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LOVERRO: Without Jon Gruden, no one knows a thing about Jay Gruden
As it is, his name is Gruden – the other Gruden being his better-known brother, Jon, the former NFL coach and Super Bowl winner and Monday Night Football analyst and ESPN network star – and he is the new Washington Redskins head coach.
Jay is, not Jon – although from various media accounts, Jay often relied on Jon while Jay was offensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals. So if you get one brother, you get the other as well.
Jay Gruden was introduced Redskins fans Thursday afternoon in a press conference at Redskins Park, and, for the most part, said all the right things. No one asked him about the team colors, and said he would let the players know that "I have their best interests at heart."
His primary responsibility, it would seem – and marketing pitch to Redskins fans – is the best interests of Robert "SuperBob" Griffin III and helping him become the elite NFL quarterback we all fell in love with in his rookie year, only a smarter, wiser version.
But what if, after all is said and done, Jay decides that the other guy – Kirk Cousins – may be his best chance to succeed in his first NFL coaching job than that guy SuperBob? After all, unlike his brother, Jay isn't running a quarterback camp. He's coaching for his professional life.
The brother seems to be quite infatuated with Cousins.
In August, Jon let everyone know how much he valued Cousins when he said on ESPN, "If I were a coach, I'd offer a first-round pick to the Redskins to get Kirk Cousins on my team."
And he didn't forget about the Redskins backup quarterback.
Jon went on ESPN radio again at the end of November, and professed his infatuation with Cousins, and said he wanted to see him instead of SuperBob as the season winded down.
"I like Kirk Cousins," Gruden said. "And I obviously like Robert Griffin, too. Now, I think being 3-8, at some point here in the next five weeks, you probably want to see what Kirk Cousins has. He came off the bench in a dire situation last year and beat the world champion Ravens.
"He went on the road and threw for 300 yards against the Cleveland Browns." Jon said. "And I think his style of offense is probably a little different than Robert Griffin's, for sure. So I do think in the next month or five weeks, you're gonna want to probably see what you have in Kirk Cousins. And to do that, you've got to give the kid a week of practice, and you have to commit to him. But I also think you need to let Robert Griffin play out of this slump, get a good taste in his mouth as we head into the offseason. They do have two quarterbacks."
What they saw from Cousins didn't seem to support Jon's infatuation – three starts, eight touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 58.4 quarterback rating – but that was with the last family that ran the Redskins. Wait until the Grudens get their hands on these quarterbacks.
It is the Grudens. It is the presence of Jon that puts Jay Gruden on the map. His football resume is diverse – he has been a successful head coach in the Arena Football League and the United Football League. He was an offensive assistant to Jon in Tampa Bay, working with now Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, from 2002 to 2008, and has been the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati for the past three seasons.
He may be a great NFL head coach. Nobody knows. But his track record doesn't quite justify his sudden status as the hot coaching candidate who the Redskins would make an offer to that he couldn't refuse.
Except he is one of the brother Grudens.
Jay, in thanking his family, included his brother Jon and said, "I wouldn't be sitting here today" if it wasn't for him
Fathers, sons, brothers -- can't the Redskins just hire an orphan?
Best case scenario for Redskins fans – in a few years, Jon Gruden becomes the other brother.
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About the Author
- LOVERRO: On the Wizards' trip to Brazil, a miracle happened
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