ALAMEDA -- You knew the second that Mark Davis invited Jon Gruden back to Oakland to light the Al Davis Flame the desirous rumors would start.
And with each demoralizing loss piling up, you knew the fans' call for "Chucky" to replace rookie coach Dennis Allen would grow just as loud.
So imagine how lathered up Raider Nation is now that Pro Football Weekly's Hub Arash told Chicago's WSCR on Tuesday that "Gruden and the Raiders are in talks to bring him back to Oakland."
[REPORT: Raiders 'in talks' with Gruden]
Here's the thing, without getting into a hissing match with PFW, rumors are just that -- rumors, and it's hard to believe that Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie would blow out his handpicked choice in Allen for the rebuilding project at hand after just one year, and replace him with a popular ex-head coach who would instantly become the face of the franchise.
This is not about ego. Far from it. But McKenzie, who was hired by Mark Davis to run the football side of things at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway so Davis would not have to, said on more than one occasion that the Raiders were his "football team" in a sit-down with seven reporters last week.
"This is my football team," McKenzie said. "It’s not a dictatorship by any means but it’s my football team and I’m responsible."
Plus, while rumors flew last week that Gruden was headed to coach college back at Tennessee, his agent Bob LaMonte shot them down to GoVolsExtra.com.
"I haven't said anything because there's nothing to say," LaMonte told the website last week. "This, to me, is just a fantasy world.
"Jon has made it clear he's committed to ESPN."
Of course, Davis voicing his displeasure with the Raiders' "regression" this season will only add fuel. Until there's nothing left to burn, so to speak.
Allen is currently away from the team as his father Grady passed away Monday night, which makes all of this talk all the more unsavory.