One of the hottest names of the NFL offseason has found a new job, as Jay Gruden has agreed to become the new head coach of the Washington Redskins.
ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to break news of the deal:
Rich Tandler of CSN Washington adds confirms it was a 5-year deal:
Schefter also reported on Gruden's first hire, the offensive coordinator in Washington:
CBS' Jason La Canfora confirms the OC hiring:
Daniel Shiferaw of CSN Washington provides this quote from Gruden, who speaks about how he wanted to handle the situation as it pertains to media:
As for Gruden's replacement in Cincinnati, the Bengals confirmed that Hue Jackson will take over as offensive coordinator:
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports on the length of the deal:
Zac Boyer of The Washington Times reports that Jim Haslett will remain the team's defensive coordinator:
At Thursday's press conference, both Washington general manager Bruce Allen and Gruden spoke about the job and the hiring process, via Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan and Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Washington:
Mike Jones of the Washington Post provides this quote from Robert Griffin III, who spoke about the hiring on Facebook:
Some believe that the Redskins are merely saying that Griffin had no involvement in the process, due to sensitivities regarding the perception that Griffin has too much power. After all, how could the team not involve Griffin, given the critical nature of the coach-quarterback relationship?
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it’s the truth. Griffin wasn’t involved. Indeed, the source said it’s still not clear whether the two men have spoken, even after Gruden had gotten the job.
The 46-year-old coach is the brother of former Super Bowl winning coach and current analyst Jon Gruden. While this name recognition helps in some respects, Jay has formed an impressive resume on his own.
After coaching in the Arena Football League and the United Football League, Gruden spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. Before he joined the organization, the offense ranked only 22nd in the league in points scored. However, that number improved to 18th in 2011, 12th in 2012 and sixth in 2013.
This impressive rise is what made him such a promising candidate for head coaching jobs around the league. ESPN's Adam Schefter noted how in-demand Gruden was:
After the Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs, the coach discussed his readiness for the interview process with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:
I've been in the league now three years as a coordinator and obviously with my brother for a lot of years. If that challenge were to come about, I think I'd be ready. They're all different and they're all looking for something unique. They're looking for somebody to come in and bring something different than what they had. … I think the most important thing when you go to any interview is to be yourself and not try to be somebody you're not.
The Redskins were obviously looking for something different after a poor 2013 season where they finished 3-13 and second-year quarterback Robert Griffin III took significant steps back in his development under Mike Shanahan. Washington will hope Gruden's offensive approach will help turn things around in a hurry.
Of course, not everyone believes he has what it takes to be a head coach in the NFL. Mike Silver of NFL.com discusses the coach's lack of success in the playoffs:
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller also questioned Gruden's ability:
However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com is reporting that Griffin wants to play in a more pro-style offense, which should mesh well with Gruden's background:
There are also question marks about his lack of experience at this level. Aside from the three years with the Bengals and a few seasons as an offensive assistant for his brother with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the rest of his time in coaching was with the AFL and UFL.
Still, the league's newest head coach will get a chance to prove doubters wrong starting in 2014. If things go according to plan, he has the potential to remain in his position for a long time.
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