With Jon Gruden in Oakland preparing the Raiders for the offseason as the team's new head coach, ESPN is going about the business of finding his replacement on Monday Night Football.
NFL analyst and former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasslebeck appears to be something of a frontrunner. He’ll sit in the booth as a tryout alongside play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough during ESPN’s broadcast of the Pro Bowl on Jan. 28.
But if ESPN wanted to replace Gruden with another former NFL coach, York High graduate Bruce Arians might be their man.
The former Cardinals and Temple coach, who retired with a 49-30-1 record in the NFL after last year’s season, has already spoken to the NFL Network and Fox Sports about a possible TV role.
On Friday, he made it clear he’d be interested in filling the spot vacated by Gruden’s departure.
There’s one problem — he doesn’t think ESPN is interested in him.
“Oh gosh, I’d be interested,” Arians told ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss. “I don’t think they’re interested in me. But that would be like the dream job, especially working with someone as good as Sean [McDonough]. That’d be fun. That’s obviously a home run.”
Arians, who called the Pennsylvania high school football championships in 1988 alongside legendary Philadelphia broadcaster Al Meltzer, told Weinfuss he’s always been intrigued by broadcasting, and indicated it would be a welcome change to the grind of being a head coach.
“When you’re doing games, you do a lot of traveling — good, bad, indifferent. You’re in the locker room, you’re doing production meetings with players and coaches,” Arians said. “In a studio, you get a broader perspective, maybe you can tell more stories. I’m probably a better storyteller.”