The Oakland Raiders on Wednesday strongly denied they were negotiating to bring former coach Jon Gruden back in any capacity.
The initial report came from Pro Football Weekly publisher Hub Arkush on WSCR-AM in Chicago on Tuesday. Arkush said that Gruden was in discussions with the Raiders. It happened to be the same day that current Raiders coach Dennis Allen was attending the funeral of this father, former Texas A&M and NFL player Grady Allen.
"... There are two people on this planet that have the ability to make talks happen between Jon Gruden and the Raiders, with regard to him allegedly taking over the football operations, and/or the position of head coach," Raiders director of media relations Zak Gilbert said in a press release. "Each of those individuals, owner Mark Davis and general manager Reggie McKenzie, wanted me to communicate that this rumor has no validity whatsoever.
"And for the record, I'm personally disgusted that Hub Arkush would spread such an untruth on the day our head coach, Dennis Allen, had to determine with his mom, his brother and sister, whether to take his dad off life support or wait and hope that he would regain consciousness. Dennis didn't have an opportunity to say goodbye to his dad, but he did have an opportunity to take a phone call regarding Hub's story."
Early in November, Raiders owner Mark Davis voiced his frustration with the team, which is 3-9 after losing five in a row. In the past week, reports have surfaced about the Allen's job being in jeopardy after one season.
Gruden was probably the most liked coach of the Raiders since Tom Flores retired in 1987. Gruden coached in Oakland from 1998-2001, compiling a 38-26 record. Gruden is currently the color analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast. He has been sought for a number of coaching positions in recent years, including the University of Tennessee job, which he turned down last week while pledging his devotion to ESPN.