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Jon Gruden on return to coaching: ‘I’m just trying to keep the job I have’

Jon Gruden was in his element while hanging out with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at training camp this week. But the 53-year-old “Monday Night Football” analyst won’t allow nostalgia cloud his outlook on whether or not he will ever return to coaching.

In fact, Gruden joked that he’s “just trying to keep the job I have.”

Gruden, who led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl XXXVII victory, is set to be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor this upcoming season, along with late owner Malcolm Glazer. While it’s hard to miss Gruden’s enthusiasm and excitement from simply being on the practice field, he insists he’s content in the broadcast booth instead of being on the sidelines.

Gruden claims the thing he misses most about coaching is “the adversity.” That said, the $6.5 million he pulls in annually at ESPN — Gruden is the highest-paid employee at The Worldwide Leader in Sports — isn’t anything to sneeze at. And Gruden appears intent on keeping his current job and that coaching doesn’t appear to be in the cards in the near future.

“I’m just trying to keep the job I have,” Gruden said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “Part of me still considers myself a coach. I meet with NFL players and coaches and college guys. I do clinics. I went to North Dakota State and Indiana. I can’t get away from it.”

Gruden essentially put to rest to the notion a return to coaching is imminent, saying he gets his coaching fix in other ways.

“I don’t foresee myself coaching any time soon,” Gruden said. “But I do like getting as close to the fire as possible. All I really have going is football. I don’t know what I would do without it. I’m happy with what I’m doing. I study as if I am a coach. I still make my own breakdowns, I still come up with my own playbook — I just don’t have anybody to give it to.”