By Sally Fahey
The Jacksonville Jaguars are hiring the former Redskins head coach Jay Gruden as offensive coordinator, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero are reporting.
The deal is still being finalized.
Gruden interviewed with Jacksonville this week. Former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo also interviewed for the vacancy.
Fired by the Redskins in October after five-plus years as their head coach, Gruden told Rapoport a few weeks back he wanted to get back in the NFL, ideally as a head coach. But with those jobs off the board — the four non-Redskins vacancies were filled in the past two weeks, three by first-time NFL head coaches — Gruden is returning to his previous role.
Before he was hired in Washington, Gruden was the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator from 2011-13, during which Cincinnati made three straight playoff appearances and quarterback Andy Dalton blossomed from a rookie into a surefire starter.
Gruden will try to work the same magic with whoever is taking snaps under center for Jacksonville in 2020, whether it be the veteran Nick Foles or second-year sensation Gardner Minshew. The new OC will also be tasked with jump-starting an offense that, since ranking fifth and sixth in points scored and total offense in 2017, respectively, has been among the bottom quarter of attacks over the last two seasons.
Jacksonville, which parted ways with John DeFilippo last week, will enter next season with its third offensive coordinator in as many years. Jags coach Doug Marrone is on a short leash, and the coach is surely hoping Gruden’s addition will help loosen the reins on him and Jacksonville’s inert offense