Just when it seemed like there was reason to believe Jon Gruden would return to the sidelines one day, he instead offered a reminder that we should have known better.

The former Buccaneers and Raiders coach told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t expect to accept another coaching opportunity in the near future.

“I don’t foresee myself coaching anytime soon,” Gruden said, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN. “But I do like getting as close to the fire as possible. All I really have going is football. I don’t know what I would do without it. I’m happy with what I’m doing. I study as if I am a coach. I still make my own breakdowns. I still come up with my own playbook – I just don’t have anybody to give it to.”

Gruden rumors have become something of a yearly ritual as the NFL coaching carousel spins, conditioning the football community to pass off any such talk as much ado about nothing.

But when the coach-turned-analyst seemed to put the idea out there himself last week, it was received more seriously.

“I’ve met with several people – I won’t deny that,” Gruden told Scott Reynolds and Trevor Sikkema of PewterReport.com, addressing the annual reports tying him to coaching jobs. “People – just about every year I talk about coming back to coach. I’m not in here every day at 4:30 or 4:00 in the morning watching pinball. You know? I’m preparing myself to come back. I am. Every day. I’m preparing to come back.

“It helps me in my broadcasting and I think if you lose that edge … you can’t come back unless you are totally wired with college football, personnel, schemes, the CBA, how people are practicing, trends, you know. You’ve got stay on top of this stuff.”

While Gruden didn’t issue any specific clarifications Wednesday, he may have simply intended his initial comments to detail his approach to his broadcasting position with ESPN.

Either way, talk about the former coaching star’s potential return to the NFL can be put on the back burner – until he’s linked to another vacancy this winter.

Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.