After casting a wide net in their search for a new head coach, the Washington Redskins have finally settled on a candidate. The team will hire current Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, according to multiple reports.
Gruden was at least one of six known candidates to have a face-to-face interview with the Redskins. The team began their search by interviewing Darrell Bevell, current offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, who was a popular choice among fans. They also met with Jim Caldwell of the Baltimore Ravens, Sean McDermott of the Carolina Panthers, Perry Fewell of the New York Giants, and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia of the Dallas Cowboys.
Jay isn't a stranger to many in the Redskins organization. He worked as an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under general manager Bruce Allen, who now serves in the same role with the Redskins. Gruden also has ties with current Redskins tight ends coach Sean McVey and defensive assistant Raheem Morris, both are rumored to remain with the team in offensive and defensive coordinator positions, respectively.
After stints in the AFL and UFL, Gruden was hired by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011 as the team's offensive coordinator. The team saw significant improvement in all three seasons under Gruden, going from 18th per game when he first arrived to 6th. The team finished 10th overall in the NFL last season in total offense. Gruden is also credited with the improvement of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards in each of his first three seasons in the league.
Jay Gruden will replace Mike Shanahan, who was let go by the team immediately after the season ended. He becomes the seventh head coach of the Washington Redskins over the last 15 years Dan Snyder has owned the team. Gruden's task certainly looms large but with talented quarterback Robert Griffin III at his disposal, the cupboard isn't bare.
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