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Jon Gruden on returing to NFL as coach: 'I don't know'

ESPN broadcaster Jon Gruden is shown before an

ESPN broadcaster Jon Gruden is shown before an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills in Foxborough, Mass on Sept. 14, 2009. Credit: AP

Jon Gruden is entering his seventh season as an ESPN football analyst and is under contract at the network through 2021, but he still finds himself this time of year "chomping at the bit" as he watches his coaching friends head off to training camp.

Does that mean that the door to returning to coaching himself remains ajar?

"I don't know; I try not to solve my final destination," he said Tuesday after hosting a panel discussion at a Manhattan event to announce a partnership between Dick's Sporting Goods' "Sports Matter" program and to fund youth programs facing budget shortfalls.

"I try to prepare myself to stay on top of the Xs and Os like I always did. My brother [Jay, the Redskins' coach] is involved. A lot of my best friends are in football. So I collaborate with these guys year round. I've got guys coming to my office. I go visit them.

"To try to get better as a broadcaster I think you've got to know the game, the trends of the game and the players of the game. I keep going at it. Who knows? Maybe they won't want me as a broadcaster. I've been fired before. So you have to try to keep your options open."

Gruden said he "really can't" believe it has been more than six years since he was hired by ESPN.

"And every year at this time of year my friends are going to camp and I'm chomping at the bit," he said. "I can't believe six years have gone by. I'm 51 now and blessed to have this opportunity and can't wait for the season. Can't wait."


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