Thursday, January 9, 2014
Jay Gruden Agrees to Five-Year Deal as Redskins Head Coach
Gruden is a six-time Arena Bowl champion, four as quarterback of the Tampa Bay Storm and two as a coach with the Orlando Predators. He finished his playing career with 21,476 passing yards and 397 touchdowns and was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 1999.
When Jon Gruden got the Tampa Bay head coaching job in 2002, he invited Jay to join his staff (which included general manager Bruce Allen). Redskins secondary coach Raheem Morris and tight ends coach Sean McVay also worked with Gruden in Tampa. For a number of years, Jay double-dipped – working for the Buccaneers from July to January, then moving down I-4 to work for the AFL’s Orlando Predators. For the first two seasons, he was simultaneously an NFL assistant coach and an AFL quarterback, before retiring from playing in 2004.
And when Jon was fired from Tampa Bay in 2008, and shortly thereafter the Arena League went on an extended hiatus, Jay latched on as offensive coordinator with the Florida Tuskers of the fledgling UFL — hired by then-head coach Jim Haslett — and assumed the head coaching job when Haslett left to be the Redskins’ defensive coordinator. In both seasons, the Tuskers played in the UFL title game.
His hiring in Cincinnati in 2011, as offensive coordinator on Marvin Lewis’s Bengals staff, coincided with the drafting of quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. In each of their first three seasons, the Bengals made the AFC playoffs, but lost in the first round, including a 27-10 defeat at home to San Diego on Sunday. In Gruden’s three seasons there, the Bengals’ offense has risen from 18th to 12th to sixth in the NFL in points per game, gaining him a reputation as one of the game’s top young offensive minds.
He was the sixth candidate known to have interviewed with the Redskins following offensive coordinators Darrell Bevell of the Seattle Seahawks and Jim Caldwell of the Baltimore Ravens, defensive coordinators Sean McDermott of the Carolina Panthers and Perry Fewell of the New York Giants, and Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.
The Redskins had planned to meet with Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin, but he reportedly was offered the coaching job at Penn State. The team also had sought interviews with offensive coordinators Ken Whisenhunt of the San Diego Chargers and Greg Roman of San Francisco 49ers, and defensive coordinators Mike Zimmer of the Bengals and Vic Fangio of the 49ers.