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“Not many families could say they have two children who were head coaches in the National Football League,” Jim says. “We’ve been blessed.”

Jay Gruden spent three years as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator, overseeing an offense that was ranked in the bottom third of the league when he was hired to 10th in total yards in 2013.

His reputation precedes him — not necessarily as an offensive mind, but as a communicator and a motivator.

“He’s got another gear that people don’t know about,” Jon Gruden says. “When it starts, when it’s time to compete, he’s got tremendous competition skills.”

He’s reserved, casual, cool. He’s sarcastic, fiery, intense.

“A great guy with great energy,” says Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. “He expects a lot out of us, and that’s what you want — you want your coach to expect a lot out of you. He’s hard on us. He yells at us. People say, ‘Oh, you’re the quarterback, he shouldn’t do that.’ No, he was a quarterback. He understands that sometimes you need to be yelled at.”

In the preseason, as Jay prepared for the Redskins‘ opener against New England, he spoke of wanting to make sure he was able to keep order on the sideline, that everyone was prepared for every situation. Afterward, he noticed it was he who was out of order, spending a bit too much time on adjusting offensive mistakes and forgetting he had a defense and special teams to oversee as well.

“I think one of the tougher things to do moving from coordinator to head coach is you’ve got everybody that you’ve got to have a plan for,” says Lewis, the Bengals’ coach. “You had a plan as a coordinator — but now you’ve got to have a plan for the entire football team.”

The night Gruden was hired by the Redskins, as he mingled with his wife and sons, the magnitude of his opportunity finally hit him. He had waited for years for this — decades, even — from the days he was throwing passes at Buccaneers practice to the records he set in high school to the Arena League championship trophies he held high above his head.

“I was excited,” Gruden says. “But I was more [thinking], ‘What’s my plan of attack? Where do I get started? How do I get this thing right?’”