‘A fun, humbling opportunity:’ Rams coach Sean McVay would like to coach against mentor Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden looks on during warmups before a game between the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints on Nov. 18, 2012, in Oakland.
(Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)

Jon Gruden gave Sean McVay his first NFL coaching job when he hired him as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008.

With Gruden reportedly on track to become coach of the Oakland Raiders, McVay could face his mentor as early as next season when the Rams play the Raiders at Oakland on a date to be determined.

Asked whether he would like to face Gruden, McVay jokingly said no.

Then he detailed why he’d enjoy it.

“If you get a chance to coach against one of your mentors and a guy that taught you almost kind of the foundation of what you know about this game, I think it would be a fun, humbling opportunity,” McVay told reporters on Monday.


Gruden, a “Monday Night Football” analyst, last coached in the NFL in 2008, but he has remained close to the game with his “QB Camp” series on ESPN.

“If that’s what he wants to do, I think he’s certainly earned the right and he’s more than capable,” McVay said of Gruden’s potential return to coaching. “He’s one of the rare people that I think has been away from the game but he’s been as involved in the game as anybody, where he kind of is getting exposure, the ins and outs. He’s a great communicator.

“If that’s the case, than Oakland will be getting a great head coach and somebody that’s been instrumental in helping me personally out. And I can’t say enough about Jon and what he’s done and what he’s been able to teach me, and kind of the way he put his arm around me and taught me this game.”