Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden hoped to get a shot in the NFL. He never expected his first should would come as an offensive coordinator.
“I originally thought that from my background I would have to come in [to the NFL] as a position coach,” Jon’s younger brother told Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com. Jay Gruden previously served as a head coach in the UFL and Arena Football League. “I’m confident that I’m ready, but I didn’t think anybody else thought that.”
As a result, Gruden was “absolutely kind of surprised” that his chance came not as, say, a quarterbacks coach but as the architect of the offense. The fact that he was hired by a head coach with a defensive background gives Gruden even greater responsibilities.
“From the time the season was over, I talked to different coaches and spent time thinking about what direction it was best to go offensively,” coach Marvin Lewis told Marvez. “Jay’s name kept coming up.”
Still, production could continue to go down, at least in the short term. Quarterback Carson Palmer wants out, and Gruden believes Palmer won’t be showing up.
“I haven’t talked to Carson yet,” Gruden said. “Based on everything I’ve read and heard, he’s not coming back. If he has a change of heart, we’d love to have him. If not, we just have to get somebody ready to go.”
If they can’t, Lewis eventually could go. And Gruden likely would end up going, too.