Posted January 09, 2014

Jay Gruden hired as coach of Redskins

AFC North, Cincinnati Bengals, NFC East, Washington Redskins
(George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Jay Gruden replaces Mike Shanahan after he was fired in December. (George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Several sources reported Thursday morning that the Washington Redskins have hired former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to be their next head coach. Gruden, the younger brother of former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, will replace Mike Shanahan, who was fired by owner Dan Snyder on Dec. 30. Mark Maske of the Washington Post wrote early Thursday morning that Gruden and the Redskins were finalizing the deal, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter and John Keim reported a bit later that the terms had been finalized.

The Redskins had already interviewed five other candidates — Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. Gruden had also talked with the Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions about their head coaching vacancies.

Gruden had been the Bengals’ offensive coordinator, and that tenure coincided with the first three-year playoff run in franchise history. In 2013, third-year quarterback Andy Dalton set the franchise record for passing touchdowns in a season with 33, and Cincinnati’s offense ranked 12th in passing in Football Outsiders’ opponent-adjusted metrics.

However, three straight first-round postseason exits, including a 27-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 5, put pressure squarely on Dalton (who underperformed miserably in all three games), and on Gruden by proxy.

Gruden will have a serious task on his hands on both sides of the ball. In 2013, the 3-13 Redskins backslid in nearly every possible way from their 10-6 playoff season the year before. Injuries to quarterback Robert Griffin III prevented him from fully preparing for the season and playing his best when that season came around. In the end, Shanahan benched Griffin for the last three games of the season because he was worried about his quarterback holding up behind Washington’s porous offensive line. Washington’s defense was also a problem, and it’s quite possible that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is on his way out. Schefter indicated that current defensive backs coach Raheem Morris may be promoted to that role.

As to why Gruden was the choice, his ties with many in the Redskins’ organization certainly didn’t hurt. He was an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002 through ’08 under his brother, and current Redskins general manager Bruce Allen was also in Tampa Bay at that time. Tight ends coach Sean McVay, who some believe may become the team’s new offensive coordinator, also worked with Gruden there, as did Morris.

30 comments
StevenA875
StevenA875

As a Redskins fan for the past 52 years, I would  like to apologize to coach Gruden in advance. When it all falls apart after three years and you are left wondering how you ever could have thought that coming to Washington was a good idea, just remember that it's not your fault. Under Dan Snyder's ownership, this team has been uncompetitive (with very few exceptions). I give the owner credit for wanting to win. But he doesn't know how to win. In that category, he has been an abject failure. He would have fired anyone in his company (Snyder Communications) who showed such incompetence. But, he won't fire himself. He'd rather sue fans, forbid signs and banners at the stadium, and be a "fanboy." He cozies up to big-name athletes in an effort to appease his own inferiority complex. And that is the team's undoing. Once a player feels he can go to his friend the owner to get something changed on the field, the coach is completely undermined and loses the respect of the players and other coaches. So, Coach Gruden, I wish you the best of luck. I just hope your coaching career is not ruined by your side trip to Washington. 

JACKJAES
JACKJAES

 Given that his head coaching experience is completely derived from the Arena Football League, he will fit in well with the Redskins, as they are most certainly not a legitimate NFL team.

http://goo.gl/PQdCle

6marK6
6marK6

This was a Jerry Jones hire. Go out and get a guy nobody else would consider a head coaching candidate and make him your figurehead. I mean, did Snyder watch Cincy's playoff game and say, "get me the guy in charge of that offense!"

JEPD
JEPD

I turned 'em down.  Not enough juice in the franchising deal.

Bjornagast
Bjornagast

Jay Gruden will regret this bitterly. Danny Snyder isn't going to change his meddling, incompetent ways and RGIII will run to the owner every time something doesn't go his way. The players are unhappy and largely not very talented. 


This is a dead team walking. The fans need to boycott the Skins and fire Danny Snyder. 

SteveChenoy
SteveChenoy

Surprised he didnt pull Norv Turner or Cam Cameron out of the trash bin, or another retread. yikes!

SteveChenoy
SteveChenoy

I'm glad it wasnt JOHN Gruden. I love him on Monday night football. Passionate and technical and seems like a good guy.

Joe R2
Joe R2

Good luck to Jay.  He'll need it, working for the worst owner in the NFL...

wlewisiii
wlewisiii

I can't imagine enough money to be willing to be a coach in a situate that makes the last few seasons of Al Davis' abuse of the Raiders seem sane. smh. 


What's the over/under on how many seasons he lasts? I'll take 3/4 of the first season for firing. 

Jeph
Jeph

Did the Skins get RG II and RG III 's approval before inking the contract?

DavidHarte
DavidHarte

And this would be the same Jay Gruden who "coached up" Andy Dalton….


How the hell did Snyder make any money when he is this consistently dumb?

Mulligan
Mulligan

Outta the QB frying pan and into the fire.

NebojsaTodorovic
NebojsaTodorovic

I dread MNF next year when the Skins play, and you know they'll have a MNF date on their schedule.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Bad choice, Jay. You'll be very sorry sooner rather than later. A 'jock sniffer' as owner, and what appears to be a very spoiled quarterback. Good luck with that.

dbum
dbum

the bengals offense seemed to become legitimate when jay gruden took over the offensive duties. ive wondered for a while if he would eventually take over for marvin lewis in cincy. but im happy hes coming over to us instead. good luck coach, youve got a big job on your hands.


easy first step? fire hasslett. hes done nothing to warrant being in this league so long.

Chuckster
Chuckster

Interesting thought not too surprising choice for the 'Skins.   He's done a good job at Cincinnati and with Dalton.  Let's see what he can do with a healthy RG III.   It will (or should) look better than last season.  Always weary though of a guy with no real HC experience.

x72
x72

Good hire for the Skins. If this guy can get the Bengals with Dalton to the playoffs he must be good.

Outside the box
Outside the box

Bad move Jay. In 2-3 years you will be wondering why you made such a silly decision and worked for an owner who has NO clue what he is doing in the football world. I'm not surprised by this, none of the upper echelon coaches available (John Gruden, Cowher, etc.) would even consider the REdskins.I mean come on, they are hiring Andy Dalton's mentor, enough said.

drchannard
drchannard

Snyder has to stick with the known names, doesn't he?  Even if the name belongs to the lesser known sibling.


I guess we'll see Hue Jackson as the OC of the Bengals now.  I pray that we don't lose Zimmer as well.  He's the one I'm more concerned about.

6marK6
6marK6

@earndollarso I got some CDs and DVDs for sale. Give you a good price on some early Santana CDs.

Chuckster
Chuckster

@NebojsaTodorovic    It'll be ugly.  If the Skins are good, he'll be praising him, going on about how he turned the organization around.  If it's like this season, he'll find a boat load of excuses for little Brother.

Chuckster
Chuckster

@dbumSynder should have had the kahunas to fire Hasslet and not have Gruden come in, do the dirty work and immediately look like the bad guy unless Gruden wants to send a message from Day 1. 

Joe R2
Joe R2

@x72 


I'd say the Bengals' stacked defense had something to do with it.  Gruden shouldn't get all the credit.

Unicornhunter
Unicornhunter

@Outside the box You name two guys who have no intention of returning to coaching, then you say its a bad move on Gruden's part but finish with a comment that indicates its the redskins who are making the mistake.  Not enough coffee this morning?

NebojsaTodorovic
NebojsaTodorovic

@SteveChenoy...  Like him enough to know his name...  Jon is a great coach and I'm a huge fan of Jon the coach.  I get a sugar high that effs with my beer high when he's on MNF.