In today’s latest coaching search action, the Redskins host Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden for an interview. Bruce Allen took Gruden to dinner in Reston last night, and today features a formal interview with the coach.
Gruden, 46, has transitioned from prolific Arena Football League quarterback to successful offensive coordinator. Along the way, he has won two Arena Bowls as a head coach, served as head coach in the UFL as well, prior to joining the Bengals’ staff as offensive coordinator in 2011.
Gruden wanted to bring Sean McVay with him to Cincinnati to coach wide receivers, but Redskins didn’t want to let McVay, who at the time was an offensive assistant, get away. They promoted him to tight ends coach.
● Related: Closer looks at other candidates for Redskins coach in the By The Numbers series.
Gruden also has ties to Allen, having worked under him as an offensive assistant in Tampa Bay from 2002 to 2008, and during that time, Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris was an assistant on defense.
Gruden also served as Jim Haslett’s offensive coordinator for the Florida Tuskers in 2009, and then took over as head coach when Haslett left the UFL to join Mike Shanahan’s staff in Washington.
Gruden has emerged as a coaching candidate after steering the Bengals toward offensive improvement in each of his three seasons as coordinator.
Cincinnati succeeded on 40.9 percent of their third downs (10th-best in the NFL).
Cincinnati did rank among the league leaders in turnovers. Their 30 giveaways (20 interceptions, 10 fumbles) ranked third-most in the AFC and top 10 in the NFL as a whole.
The Bengals this season made a jump after ranking 22nd in 2012 with 332.7 yards a game, and they scored 24.4 points per game (12th). Gruden’s unit averaged 319.3 yards and 21.5 points per game in his first season at the controls.
Andy Dalton had a rough end to his season, throwing two interceptions in his team’s playoff loss to San Diego on Sunday. But Dalton did have a career year this season, completing 61.9 percent of his passes for 4,293 yards, 33 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Dalton has seen his production increase in each of his three seasons under Gruden.
Dalton ranked seventh in passing yards this season and third in the NFL with 33 touchdown passes. His passer rating of 88.8 ranked 15th, and his interception total was fifth most.
The Bengals don’t have the most potent rushing attack. They averaged 3.6 yards per carry this season (27th). Gruden used a tandem approach that featured BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard. A year after rushing for 1,094 yards as the feature back in 2012, Green-Ellis this season tallied 756 yards and seven touchdowns on 220 carries. Bernard added 695 yards and five touchdowns on 170 carries.
A.J. Green has shined under Gruden’s guidance, making the Pro Bowls in all three of his seasons in the NFL. Green this season ranked fifth in the NFL with 1,426 yards on 98 catches, and his 11 touchdowns were eighth most.
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.
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