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Jay Gruden hired to coach Redskins

Redskins Choose Jay Gruden

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jay Gruden has his first NFL head coaching gig, charged with ending the perpetual state of turmoil that has become the Washington Redskins.

He was hired Thursday after spending 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 replaces Mike Shanahan, who was fired last week after a 3-13 season that ended with eight consecutive losses. The Redskins finished last in the NFC East during three of Shanahan's four seasons in Washington, a time marked by discord among ownership, quarterback and coach.

Gruden will become Dan Snyder's eighth coach in 16 seasons as an NFL owner. The span includes four winning seasons and seven last-place finishes. Unlike Shanahan, Gruden will not have final say over all football matters. He'll report to general manager Bruce Allen, who has taken charge of assembling the roster and other personnel decisions.

The 46-year-old 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 because of 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.

On Wednesday, he became the last of six candidates to meet with Allen, ending a 10-day search. The Redskins had to wait until the Bengals played their first-round playoff game before Gruden could be interviewed. And 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.

Gruden had an inside track on the job because of his ties within the Washington organization. He was an assistant coach with Tampa Bay from 2002-08, where he worked at various times with Allen, Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris and tight ends coach Sean McVay. Gruden also coached under Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett with the UFL's Florida Tuskers in 2009.

Morris, McVay and Haslett were retained when Shanahan was fired, leaving it up to Gruden as to whether he will keep them on his new staff.

Gruden's No. 1 task will be to develop a solid relationship with Griffin, 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.

There's no question Gruden has paid his dues. He played quarterback for the Barcelona Dragons and the Sacramento Surge in the long-defunct World League of American Football in 1990, 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 from 1998-2001 and 2004-08 that included four appearances in the championship game and two league titles. 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.

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theequipman January 10 2014 at 11:21 AM

What the Redskins need is for the owner to let the coaches to run the team and leave them alone !!!

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PJ or Bob January 10 2014 at 7:53 AM

Used to be an avid Redskins fan, but after Snyder bought the team feel that he interferes too much with his staff and players and the results speak for themselves, both in the win-loss column and fan base.

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weirdo January 10 2014 at 5:58 AM

It seems to me that when a team goes through 8 head coaches in 16 years, the problem might be somewhere else.

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Dick January 10 2014 at 5:36 AM

Here we go again

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Linda & Larry January 10 2014 at 4:50 AM

Redskin will go no were as long as they have RG lll as there QB .
Lets go snyder fire him like you do with your head coachs.

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1 reply to Linda & Larry's comment
Robert & Lisa January 10 2014 at 6:25 AM

The Dallas Cowgirls want RG III to stay. Usually the smartest quarterbacks win the game, not the most physically talented. Good example, Manning in Denver. He's over the hill yet still wins far more than he loses. When I played in school we had the worst team in the league on paper yet we won the championship both years I was quarterback. I'll take the smartest quarterback of decent ability over the most physically superior one anyday.

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food chef January 10 2014 at 12:51 AM

Good hire for REDSKIN fans , If the owner lets him run the team. From a Ravens fan

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Defenders January 10 2014 at 12:45 AM

Dump Griffin and start with someone new. Griffin is over-rated and over paid. Build around a new QB!!!

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Ken January 10 2014 at 12:14 AM

The Skins have had a superstar culture. Talented egos have been trumpeted as the franchise's saviors, and again and again, they've been unable to change things. There is a way to fix this, but it's not one Dan Snyder or the Washington fans will like. Is RG III really your QB? OK. Fine. Now take the rest of your team and 1. release anyone who's overpaid; 2. release anyone who likes to mouth off in the media; 3. release anyone who likes to showboat; and 4. get a bunch of character guys whose entire focus is on getting their job done with no flash or pizzazz, just intelligence and professionalism.

The teams that have done things that way have done well. Exhibit A is of course the Patriots. Since 2001, they've basically been Tom Brady and a bunch of guys named Joe. Randy Moss got to New England and was pulled aside by the team's enforcers, who told him right away that he'd better not pull the antics that had characterized him in Minnesota and Oakland. And until those two players retired, he behaved himself. Both of them retired at the same time, and he reverted to his old habits--and he found himself back in Minnesota before he knew what had happened.

But there are other teams that do things that way. The Chiefs have now built that kind of team, except that not even the QB is a superstar. There's something of that attitude with the Giants; they had a horrible season this year, but they have two Super Bowl wins--both over the Patriots--to show for being that kind of team. There's something of that attitude in Green Bay.

Now, not having any superstars doesn't mean not having any excellent players. That 2001 Patriots team had Ty Law and Lawyer Milloy, both of whom were top-drawer defensive backs, Tedy Bruschi, who was probably the best inside linebacker in football at the time not named Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher, and Troy Brown, who had over 100 catches that year (a guy very much like the Pats' present receiver Julian Edelman). When Milloy left, he was replaced by Rodney Harrison, another great safety. The Giants have had some very fine players; they still have some. The Chiefs are loaded with guys who can play, especially on defense. But none of these guys wants to be bigger than life; they're not showboats, and their entire aim is winning--guys like Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali.

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hustlersii January 10 2014 at 12:00 AM

Trade III for !.

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Joe Bragg January 09 2014 at 11:41 PM

Griffen needs to grow up, he seems like a spoiled punk to me, i personally think hes done, Cousins should have been the starter last year and should be the starter this year. Good luck with those two ego maniacs and hopefully you have the balls to bench Griffen when hes not performing. Run the ball, you have one of the best running backs in the league, lets see some of the old Redskins offense, power football. I bet you Riggo would agree..........................

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