The New Head Honcho: Part 2
With Andy Reid all but certain to be gone, we will be examining some new head coaching candidates for the Birds this next season. First, we looked in to Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. This week, we’ll look at certain man named GRUDEN….’s little brother.
Jay Gruden – Offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.
While this name might not be exactly what you were looking for, the younger Gruden has plenty of coaching experience on a variety of levels. He began coaching in the Arena Football League, where after one season in Nashville he landed the head coaching job for the Orlando Predators in 1998. Gruden led the Predators to Arena Bowl championships twice in his fours years of coaching there. He also was the head coach of the Florida Tuskers from the UFL in 2010, which he led to the championship game.
In the NFL, Gruden began his career working as an offensive assistant for the Buccaneers under his brother Jon for six seasons from 2002 through 2008. Now, he is working as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator.
To give you an idea of Gruden’s impact, Cincinnati was the 22nd highest scoring offense in the league in 2009 and 2010 with Carson Palmer, @Ochocinco, and T.O. In 2011, Gruden made the offense 18th in scoring with rookies Andy Dalton and AJ Green. This year the Bengals have lept up to 10th in the league and continuing to grow. Dalton is completing 63.4% of his passes and has a 23-11 touchdown to interception ratio and AJ Green is having an MVP-like season. He has 67 catches for 1,022 yards and 10 td’s through 11 games.
In terms of his scheme, Gruden would be bringing in a familiar philosophy: the west coast offense. However, unlike Andy Reid, Gruden runs a simpler and more balanced attack. As a result, the Eagles wouldn’t go through as much of a rebuilding mode as they may need to with another candidate. The Eagles currently have the players for a west coast system, Gruden would simply need to bring in some of “his guys” to round out the roster.
For (the few) Nick Foles believers out there, Gruden may just be your man. Unlike his older brother, Gruden is willing to work with younger quarterbacks and has done well developing Dalton. If Foles really has the right stuff, then Gruden will be able to get it out of him.
So, with the offseason only a few weeks away, keep on eye on the Bengal’s offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. He might just be the next head honcho.