The Eagles have requested permission to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Tim McManus has confirmed.
Gruden has been with Cincinnati the past two seasons. He’s done a nice job of developing young talent – specifically quarterback Andy Dalton. A second-round pick in 2011, Dalton threw 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as a rookie. His numbers are up across the board this year, as Dalton completed 62.3 percent of his passes with 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
The Bengals ranked 12th in scoring offense (24.4 PPG) and were 17th in Football Outsiders’ rankings.
Gruden had never been a coordinator or a position coach in the NFL or college before 2011. He was a coach/general manager in the UFL and also served as a coach in the AFL. Gruden was an offensive assistant with the Bucs from 2002 to 2008, while he simultaneously held some of those other posts.
“We are not reinventing the wheel against every new defense we face,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said about Gruden, per the team’s Web site. “Jay sees the offense through the quarterback’s eyes, and it’s a case of building from week to week, rather than starting over. The quarterback has a lot of leeway in the things he can call, and Jay recognized that Andy was the type of player who could use those options effectively.”
Gruden and the Bengals take on the Texans today in the divisional round. But win or lose, assistants whose teams are playing this weekend can interview for head-coaching jobs next week, as long as they are granted permission.
Tim provided more background on Gruden in an earlier post, talking to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer about the head-coaching candidate.
Gruden is 45-years-old.