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Redskins hire Jay Gruden as head coach

Former Bengals offensive coordinator next to lead Washington
01/09/2014 10:32 AM ET
By The Associated Press

Jay Gruden called plays for a Bengals team that reached the postseason in 2013.(AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jay Gruden was hired as the Washington Redskins' coach Thursday, succeeding Mike Shanahan and joining a 3-13 team after working the last three seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator.

In ending their 10-day coaching search, the Redskins said Gruden would be introduced at an afternoon news conference.

With the Bengals, the 46-year-old Gruden helped develop Andy Dalton. Now he'll have the task of grooming another young franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

Gruden, the brother of former NFL coach and ''Monday Night Football'' analyst Jon Gruden, had drawn interest from at least three other teams seeking head coaches. He interviewed with the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday.

Shanahan was fired last week after a 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 owner Dan Snyder's eighth coach in 16 seasons as an NFL owner. The span includes just four winning seasons and seven last-place finishes.

Gruden interviewed with the Redskins on Wednesday, becoming the last of six candidates to meet with general manager Bruce Allen. Gruden had an inside track on the job because of his ties with Allen and others in the Washington organization.

Gruden worked with Allen, Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris and tight ends coach Sean McVay while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gruden was an assistant with Tampa Bay from 2002-08, then coached under Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett with the United Football League'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 is a member of the Arena Football League Hall of Fame, elected in 1999 after a career as a successful player and coach in the indoor league. His previous head coaching stints have come in Arena Football with the Orlando Predators and in the UFL with the Tuskers, whom he led to the UFL championship game the year after Haslett left to join the Redskins.

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