NFL News: Jay Gruden To Be Next Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Coordinator

Ezri SilverCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2011

Jay Gruden
Jay Gruden

Both ESPN and the Cincinnati Enquirer are reporting that Gruden—Jay Gruden that is—will take over as the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, replacing the recently departed and embattled former OC Bob Bratkowski.

The younger brother of the more famous Jon Gruden, Jay originally hails from Tampa Bay, Florida (older brother Jon has the deeper Ohio roots having been born in Sandusky, Ohio, outside of Cleveland).

Jay is coming over from the Arena Football League, where he played two seasons for the Orlando Predators after a six-year hiatus from playing days which originally began with the the now defunct Barcelona Dragons (2001) of the World Football League followed by the AFL's Tampa Bay Storm (1991-96).

Jay's coaching experience includes being an offensive coordinator and head coach in the AFL, Offensive Assistant under his brother Jon for seven seasons for the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Offensive Coordinator, Head Coach and General Manager for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL.

Being the lesser known Gruden will be the first immediate challenge for Gruden with the hungry and angry fan-base of the Cincinnati Bengals. While distant but certainly not out of mind, the Bengals' Mike Brown has struck out in the past when looking to family lineage—as was evident in the underwhelming tenure of Dave Shula (son of famed Miami Dolphin's coach Don).

Gruden inherits a Bengals offense looking for an identity, in the words of Head Coach Marvin Lewis.

The question now is if identity will be found and what that identity will be.