Jon Gruden is widely expected to become the next head coach of the Raiders ever since ESPN’s top two NFL reporters said he was going to be. Until that happens he works for ESPN and his job there has him on the broadcast for the Titans-Chiefs playoff game.
Announcers typically get more access to the team than the typical reporter. This has some people saying, hey, this is kinda weird that Gruden gets special access to the Chiefs, including their practice, before becoming the head coach of their rival.
Despite those appearances, the Chiefs apparently don’t have a problem with the situation. Via Pro Football Talk:
It could create some tension, especially since the home team plays in the same division as the Raiders. But the friendship between Chiefs coach Andy Reid and Gruden apparently trumps any awkwardness. According to the Chiefs, they have no concerns about Gruden’s presence, and they won’t alter his access to practice or production meetings.
Gruden has been calling games, including the Chiefs, for years so do I think he’s going to get some sort of secret code to beat the Chiefs next year if he calls this game? No, of course not (the Chiefs had a secret code this year and it was named Jack Del Rio). It’s just not a good look when it comes to fairness. Why are they waiting a week anyway? Gruden has already announced he is a candidate. It just feels awkward for everyone.
Gruden and Chiefs coach Andy Reid go way back so surely that is a factor here. Reid isn’t very forthcoming to the press anyway so perhaps he can just tell Gruden that the time is his now.