Through thick and thin, the Brothers Gruden stick together. But not too together.
One day after his brother, Jay Gruden, was fired as head coach of the Washington Redskins, Jon Gruden told reporters he would not speculate about Jay joining his staff in Oakland when asked about the possibility. But he made sure to offer his condolences.
“I’m obviously very disappointed for my brother,” Gruden said Tuesday ahead of Oakland’s bye week. “It was a long night, last couple of nights. He worked hard. Got a lot of respect for my brother. Obviously, I’m disappointed for him getting fired.
“But my dad’s been fired. I’ve been fired. Jay’s been fired and welcome to the club, bro.”
The last time Jon Gruden was axed as head coach of an NFL franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers relieved him of his duties following the 2008 season, his seventh with the organization. He quickly found employment, joining ESPN as a color analyst for “Monday Night Football” until Oakland poached him from the broadcasting booth in 2018 and signed him to a 10-year contract. Safe to say, Jon won’t be fired for quite some time.
But this is Jay’s first rodeo at this high of a level.
Whether little brother will join big brother in Oakland for the remainder of the season remains to be seen, but is unlikely. For one, Oakland already has a veteran offensive staff in place. Plus, The Washington Post’s Les Carpenter reported Monday that Jay Gruden “didn’t plan on working again this season.”
The Brothers Gruden were last on the same staff in 2008, when Jay was an offensive assistant on Jon’s Bucs staff, all the while coaching the AFL’s Orlando Predators.
Jay also has connections to multiple head coaches at other organizations if he wants to explore other avenues. Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams was Gruden’s offensive coordinator in D.C from three seasons. Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings was Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator while Jay was Cincy’s OC from 2011 to 2013.
Gruden has friends — and family — in high places around the league. Whether a job comes calling this year or next, the 52-year-old coach won’t be unemployed for long.