UPDATED: Redskins have hired Jay Gruden to be next head coach

Updated: January 9, 2014
Jay Gruden





The Washington Redskins have hired Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to be their new head coach and there will be a 4 PM press conference today at Redskins Park to introduce Gruden as the new head coach.


Gruden replaces Mike Shanahan, who was fired the day after the regular season ended and the Redskins finished a dismal 3-13, last in the NFC East for the third time in Shanahan’s four years in Washington.

Gruden is well known to Redskins GM Bruce Allen, who worked with Gruden’s elder brother Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay, when Jon was the head coach and Allen was in the front office. The two won a Super Bowl together and then were fired together after the 2009 season. Gruden gets a 5-year deal, which is unusually long for a first-time head coach. Mark Maske reports the length of the deal was very important to Gruden.

Mike Shanahan had full control over personnel matters in Washington, but Bruce Allen has said he will have final control over personnel issues and will be advised by long-time assistants Morocco Brown and Scott Campbell. The deal Gruden is getting will most likely be limited to coaching the team, while Allen, Brown and Campbell give Gruden the players to coach.

Gruden, 46, developed his career and offensive philosophy mostly in the United Football League [UFL] and mostly in the state of Florida, before moving to the NFL and the Bengals.

Incidentally, Gruden is close to Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who was head coach of the Florida Tuskers while Gruden was his offensive coordinator. This could mean that Haslett will remain as defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins. He’s close to Gruden, obviously, and has one more year left on his contract. In case you were wondering why Haslett was not fired along with the other coaches who were not retained after the regular season, now you know why — they held on to Haslett because they suspected or knew Gruden would want him around.

On the other hand, Adam Schefter is reporting that Raheem Morris, the secondary coach for the Redskins, will be promoted to defensive coordinator and Sean McVay, the tight ends coach of the Redskins, will be promoted to offensive coordinator.


Apparently, the McVay deal is done — he will be the next OC of the Redskins.

Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network believes Haslett will remain defensive coordinator.

Washington Post reporter Mark Maske backs that up:

Redskins ILB London Fletcher, who is almost certainly retiring, chimed in with this interesting thought:

Incidentally, Fletcher appears to be very much on board with promoting Raheem Morris to the DC position.

Former Redskins TE and current broadcaster Chris Cooley had this to say about the Gruden hire on ESPN980:

“I’m not initially blown away by what he did as the coordinator for Cincinnati. I don’t think that they were especially dynamic. I think they mixed it up, I think he did utilize his best players to some extent. Another thing that I understand, when I look at that Bengals staff, is that Jay Gruden came in as the OC to a staff that remained entirely intact from 10 years ago. I played in the Senior Bowl with six of the coaches that are still on the Bengals staff offensively. So it’s not like he came in and just took over and did exactly what he wanted. Maybe that would change, as head coach, whatever he does offensive wise in D.C.

“The other thing I like is he comes from a football background. He comes from being around it, he comes from understanding players, understanding personalities. That’s something that’s really underrated, and it’s hard to gain ground as a new guy coming in. But when you come from that football background, grow up around it as Jay did, you start to get it more than a lot of other people, you start to understand the way people function, the way players think, the way you deal with everything. And I appreciate that.”

Rich Gannon, who had a cup of coffee with the Redskins in the 1990s and won the league MVP in 2002, approves of the Gruden hire.