WalterFootball.com has learned from sources that former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden is eyeing a return to coaching. Sources around him have shared that he is looking into different assistant coaches around the league and seeing what their potential availability will be after the 2012 season.
One coach that Gruden is said to be interested in is fired Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. The long-time Eagles assistant was on the same staff with Gruden in Philadelphia under former head coach Ray Rhodes. Castillo was an offensive assistant and tight ends coach while Gruden was the offensive coordinator. Following Gruden's departure for Oakland, Castillo remained to work under Andy Reid as a tight ends coach, offensive line coach and defensive coordinator. Reid and Gruden have also coached together, and Castillo carries a significant endorsement from Reid.
Other coaches whom Gruden could be interested include former special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. If the Chargers fire Norv Turner and his staff, Bisaccia could potentially land with Gruden. The two had a close relationship in Tampa Bay (2002-2008), and Bisaccia was always extremely loyal to Gruden.
Gruden last coached in 2008 with the Buccaneers. He is 95-81 in his career as a head coach with a 5-4 record in the postseason. Gruden led Tampa Bay to its lone championship in Super Bowl XXVII. Since getting fired by the Bucs, Gruden has stayed active, learning different offenses and defenses in pro and college football. He spent time with Chip Kelly learning Oregon's spread attack, so if Gruden returns to the NFL, he could feature a new and unique offense.
Sources have said that Gruden's return to coaching is dependent on it being a perfect situation. He isn't interested in smaller-market teams like those he has coached at previously. Gruden wants a big-market team with good ownership and some talent on the roster. Thus, teams like Dallas, Philadelphia and the New York Jets could be potential landing spots if they make a change.
Sources have said if Gruden doesn't love the opportunity, he's perfectly happy to continue his work with ESPN on Monday Night Football. However, they indicated that this year has been different than the past few, and Gruden has more motivation to return to coaching in 2013.