When discussing candidates for open head coaching positions that will likely open after this season, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports threw Jay Gruden's name into the pool, largely citing Andy Dalton's development and the overall re-tasking of Cincinnati's offense. The concept of Cole's candidates appeared largely to establish a comprehensive list of assistant coaches, many of whom probably have a slim chance of generating any interest. However Cole isn't the only one thinking that Gruden's stay in Cincinnati might be a short one.
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, who writes an excellent weekly article, believes much like Jason Cole that Gruden's development with Dalton (and Cincinnati's overall offensive turnaround), could generate a lot of interest with teams that will feature an open head coaching position.
Jay Gruden might not be long for Cincinnati. His brother Jon may be off limits to teams seeking a head coach, but Jay may be the next best thing. Jay was Jon’s right hand man during Jon’s Super Bowl season with the Bucs. Jay also is being credited with helping to turn around the Bengals this year. The offensive coordinator convinced team ownership to select Andy Dalton instead of Ryan Mallett in the draft, and his development of Dalton has been stunning. Jay also has head coaching experience, having led the Arena League’s Orlando Predators to a 93-61 record and two league championships over nine seasons.
Conceptually I believe Gruden's chances as a candidate would be slim, if for anything his limited experience as being one of the top coaches in the NFL. Granted, he was his brother's assistant in Tampa Bay, as well as a successful Arena Football League head coach. But we're fairly certain that teams would want a greater sample of Gruden's ability as a top-level coach (not named a head coach) in the NFL before taking a series interest in the offensive coordinator.
That being said, can anyone disagree that Gruden wasn't one of the best hires this offseason?