The Raiders on Dec. 5 denied they were negotiating to bring back former coach Jon Gruden in any capacity.
The initial report came from Pro Football Weekly publisher Hub Arkush on WSCR-AM in Chicago on Dec. 4. 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 team 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."
Gruden, 49, coached the Raiders from 1998-2001, compiling a 38-26 record and leading Oakland to two playoff appearances. He is currently the color analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast. Gruden reportedly turned down an offer to coach at the University of Tennessee. He has a 100-85 record in NFL coaching stints with Oakland and Tampa Bay. Gruden led Tampa Bay to a 48-21 victory over Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII in February 2003.
The Raiders are 3-9 this season entering their Dec. 6 game against visiting Denver. Oakland has not had a winning season since 2002.
Contra Costa Times