NFL: Jay Gruden to Replace Shanahan as Redskins Head Coach

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Image courtesy of Andrew Weber, USA Today Sports

Image courtesy of Andrew Weber, USA Today Sports

The Washington Redskins have found a replacement for fired head coach Mike Shanahan much sooner than expected. It was first reported by ESPN that the Redskins have agreed to a five year deal with the now former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden.

Gruden had already interviewed with the Tennessee Titans this week and had a meeting scheduled with the Detroit Lions in the next few days but after interviewing with Washington on Wednesday it was reported to ESPN that he’d decided to work with the Redskins.

Gruden, 46, is the younger brother of Jon Gruden, the former Super Bowl winning coach of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers and Oakland Raiders. Jon is currently an analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Besides having been last season’s offensive coordinator for the 2013 AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals, Gruden is a former Arena Football League quarterback and coach. He has been with the Bengals for the past three seasons, steadily improving their offense attack and eventually leading them to win the AFC North, only to lose to the Chargers in the NFL Wild Card Playoff Game. The Redskins are hoping they can improve their offense which was 23rd in points scored over the regular season.

He has quite a few ties to the Washington Redskins making it a potentially good fit.  He worked with current Redskins general manager, Bruce Allen, for five years as an assistant coordinator for the Buccaneers. He has also worked with tight end coach Sean McVay, secondary coach Raheem Morris, and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett – all of whom he is expected to keep on for the 2014-2015 National Football League season. It has been reported that McVay will be promoted to offensive coordinator under Gruden.

Each of the three years Gruden was the offensive coordinator for the Bengals the team improved in points per game and each season ended with the team making the post season. In Washington Gruden is expected to help improve the the play of quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was benched at the end of the season due to inconsistent play and alleged problems with Mike Shanahan.

While the Redskins prospered going 10-6 and winning the NFC East during Griffin’s historic rookie season in 2013, they finished this season only 3-13 ending up at the bottom of the division. The Redskin’s defense just could not pick up the slack for Griffin’s struggles.

With Jay Gruden joining Jon as an NFL head coach the two will represent the third pair of brothers to be head coaches in the NFL. They will be joining Ted and Al Nesser of the 1920’s and current head coaches the Harbaugh brothers. Jon Harbaugh currently coaches the Baltimore Ravens and brother Jim Harbaugh is the current coach of the San Fransico 49ers.

With the success Gruden had with Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. The Redskins are hoping that Gruden will be a better match for Robert Griffin III and be able to bring him back to his rookie season form. Griffin is just one year off of his rookie season where he passed for 3,200 yards and ran for 815 scoring 27 touchdowns.

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