Jon Gruden’s Monday Night Football television partner wants nothing to do with speculation about Gruden’s possible return to coaching.
“Like I've done the last three years, I'm staying away from any of the speculation and conversation as we enter the silly season,” Mike Tirico told SI.com Monday.
Gruden, who will provide commentary for ESPN’s broadcast of the the Chicago-San Francisco game Monday night, is said to be considering a return to coaching, either in college or the NFL.
Gruden, a former Tennessee graduate assistant whose wife was Vols cheerleader, was an NFL head coach at Oakland and Tampa Bay, where his team won the Super Bowl after the 2002 season.
Tennessee is searching for a head coach after firing Derek Dooley on Sunday.
The “silly season” is nothing new to Gruden, who has been linked to jobs in the past before deciding to remain in television, where he is one of ESPN’s most valuable stars.
“Jon remains committed to ESPN," a spokesperson told SI.com Sunday. "With a third of our Monday Night Football schedule still left to be played this season, he is focused on his analyst role and all the preparation that goes into our game each week."
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.