Friday, December 9, 2022

Rams hire Jay Gruden as consultant; former Washington head coach returns to the NFL

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USATSI

The Los Angeles Rams are adding some experience to their staff, as head coach Sean McVay told reporters Thursday that the team was hiring Jay Gruden as a consultant, per The Athletic. Gruden took the 2021 season off from coaching, but most recently served as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020. 

The younger brother of Jon Gruden spent just over five seasons as the head coach of the Washington Commanders franchise after a successful three-year stint as offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals. Gruden began his tenure in Washington in 2014, and was fired five games into the 2019 season. 

After a 4-12 campaign in his first season as head coach, Gruden led Washington to a 9-7 record in 2015 and clinched the NFC East crown. Washington fell to the Green Bay Packers in the wild card round that year. Gruden never reached that nine-win mark again, and left Washington with a 35-49-1 regular-season record. 

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The Washington franchise has a reputation for pumping out future NFL head coaches, and McVay actually served as Gruden’s offensive coordinator for three seasons before the Rams came calling. New Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell also served as Gruden’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator during his three seasons in Washington. 

Gruden did reportedly receive some interest from the Carolina Panthers this offseason to serve as Matt Rhule’s offensive coordinator, but Carolina opted to go with Ben McAdoo. Now back in the league, Gruden has a chance to offer his thoughts to the reigning Super Bowl champions. 

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