Redskins Hire Jay Gruden To Replace Mike Shannahan

1:32 PM, Jan 9, 2014   |    comments
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Jay Gruden, USA Today

Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins have their new head coach.

Jay Gruden has agreed to a five-year deal to replace Mike Shanahan, a person familiar with the situation tells USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell. The person was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter because the Redskins have not yet announced Gruden's hiring.

The team will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. ET Thursday at its headquarters in Ashburn, Va.

ESPN first reported the hire.

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Gruden, 46, the younger brother of ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and former Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden, has spent the past three seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator. The Bengals won the AFC North in 2013 thanks in part to an attack that steadily improved under Gruden's watch. Cincinnati finished 10th in yards gained (368.2 per game) and tied for sixth in points scored (26.9 per game) in the regular season.

Washington was ninth in yards (369.7 per game) in 2013 but only 23rd in scoring (20.9 per game).

Gruden takes over for Mike Shanahan, who was fired Dec. 30 after the stormiest and most disappointing of his four years with the team. Shanahan, who had one year remaining on his deal when he was terminated, was 24-41 with the team and only reached the playoffs once.

Shanahan's relationship with franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III appeared to incrementally disintegrate following RG3's knee injury during the 2012 playoffs. The coach later expressed regret for not pulling Griffin against the Seattle Seahawks last January when the quarterback tore multiple knee ligaments. The duo also publicly disagreed on several issues in 2013, beginning with Griffin's workload in training camp and ending with Shanahan's decision to bench him with three games left in a lost 3-13 season.

Gruden becomes the sixth coach hired by Washington owner Daniel Snyder since he assumed control of the team in 1999. The Redskins have only reached postseason four times in that span, once under the leadership of Norv Turner, whom Snyder inherited but fired before the end of the 2000 season.

The Redskins have endure double-digit losses and last-place finishes in the NFC East four of the past five seasons. The exception was 2012, when they won the division after being sparked by Griffin's offensive rookie of the year effort.

Joe Gibbs is the only coach hired by Snyder to win a playoff game since 1999.

Gruden, who's spent the past 17 years coaching in the NFL, UFL and Arena league, successfully developed quarterback Andy Dalton, who was drafted by Cincinnati in 2011. Dalton passed for 4,293 yards and 33 TDs in 2013, both Bengals records and numbers the Redskins would surely like to see Griffin reach.

The last Bengals coordinator to leave Cincinnati for a head coaching position was Bruce Coslet, when he was hired by the New York Jets in 1990.

Gruden interviewed with the Tennesee Titans on Tuesday and had one scheduled with the Minnesota Vikings for Thursday before agreeing to his new post.

Gruden has ties to some of the Redskins staff. He worked with general manager Bruce Allen, defensive backs coach Raheem Morris and tight ends coach Sean McVay while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Orlando of the UFL, he worked under defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who brought Gruden on as his offensive coordinator, while McVay was the tight ends coach. When Haslett went to the Redskins, Gruden became the head coach in Orlando.

Haslett, Morris and McVay were retained in Washington after Shanahan's dismissal.

With Gruden leaving the Bengals, it is expected that running backs coach Hue Jackson will become the new offensive coordinator. Jackson has been the offensive coordinator in Washington (2003), Atlanta (2007) and Oakland (2010) as well as being the Raiders head coach in 2011.

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