Now that the Bengals season is over and Black Monday is behind us, it's not a surprise that Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is being called for interviews for head coaching vacancies. The Eagles and the Cardinals are the two teams that have expressed interest in talking to Gruden in the future, but according to Geoff Hobson, Gruden plans on being back in Cincinnati in 2013.
"I think it will be a great experience and it's exciting. I have every intention of coming back here. We've got a great group of guys here. We're excited for the future here."
Of course, being in Cincinnati (like it matters) and seeing what happened to the University of Cincinnati twice in just a few years, a coach saying he's planning on staying put means absolutely nothing. It's likely that if Gruden is offered a head coaching position, he'll take it. Why wouldn't he?
The question is whether or not he'll get an offer. The Bengals made the playoffs two years in a row riding the play of the team's defense, which is why so many are surprised that defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer hasn't gotten many head coach offers. The Bengals offense was especially bad over the team's last three games, scoring just one offensive touchdown. They won two of those three games, though, as the defense scored a touchdown in each game (two by Leon Hall and one by Carlos Dunlap).
Gruden knows that the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and he knows that the Bengals lack of offensive production could land him in hot water in Cincinnati before he ever gets a shot to run his own team.
"I also know in this business your welcome mat doesn't last forever and I'm sure mine has probably been kicked off the doorstep. People probably want me out of here right now," Gruden said after his unit finished two slots lower than last year at No. 22. "That's just the way it is in this business.
"When you enter the coaching profession you necessarily don't do it to be an assistant your whole life. Eventually you'd like to be top dog and run your own ship," he said. "When the time's right. Every team has their issues and their problems. That's why they're looking. Eventually when the time is right, hopefully I'll get a chance. If not this year, or next year, or the year after. I'll be happy here because it's a great place."
The Bengals had the 22nd ranked offense in 2012 and the 20th in 2011. Stay tuned for more updates on the NFL coaching carousel as more news comes trickling in.