NFL

I'm itching to do something – Jay Gruden aiming for swift return to coaching

By Sports Desk January 01, 2020

Jay Gruden is hoping for a swift return to a coaching role, and would be open to joining his brother Jon at the Oakland Raiders.

Gruden was fired by the Washington Redskins – who on Wednesday appointed former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera – early in the season following five straight defeats.

He has been out of work since then, though with several head coaches either already fired or set to be relieved of their duties following the end of the regular season, Gruden is eager to return.

However, Gruden will only consider a job which he feels is the right fit for him culturally, whether that is as a head coach or as an offensive coordinator.

"It's a pretty unique feeling [when you are fired]," Gruden told the Rap Sheet podcast. "You wake up at the same time in the morning ready to go to work but you don't have work to go to.

"I'm itching to do something. You definitely miss the camaraderie of the players, the coaches. You've just got to get used to it and wait for your next opportunity.

"We'll see what happens. There's going to be some changes made. Hopefully I'll be in a position to talk to some owners and get another opportunity as head coach.

"I could take a year off if I don't get that opportunity I'm looking for, we'll have to see what's available. Some of these jobs aren't easy.

"You have to make sure you look at the right player. Whether it's coordinator or head coach you've got to make sure you mesh with the people that you're working with."

The possibility of Gruden linking up with his brother Jon – who is head coach of the Raiders – has been touted, though he does not think a move is likely while his sibling has a full complement of staff.

"He's not got any job openings right now. If anything comes at a later time then I'd have to look at it," Gruden said.

"You want to make sure you work with people you know have the same core values that you have, work hard and are loyal. I know Jon fits all of that criteria, so he'd be a great guy to work for."

While Gruden is frustrated with how things ended with the Redskins, he acknowledged he expected to be fired.

"I was kind of ready for it. I knew it was going to happen," he added. "We didn't have any success, we were 0-5 at the time and there was frustration on both sides.

"Some changes had to be made and they made them. I was frustrated with the injuries and our best players never playing. We parted ways, all in good spirits and I'm ready to move on."

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