Optimism Creeps In As Jon Gruden Gives Titles To Brother Jay

Ezri SilverCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2011

Gruden the Motivator
Gruden the Motivator

Surely it's premature but Jon has endorsed Jay in the Gruden family as Bengals.com reports the professional and familial admiration that comes with a balanced approach to the game. 

Jon Gruden has given not only his thumbs up but a personal creditability rating in his praise for the younger Gruden—Jay —when his opinion has been sought.

Whether it be the lack of incentive to succeed or the lack of understanding that has led to failure, the one key point to every comment in the hiring of Jay Gruden has been the implication that Marvin Lewis—not Mike Brown—hired Jay Gruden. 

While this may be speculation and will likely never be confirmed, it appears that Marvin did make one key personnel agreement with Mike Brown, that Marvin Lewis, and Marvin Lewis alone, would choose the staff that reported to him going forward.

If future operations of the Bengals management personnel is truly under Marvin on a day-to-day basis then the only issues remaining are the scouting, practice bubble, and free agent/resigning acquisitions.

Jay Gruden is likely a risk but will certainly be the youthful improvement the Bengals need.  Either he is a David Shula or Brian Schottenheimer (NY Jets Offensive Coordinator).

While many Bengals fans will see the Schottenheimer that did not get the offense going in the AFC championship after an emotional victory over the Patriots, others will see the veteran quarterbacked offense of the Bengals as being the decisive factor for Cincinnati in 2012*. 

This means that even with Mr. Gruden, the necessary component—aside from an actual season post-CBA—will require an established quarterback such as Carson Palmer.

The drawback to success in Jay's first year will be that he will be the next Hue Jackson with a B-line to NFL coaching status. 

The incentive to be the with Bengals regardless of result is that it will take many years before the General Manager (the questionable judgment of owner, Mike Brown) terminates his contract.

Suffice to say, Jay Gruden has made a career decision that will only go wrong if Marvin Lewis truly lives up to the lineage of the roots he shares with Rex Ryan—that of the over-achieving defensive coordinator which can be the next great head coach to come out of the Art Modell-founded franchise defensive coordinator.

Either way, the hiring of Gruden shows a glimmer of hope as to what concessions were agreed to when Marvin Lewis held out under the guise of mounting losses.  Next move Marvin...