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Jaguars hire former Redskins coach as offensive coordinator

Gruden, 52, has 26 years of coaching experience, including 16 seasons in the NFL.

Jay Gruden watches play against the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Jay Gruden watches play against the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Jay Gruden, the former coach of the Washington Redskins as their next offensive coordinator.

The team confirmed Wednesday morning reports circulating late Tuesday that Gruden would join the Jaguars.

“Coach Gruden is one of the brightest offensive minds in football and I’m pleased to welcome him to the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone. “I believe that Coach Gruden is the right person for what we need right now and the direction that we want to take our offense. During the interview process, it became very clear that Coach Gruden learned a lot from his experience as a head coach and he’s ready to get back to work.”

Gruden, 52, has 26 years of coaching experience, including 16 seasons in the NFL.

News4Jax reported that the Jaguars planned to interview Gruden for the open position after the team parted ways with John DeFilippo.

News4Jax sports analyst Mark Brunell said that he loved the Gruden hire, but the Jaguars must give him talent to work with.

“I really like that Jay Gruden is our offensive coordinator, but I think Jay Gruden be the first to tell you it’s really more about the roster. It’s about the players. Unless the roster improves, we talk about the quarterback, but the supporting cast for our quarterback is more important than anything else,” Brunell said.

“So if we can find the right pieces around Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles then there’s a chance for the Jaguar offense to be much improved. But if the players aren’t around him, Jay Gruden will become another John DeFilippo. Nathaniel Hackett. Greg Olsen. Jedd Fisch. Offensive coordinators in previous years that didn’t last long. Well, they didn’t last long because they didn’t have players. So, it’s really more about the roster and who decides on who’s going to be on the offensive side of the ball.”

Gruden spent five-plus seasons as the head coach in Washington before being let go after an 0-5 start. While at Washington, he won the NFC East in his second year but never made the playoffs after that.

But his experience as an offensive coordinator in Cincinnati is much more impressive, with three straight wild-card appearances.

Gruden is also one of the most successful head coaches in the Arena League, leading the Orlando Predators to three Arena Bowls, winning two of them. He also won four Arena Bowls as a player.


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