a graduate assistant has been the most widely-discussed destination, the Buccaneers have also been thrown into the mix, with sources telling CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora that a return to Tampa Bay "would not be a bridge too far."

The 3-6 Buccaneers remain led by second-year head coach Dirk Koetter.

"I'm really sensitive to the coaches that are out there coaching, so I don't speculate," Gruden said.

Gruden, who hasn't coached at any level since 2008, is believed to be ESPN's highest-paid on-air personality. With the network's rights for Monday Night Football set to expire in 2021, expect another four years of midseason speculation.

"I just love football, I'm trying to hang on to the job I have. I'm very fortunate to be with the people I'm with," Gruden said.

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