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NFL Coaching Rumors: Jon Gruden Staying At ESPN

Potential NFL head coaching candidate Jon Gruden reaffirmed his loyalty to his corporate overlords and descendents of Kim Jong Il in Bristol, CT. Gruden told the Tampa Tribune that he plans to stay in the Monday Night Football broadcast booth for 2012 rather than get back into the coaching business.

On Monday, the San Diego Union Tribune published a report that said Gruden would return to the sidelines in 2012, probably joining A.J. Smith as the new cabal running the St. Louis Rams. That report sounded shaky from the start, and we cautioned against anyone making too much of it. Others have since said that Smith himself could be floating those rumors as a sort of gamesmanship to keep his gig as General Manager of the San Diego Chargers.

The most recent rumor regarding the St. Louis Rams coach and general manager situation came from Don Banks at Sports Illustrated. Banks reported that Jeff Fisher sat atop the Stan Kroenke's list of potential replacements for Steve Spagnuolo. Banks pointed to a connection between current Rams COO Kevin Demoff, whose father is Fisher's agent, and a link between Demoff and Kroenke. I would caution anyone against reading too much into the Demoff connection, trust me when I say this. For now, everyone at Rams Park is married to that ugly 10-37 record.

Gruden could still change his mind about coaching. A desperate team might always pull up to his house with a Brinks Truck in tow. Still, the broadcasting business is preferable to coaching, much easier.

As for Fisher, he's not saying much of anything right now. If Gruden really is off the market, Fisher's asking price just went up, and a number of teams would love to have him. He's been mentioned for the Kansas City Chiefs as well as the Indianapolis Colts.

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