Okay, granted, Tennessee is in the market for a new Head Football coach and Jon Gruden is one name that is on the lips of quite a few Tennessee Football fans. One reason (I believe) is that now that Florida is in competition for the same coaching pool Tennessee knows that Jon Gruden is one that would choose Tennessee first whereas if Tennessee was to go after, say the likes of, Chip Kelly only to lose out to Florida that would appear as a coup or victory of Florida's administration over Tennessee and Tennessee's administration isn't too keen on defeats at the hands of Florida no matter whether it's Football, Basketball or any sport or contest.
Tennessee therefore knows if it comes to available Coaches then Jon Gruden is a shew in for Tennessee but then comes the statement he was overheard making. Frankly many would think this to be a badge of honor and a reason to hire him rather than a reason for concern. Jon Gruden is a man, a former Pro Coach used to having his way and calling the shorts according to no man's rules and thus would surely be constricted by all the NCAA recruiting rules as he would be in competition with Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and many other SEC schools, not to mention Memphis which at this time is Tennessee's premiere College Football team based upon results on the Football field in actual games played and won. With this quote out there ... there would be an air of distrust right off the bat if Tennessee, all of a sudden, started achieving top recruiting classes even if there was no cheating involved at all.
Frankly though, at this point, I think many Tennessee Volunteer fans, in their fan base are willing to do anything to get back into the picture with Alabama, Auburn, and LSU in the West and anybody in the East. Jon Gruden would give Tennessee a name to put out there for attracting in-State and out of State talent and 5 Star players but then after all these years and given the resurgence of Georgia, under Kirby Smart, and the potential that Chip Kelly may choose Florida and bring a new meaning to the "Fun and Gun" offense that Florida had for so many years.
As a former Tennessee fan (many years ago) my preference for the new Head Coach position would be a long shot at the old Head Coach choice of Lane Kiffen if they could somehow talk Lane into coming back to Knoxville and dawning Orange. Other than Lane Kiffen I think Dan Mullen would be a logical choice but then if Tennessee does the predictable based upon prior years experience then they will go out and get someone's third or fourth choice and promote it as their first choice and get another brick by brick, Butch Jones, type coach who after four to five years will find themselves doing not much better than Butch Jones did because he will be competing against Eastern schools such as South Carolina (much improved) with Will Muschamp along with Kirby Smart and possibly Chip Kelly as a potential choice at Florida.
The good news for Tennessee and the rest of the SEC is that Saban is getting older and quite likely may have retirement on his mind. If that is the case then I believe that Alabama will likely offer his position to Clemson's Dabo Sweeney and frankly I think Dabo could be one of a very few that could possibly come in and take over and actually not see a let down in recruiting and player talent. Time will tell though, a statement I like to use a lot in College ball.