The Washington Redskins have found their new head coach, and the man they have tabbed as Mike Shanahan’s successor in D.C. isn’t a surprising name. Per a league source close to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Redskins have hired Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who has named the favorite in the team’s head coaching search yesterday.
The Redskins were looking at other candidates including Perry Fewell of the New York Giants, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, and fellow Bengals coordinator Mike Zimmer, but Gruden always seemed to be the favorite. He’s been involved in head coaching rumors in the past, and he is definitely the kind of “name” coach that Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who makes the Redskins job a very difficult one, values. Gruden and Redskins GM Bruce Allen know each other from their days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so there’s no doubt in my mind that familiarity played a huge role in this move.
Gruden has done a credible job leading the Bengals offense, and he’s a very good offensive coordinator. However, his prospects of being as good as his older brother “Jon” are currently undecided, and he’s a bit of a risky hire for the Redskins to make. The big key for Gruden is working well with Robert Griffin III and developing him, but I have a worrisome feeling that Snyder’s desire to entitle RG3 will lead to another messy split at head coach for the Redskins.