The Jacksonville Jaguars announced their new head coach on Thursday, leaving Bengals offensive coordinator one more opportunity before he officially returns to Cincinnati (not that he ever technically left).
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Jacksonville Jaguars tapped Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as the team's next head coach. He replaces former head coach Mike Mularkey, who was fired after one season by David Caldwell, the team's newest general manager. San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator, a former college teammate of Caldwell, was believed to be a candidate, as was Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who interviewed with the team on Tuesday.
With Chip Kelly announced as the newest Philadelphia Eagles head coach and Marc Trestman in Chicago, one head coaching vacancy remains in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. Gruden began his tour of head coaching interviews on Thursday, followed by the Chargers (Sunday), Eagles (Monday) and Jaguars (Tuesday).
Originally it was believed that former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was Arizona's No. 1 choice as the team's head coach, with current defensive coordinator Ray Horton being the team's backup plan.
However according to reports Bruce Arians, who lost out in Chicago and San Diego, believed to be strong possibilities, had dinner Wednesday night with team officials in Arizona. He's scheduled to officially interview on Thursday, according to reports.
ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton thinks Arizona will offer the job to Jay Gruden.
"I still think in the end it's going to be Jay Gruden," Clayton said. "I can't see Bruce Arians wanting to just get a head coaching job. I mean this guy; he's got a great situation. Why leave Andrew Luck? He's that good." Clayton believes Arians will get plenty of offers next offseason and has no reason to rush into a situation -- particularly if it ends up being a poor fit.
"If you're attached to Andrew Luck and you are as good as coach as [Arians] is why leave him? You'll get offers next year," Clayton said.
Despite all of this, we're still betting the house that Gruden returns to Cincinnati this year. We've been saying that since this all began.