HARRIS: Where will Jay Gruden fall on Redskins’ Gibbs-Turner scale?

Former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is interviewed by a television station after he is announced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins at a press conference at Redskins Park, Ashburn, Va., Thursday, January 9, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is interviewed by a television station after he is announced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins at a press conference at Redskins Park, Ashburn, Va., Thursday, January 9, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
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Where will Jay Gruden fall on the Turner-Gibbs sliding scale?

The best guess is he’ll be much closer to Gibbs than Turner. Asking anybody to match what Gibbs did the first time is unfair. But there’s a small reason to believe he may be pretty good, a somewhat crazy reason but, hey, it is my crazy and I’ll stick to it.

Gruden is 46, a bit older than Gibbs and Turner when they got their first chances. He also has three years’ experience as an offensive coordinator, piling them up the past three seasons in Cincinnati. He has a reputation as being good with quarterbacks. That is a good thing because you might remember the Redskins have a quarterback in Robert Griffin III, who could use some help in regaining the luster he had as a rookie in 2012.

What stands out on Gruden’s resume is he has been a head coach before. Sure, it was in the Arena Football League — an indoor version of the game that sometimes resembles football in name only. To compare what they play in that league with what they play in the NFL is absurd,

But Gruden has shown he can win, with an 82-54 record and two Arena Bowl championships. He’s been able to find the right players and succeed relative to his competition. You don’t win championships at any level if you aren’t able to get the best out of whatever players you have, so he has that going for him.

It is admitedly a flimsy reason on which to hang some hope, but right now it is the best I have.

Redskins fans will have to wait and see how the Gruden Era turns out. Maybe it will be magic. Maybe it will be misery. I think it will turn out well, and my only advice is this: Give it a fair shot. Gibbs lost his first five games and still turned out OK.

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