Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/11/12

Successful NFL coaches are hard to find, which is why it’s no surprise that, as teams watch their seasons erode and their records plummet, many are angling to find leaders for next year. Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden‘s name is at the top of the marquee coaches list. While Gruden has most specifically been linked to coaching the Eagles, he would also make a good choice for plenty of other teams that could use a jolt. But Gruden’s interest in returning to NFL coaching next season could present plenty of complications this year as well, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. Gruden has already reportedly talked to a few coordinators and assistants about joining his staff if he returns. The real conflict, however, comes where Gruden already works — as an analyst and information source on Monday Night Football. As Gruden feels out the different teams with whom he could be employed next year, there’s good reason to wonder whether he’ll withhold his usually frank and insightful comments about certain clubs on-air. Furthermore, the scoops Gruden has been able to get about teams all across the NFL, culled from interviews with coaches throughout the week, could also take a hit. Gruden isn’t likely to get the inside track on anyone’s schemes — or even a friendly conversation — if he’s going to be pacing a sideline next season. Coaches may also be inadvertently competing with Gruden for their jobs — or their staffs. Gruden, who has a 95-81 career record in coaching the Raiders and Buccaneers, plus a Super Bowl win from his Tampa Bay years, has always provided quality football — especially in his entertaining role on MNF for the last couple of years. If Gruden returns to his first calling of coaching, though, any gains made for football enthusiasts on the field means a loss in the booth — and maybe as soon as the next few weeks.

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