Jay Gruden, a QB expert and brother of coaching legend Jon Gruden, gets his first shot at head coaching with RG3, Alfred Morris and playmaking receiver Desean Jackson.
This year the annual NFL coaching carousel lands on seven coaches getting new head coaching positions. Some have coached before and are getting a second chance, while others are getting their first chance as a head coach.
In this series we will look at the head coaches that are starting with brand new teams and what they are getting themselves into. The first group to be examined will be the first-year head coaches:
Jay Gruden (Washington Redskins) – Gruden enters the NFL head coaching landscape as something close to a miracle worker. As offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals – his first time in such a position in the NFL – he helped the team to their first 3-year winning streak in since the 1970s.
A large part of that success was the quick development of QB Andy Dalton and WR AJ Green, in no small part thanks to Jay Gruden’s skills as a QB developer.
Gruden was given the opportunity to take the head coaching job in Washington, where he will now get to work his magic on recovering QB Robert Griffin III and free agent pickup Desean Jackson.
The defense may need work, but his decision to keep DC Jim Haslett may pay dividends.
So too may Gruden’s call to retain much of the offensive coordinators, and the mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” understandably applies given their previous success in that area.
The NFC East is ripe for the taking for Gruden, and he may have the best shot among all of the rookie coaches of reaching the playoffs in his first season.