Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is looking like an even more popular interview than more touted defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, and the Bengals already have four interview requests lined up for their noted OC. We’ve already heard of interview requests from the Minnesota Vikings and, more recently, the Washington Redskins, but there are two other teams pressing for Gruden’s services.
CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reports that the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans have also inquired the Bengals regarding the availability of their offensive coordinator, thus bringing up Gruden’s total of interested parties to four. Now that the Bengals are out of the playoffs, Gruden’s name will be tossed around quite a bit on the rumor mill, and it is not surprising to hear that two new teams have pounced on him following the Bengals 27-10 loss.
The Lions and Vikings both had defensive-minded head coaches last season in Jim Schwartz and Leslie Frazier, and the Lions in particular are interested in adding a head coach who cuts his teeth on the offensive side of the ball. Matthew Stafford is a good QB with elite arm talent, but he needs work on his technique and decision-making in order to become more consistent and potentially join the “elite” at the position. For that, a good QB guru is needed, and the Lions will see if he can fit the bill. Ken Whisenhunt is the OC of the San Diego Chargers, and he’s the top candidate for the Lions head coaching vacancy. However, the Chargers won, so the Lions will have to interview the OC of the team that the Chargers beat in the meantime.
The Redskins would like to have an offensive guru who can help coach up RG3, though both they and the Vikings could still use defensive-minded head coaches in conjunction with a strong OC due to the dire states of their defenses. Both the Redskins and Vikings have also contacted Bengals DC Mike Zimmer for interviews.
As for the Titans, they moved away from Mike Munchak but could definitely use an offensive HC, especially one who could develop the next QB they tab as their franchise passer.