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Jay Gruden says he intends to return to Bengals
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Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said Tuesday in an interview with the Bengals official web site he plans to interview for various head coaching vacancies, including the Eagles, but intends to return to the Bengals.

The Eagles requested permission Saturday to interview Gruden, and the Bengals granted permission on Monday. No date or location for the interview has been announced.

I got called to interview for these jobs, I figure I better say yes or they'll quit asking me," Gruden said. I think it will be a great experience and it's exciting. I have every intention of coming back here. We've got a great group of guys here. We're excited for the future here.

Gruden, younger brother of one-time Eagles offensive coordinator and former Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, has yet to coach a top-20 offense in Cincinnati. The Bengals have been ranked 20th and 22nd in his two years as offensive coordinator.

The Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs Saturday with a 19-13 loss to the Texans. Grudens offense managed just 198 yards and six points.

In this business your welcome mat doesn't last forever, and I'm sure mine has probably been kicked off the doorstep, Gruden said. People probably want me out of here right now. That's just the way it is in this business.

The Cards have also been granted permission to interview Gruden, who spurned the Jaguars, Rams and Colts last offseason when contacted about their head coaching vacancies.

Gruden, who spent 2002 through 2008 on his brothers Tampa staff, did acknowledge he would like to be a head coach one day.

"When you enter the coaching profession you necessarily dont do it to be an assistant your whole life, he said. Eventually you'd like to be top dog and run your own ship. When the time's right.

Every team has their issues and their problems. That's why they're looking. Eventually when the time is right, hopefully I'll get a chance. If not this year, or next year, or the year after. I'll be happy here because it's a great place.

Gruden is one of 10 candidates the Eagles have identified in their search to replace Andy Reid, fired last Monday after 14 seasons.

Theyve already interviewed college coaches Bill OBrien of Penn State and Chip Kelly of Oregon, who both elected to return to their college jobs, and theyve interviewed Broncos defensive coordinator Mike McCoy along with Keith Armstrong and Mike Nolan from the Falcons staff. They also were in the mix with Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, who accepted the Bills job.

The Eagles will interview former Bears head coach Lovie Smith on Thursday. They have also been granted permission to interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Colts offensive coordinator and interim head coach Bruce Arians, although no timetable has been announced on those talks.

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com