Lake Tahoe – If there is anyone alive who knows exactly what Jon Gruden is feeling right now it’s his old friend Herm Edwards.
Famously, Gruden last coached in 2008. It was also the last time Edwards roamed a sideline. Gruden was with Tampa Bay and Edwards was with Kansas City.
Both men spent the next chapters of their lives as broadcasters with ESPN.
Now, together, they head back to the coaching ranks after a decade. At about the same time Gruden was being wooed back to the Oakland Raiders, Edwards was agreeing to terms to coach in the college ranks, at Arizona State.
I caught up with Edwards at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship on Tuesday. Edwards is well aware he and his friend are taking the same journey.
Edwards is 64, while Gruden is 54. Edwards said he hasn’t had the chance to talk to Gruden yet about their most recent journey, but he said they’d often talk football during the past decade when their Bristol duties’ crossed paths.
Both Gruden and Edwards have had to endure chatter that the game may have passed them by and that they both face a huge challenge after 10 years away from the game.
Edwards scoffs at that notion. He has no concerns for himself or for Gruden.
“You don’t become a former football coach,” Edwards told RaidersSnakepit.com. “You are always a football coach.”
In fact, Edwards said he and Gruden have both probably become better, more knowledge football coaches.
“You immerse yourself in the game,” Edwards said. “When you’re not coaching, you have a 360-degree view of the game, a better view. When you are busy coaching a team, you’re doing everything you can to win a game. Away from coaching. You get different. You look at the game a different way. You get better … I think that same thing happened with Jon.”
Edwards said neither he nor Gruden “needed” to go back to coaching. They went back because they love it. Edwards said coaching now is a 365-day job.
“You need energy,” Edwards said. “Both Jon and I are energized and ready to go again.”