Redskins hire Jay Gruden as head coach - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Redskins hire Jay Gruden as head coach

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Jay Gruden at his introductory press conference as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins Jay Gruden at his introductory press conference as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins
Photo credit: NFL Films Photo credit: NFL Films
WASHINGTON -

The face was different, the words familiar. Like Mike Shanahan and nearly every recent Washington Redskins coach, Jay Gruden is anxious to declare an end to franchise's days of dysfunction.

"I don't know what happened last year," Gruden said. "I know that interviewing with Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen and everybody here that the passion for excellence is there. All they want to do is win, and they're going to provide me with every avenue to win."

Gruden was introduced Thursday as the man charged with ending the perpetual state of turmoil the team has endured under owner Snyder and recently under general manager Allen.

Gruden was a given a five-year contact for his first NFL head coaching gig, taking over a 3-13 team that has finished last in the NFC East in five of the last six seasons.

"We HAVE to get it right," said Allen, who led the search and interviewed six candidates. "We need to get the franchise back on track in a winning direction. ... We were looking for a new leader, somebody who can inspire our football team. We knew it was more than just X and Os, it was about finding the right person to build a team chemistry that we needed."

Gruden is Snyder's eighth coach in 16 seasons as an NFL owner. Unlike Shanahan, who was fired last week, Gruden will not have final say over all football matters. He'll report to Allen, who has taken charge of assembling the roster and other personnel decisions.

Snyder attended the news conference but did not speak to reporters.

The 46-year-old Gruden has spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, where his skill in helping to develop Andy Dalton will no doubt be of use when he takes on the task of grooming another young franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

Gruden praised the talents of Griffin and spoke of the need to build a "genuine" trust with the quarterback, who regressed this season after winning the AP's Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2012. Griffin returned from major knee surgery to start 13 games, but he publicly disagreed with some of Shanahan's decisions, struggled as a drop-back passer and was benched for the final three weeks.

Asked to confirm that Griffin will be the starter, Gruden chuckled and said: "I don't see him as a backup."

"I see every trait that a quarterback has to have to be successful, I see Robert having all of those," Gruden said. "So why wouldn't you want to coach a guy like that? ... I'm going to let him know that I'm a trustworthy guy. He's also got to understand that I expect a lot from the starting quarterback. I expect him to come in and prepare and work hard, and I expect him to take the blame on some throws. I expect him to be a great leader."

Griffin limited his comments to a quick post on his Facebook page: "Excited about the hiring of Coach Jay Gruden. Can't wait to get to work with him & the guys!"

Gruden said he will call the plays himself and that he has yet to decide which members of Shanahan's staff to retain. It seems a safe bet, however, that some combination of defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, defensive backs coach Raheem Morris and tight ends coach Sean McVay has a good chance of sticking around, based on the trio's previous relationship with the new coach. Gruden also said he's a fan of the 3-4 defense that Haslett has used the last four years.

"I know there's a lot of coaches here who can coach," Gruden said.

Gruden has been largely overshadowed by his more famous brother, Jon Gruden, who won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is now an analyst on "Monday Night Football." But Jay Gruden has been a name on the rise based on his success with Dalton and the Bengals' offense.

Jay Gruden interviewed for multiple head coaching openings last year and had drawn interest from at least three other teams seeking to fill a head coaching vacancy this year. He interviewed with the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday.

The Redskins had to wait until the Bengals played their first-round playoff game before Gruden could be courted. It took a bad day from Gruden and Dalton — scoring only 10 points in a home loss to the San Diego Chargers — to make Gruden free to be hired this week.

"I told him it worked out well that Cincinnati lost," Allen said. "He still doesn't understand that."

Gruden said his ties within the Washington organization played a "big role" in his decision. He was an assistant coach with Tampa Bay from 2002-08, where he worked at various times with Allen, Morris and McVay. Gruden also coached under Haslett with the UFL's Florida Tuskers in 2009.

There's no question Gruden has paid his dues. He was a quarterback in the long-defunct World League of American Football, then went to the Arena Football League and began a playing and coaching career that was so successful it landed him in the AFL Hall of Fame in 1999.

He's been a head coach both the AFL and UFL, including two stints with the AFL's Orlando Predators. In 2010, after Haslett left for the Redskins, Gruden was head coach and general manager of the Tuskers and led them to the UFL championship game.

"There's a lot of work to do," Gruden said. "When you're 3-13, there's not one particular player or reason, there's a lot of reasons and there's a lot of things that need to be fixed."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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By JOSEPH WHITE, AP Sports Writer

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP


Redskins Press Release:

REDSKINS NAME JAY GRUDEN AS HEAD COACH

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have named Jay Gruden as the 29th head coach in franchise history.

Excluding interim coaches, Gruden, 46, becomes the team’s youngest head coaching hire since hiring eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs at 40 years of age in 1981. He becomes the first Redskins coach hired directly from an offensive coordinator role on another team since Norv Turner in 1994.

Gruden spent the last three seasons as offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. In his tenure in Cincinnati from 2011-13, the Bengals averaged 10 wins a season, making three consecutive playoff appearances and earning an AFC North championship in 2013. Members of the Bengals’ offense accounted for seven Pro Bowl selections in his three seasons in Cincinnati.

Gruden was tasked with the development of quarterback Andy Dalton, a 2011 second-round pick. In three seasons together, Gruden helped Dalton to a 30-18 regular season record as a starter (.625), as Dalton’s 30 wins in that time frame ranked tied for fifth-most among NFL quarterbacks. Dalton’s 80 passing touchdowns rank third-most in NFL history for a quarterback in his first three seasons, trailing only Dan Marino (98) and Peyton Manning (85).

Prior to joining the Bengals, Gruden served two years with the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League from 2009-10. In 2009, Gruden served as offensive coordinator under current Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett as the Tuskers compiled a 6-0 regular season record and earned a UFL championship game berth. In 2010, he assumed the roles of head coach and general manager and led the Tuskers to their second consecutive championship game appearance.

Gruden coached for seven seasons (2002-08) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, earning a Super Bowl championship ring as an offensive assistant in 2002. There he worked under his brother, Jon, then the Bucs’ head coach, and current Redskins Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen, the Bucs’ general manager from 2004-08. Gruden helped guide the Buccaneers to the team’s first league championship, a 48-21 victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Gruden also ranks among the most outstanding players and coaches in the history of the Arena Football League, having won six combined league championships – four as a quarterback and two as a head coach. Gruden played quarterback (2002-03) and served as head coach (2004-08) of the AFL’s Orlando Predators, all while simultaneously working as an offensive assistant with the Buccaneers. In all, Gruden served as head coach of the Predators for nine seasons (1998-2001 and 2004-08), leading the Predators to four championship game appearances and two league titles as a coach. During a two-year hiatus from coaching the Predators in 2002-03, he returned to the playing field as Orlando’s quarterback, leading the Predators to playoff appearances in both seasons.

In his eight seasons as a player in the AFL, Gruden completed 1,673-of-2,775 passes (60.3 percent) for 21,578 yards with 398 touchdowns and 99 interceptions. In addition to his time with Orlando, he spent six seasons (1991-96) at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Storm, winning four AFL titles and being named MVP of ArenaBowl VII in 1993. He was also named the 1992 AFL Most Valuable Player and was honored with induction into the AFL Hall of Fame in 1999.

Gruden played quarterback for four seasons for former Redskins draft pick Howard Schnellenberger at the University of Louisville (1985-88) and was a two-time team MVP.

Gruden was born March 4, 1967 in Tiffin, Ohio. He and his wife, Sherry, have three sons — J.J., Joey and Jack.

Included on the following pages are Gruden’s career timeline, offensive Pro Bowlers under his tutelage, pertinent career numbers, ArenaBowl appearances, comments on his hiring and more.


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