What the Possible Hiring of Jay Gruden Would Mean for Washington Redskins

Will GroomsCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2014

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 12: Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on during a rookie camp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 12, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Since the purchase of the Washington Redskins by Dan Snyder in 1999, no man has held the head coaching reins in D.C. for more than four seasons. 

Whether it be two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan or Hall of Fame three-time Super Bowl-winning coach Joe Gibbs, no man has been able to meet the expectations of his position. 

The Redskins head coaching position is once again vacant.

One of the most popular candidates for the job is Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. While entertaining attention from elsewhere—Minnesota and Tennessee—Gruden is believed to be the front-runner for Washington's spot per an anonymous source, as reported by Mark Maske of The Washington Post.

The possible hiring of Gruden would mean several things for the Redskins.

First, and perhaps most importantly, Robert Griffin III will have a mentor. At just 46 years old, Gruden would be the youngest head coach Griffin has ever had in his collegiate and professional career. The minimization of the age gap would allow the two to communicate and collaborate on a more personal level. 

Further, Gruden knows the game. Though never making it to the NFL as a player, Gruden was a prolific quarterback in the Arena Football League, winning six championships and being officially recognized as the fourth-best player in league history, as per Tania Ganguli of The Orlando Sentinel.

Gruden's pedigree speaks for itself. Coaching under his brother Jon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their first Super Bowl in 2002.

Jon Gruden, Jay's brother, celebrates victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Jon Gruden, Jay's brother, celebrates victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Jay's possible hiring would be relatively atypical for a Snyder-run Washington team, as he would be the youngest, least experienced head coach of Snyder's tenure.

Gruden's level of success at his previous position is important to note. In three years as offensive coordinator of the Bengals, Cincinnati achieved three playoff berths and posted a combined record of 30-18.

What's more, Gruden led an offense that finished top 10 for total yards in 2013. His offensive success over the years is significant in that it came while facing both the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers twice each season. Two of his three years on the job, the Steelers ranked first in the NFL for total defense.

Here is Jay Gruden discussing the offensive approach in Cincinnati:

What Gruden also brings is an eye for offensive talent.

Through the 2013 NFL draft, the Bengals acquired tight end Tyler Eifert, who caught 39 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season, and running back Giovani Bernard, who's an offensive Rookie of the Year candidate and accounted for 1,209 total yards and eight touchdowns in his first-year campaign.

Rookie Giovani Bernard emerged as one of the Bengals' top offensive weapons following his second-round selection in the 2013 draft.
Rookie Giovani Bernard emerged as one of the Bengals' top offensive weapons following his second-round selection in the 2013 draft.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Above all, what Griffin has requested is a coach that teaches a more traditional offense, and that's likely what he'll get in Gruden. 

Gruden's addition would be a massive aid to an offense that scored just 20.9 points per game in 2013—23rd in the NFL.

Defensive issues need to be addressed, but the team goes as RGIII goes, and good offense leads to good defense. 


Unless otherwise mentioned, all stats were gathered via Pro-Football-Reference.com.