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Jay Gruden, Mike Zimmer are now free to interview


With the Bengals, who had gone 8-0 at home in the regular season, losing by 17 at home to a Chargers team that Cincinnati had beaten on the road, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer have become instantly available to be interviewed and hired as head coaches elsewhere.

Both have drawn interest during their time in Cincinnati, where they have remained key members of the Marvin Lewis staff for three full seasons.  Some think that the time has come for at least one of them to leave for a bigger job.

Jay Gruden, the younger brother of former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, seems to be more likely than Zimmer to get the promotion.  Still, shouldn’t at least some portion of the failure of Andy Dalton to develop into a franchise quarterback be assigned to his offensive coordinator?

In places like Washington and Detroit, the primary challenge for the next head coach will be to get the most out of their young franchise quarterbacks.  For Jay Gruden, the biggest unknown is whether he indeed has gotten the most out of Dalton, or whether Dalton’s underachievement can be blamed in part on coaching.

Regardless, look for Jay Gruden to be pushed aggressively for one of the vacant jobs.  Some league insiders believe that Gruden’s agent, Bob LaMonte, has an internal pecking order that entails Jay Gruden getting hired now, with other clients Josh McDaniels and Sean McDermott on deck, followed by youngster Adam Gase, who has been persuaded by someone to not interview for any of the open jobs while the Broncos are still playing.

Meanwhile, it seems that Zimmer could once again be ignored.  A semi-hot candidate a couple of years ago, the Dolphins reportedly found Zimmer to be too blunt and honest.

And he very well may be just that.  Zimmer once called former Falcons coach Bobby Petrino, who quit after one year on the job, “a gutless bastard” and “a coward” who “didn’t have enough nuts to stay there and finish the job.”

Um, hire this man.

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51 Responses to “Jay Gruden, Mike Zimmer are now free to interview”
  1. elliottcovert says: Jan 5, 2014 9:06 PM

    After tonight, something tells me that they’ll be free around this time next year as well.

  2. thepftpoet says: Jan 5, 2014 9:08 PM

    Mike Zimmer will be the new HC of the Vikings.

    Johny Football will be the new QB of the Vikings.

    The dynasty has officially started.

    All other teams will be in awe.

  3. jhorton83 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:08 PM

    Well, everything Zimmer said about Petrino was absolutely the truth. I don’t think anyone could really argue with that.

  4. nopepper123 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:08 PM

    Why stop there? Take Marvin Lewis too……Please!!

  5. tajmccall says: Jan 5, 2014 9:08 PM

    Everyone in Cincinnati that I know hopes Jay Gruden goes away and Mike Zimmer replaces Marvin Lewis. As a Vikings fan I hope Zimmer comes here first.

  6. purpleppleeaters says: Jan 5, 2014 9:10 PM

    ::::::: Clearance Sale !!! ::::::::

  7. bengalguy says: Jan 5, 2014 9:10 PM

    Keep Zim, let Gruden walk

  8. sungateman says: Jan 5, 2014 9:11 PM

    Today his play calling changed the name of the Red Rifle, to the Red B B Gun.

  9. crabcakesfootball says: Jan 5, 2014 9:11 PM

    Blunt and Honest….. so hes a no go for Dan Snyder.

    Too bad. The Skins need that.

  10. willycents says: Jan 5, 2014 9:12 PM

    If I was a football gm, zimmer would be the one for me…blunt and honest

  11. dougydougdoug says: Jan 5, 2014 9:12 PM

    Zimmer, maybe. His defense did keep SD from really piling on. But Gruden? Not a chance. His regular season success was inflated, based on who they played. When push came to shove, today, his offense folded like a wet towel.

  12. bharr170 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:13 PM

    Please take Zimmer off that list and put Marvin Lewis on the list.

  13. bennyb82 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:13 PM

    You cannot really put this playoff loss on Gruden. Dalton withered under pressure it seemed…he looked a little careless out there today.

  14. Pat says: Jan 5, 2014 9:14 PM

    when was Andy Dalton ever supposed to be a “franchise quarterback?”

    no one in the world would ever assume Andy Dalton would have thrown 33 TDs in a year. guy makes Chad Pennington’s arm look like John Elways. I would call 3 straight playoff appearances overachieving.

  15. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Jan 5, 2014 9:15 PM

    No one wants to hear a person be blunt or honest, instead they want people to tell them what they want to hear, not need to hear.

    Manziel won’t be apart of any NFL dynasty, unless he’s watching from the sidelines. I love Manziel too, but I also stay unbiased.

  16. elliottcovert says: Jan 5, 2014 9:15 PM

    Mike Zimmer will be the new HC of the Vikings.

    Johny Football will be the new QB of the Vikings.

    The dynasty has officially started.

    All other teams will be in awe.
    I’m a diehard Vikings fan but either of those moves would be a big mistake. I’m going on record for Todd Bowles and Derek Carr, or Bridgewater if we can trade up for him.

  17. joetoronto says: Jan 5, 2014 9:16 PM

    Blunt and honest is no way to go about life nowadays, when “words are hurtfull.”


  18. ramitbaby says: Jan 5, 2014 9:18 PM

    Gruden is every bit responsible for today’s abomination as Dalton is. 4th and short? Lets throw a deep pass in rain and strong winds. Run crossing patterns and in routes to Green? Nah, lets call every route for him to the sideline. Zero chance of Gruden getting a HC job. Nil.

  19. missjackson75 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:19 PM

    Zimmer to the Vikings please!

  20. booty2juiced says: Jan 5, 2014 9:19 PM

    Jay Gruden wasnt the one out there on the field throwing those crappy passes

  21. natijim235 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:20 PM

    Good bye Gruden take Dalton with you

  22. natijim235 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:24 PM

    Mike Brown wanted to take Kapornick in the draft and let Gruden talk him into Dalton – bye Gruden

  23. realitycheck75 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:28 PM

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I thought the play calling today was atrocious.
    And anyone who hires him as a HC is insane.

  24. vacman9100 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:31 PM

    8 – 0 at home that means 3-5 on the road
    Yep a perfect fit for the VIKINGS

  25. voyager6 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:32 PM

    1 – Dalton needs a quarterback coach… Badly. Ken Zampeze didn’t do well with Palmer, and each year Dalton is regressing.

    2 – I can’t believe the game plan. they dusted off the same plan from five weeks ago and run it verbatim. It is not like the weather was going to be a factor for part of the game and perhaps they should come out passing the ball early and run late when the weather deteriorated?

    3 – The huge depth this team started out the year was depleted through injuries. They barely could put out a first class team. The line was gimpy, they lost depth at DLine and at corner during the year.

    4 – The beating the Bengals took by the Steelers two weeks ago was the real indicator on how they were going to do this game. They don’t handle physical teams well and the refs generally never call holding or other penalties in the spirit of letting the players play the game.

    5- Ideally, I’d like to see marvin bumped to GM, Zimmer to HC and fire Gruden and Zampeze.

  26. boyshole25 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:34 PM

    Inside source tells me Zimmer to skins

  27. commonsensedude says: Jan 5, 2014 9:34 PM

    Good news: Andy Dalton has proven that he is indeed a franchise quarterback.

    Bad news: That franchise is in the CFL.

  28. autumnwind999 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:38 PM

    Ranking the Bengals coaches:
    1. Hue
    2. Zimmer
    3. Gruden
    4. Lewis

  29. realfootballfan says: Jan 5, 2014 9:39 PM

    Would love to see what Zimmer with Hue Jackson as his offensive coordinator could do at one of these jobs, but the NFL doesn’t seem to be looking for those kinds of good coaches with good track records to fill these jobs from the names we’ve been hearing in these searches.

  30. pootytang66 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:59 PM

    Zimmer as Viking HC and Hue as their OC would be awesome!!!

  31. evilglazers666 says: Jan 5, 2014 10:05 PM

    Too honest? Doesn’t fit in Tampa with the Glazers or Snyder in DC.

  32. onbucky96 says: Jan 5, 2014 10:13 PM

    Don’t forget Dom Capers. Really, please take him from Green Bay. PLEASE!

  33. footballchic777 says: Jan 5, 2014 10:20 PM

    I hope Zimmer stays. Gruden can go.

  34. tjacks7 says: Jan 5, 2014 10:20 PM

    I’d take Zimmer but I’d let the players call their own plays before I hired Gruden.

  35. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 5, 2014 10:31 PM

    Gruden leaving will be an upgrade got the Bengals if Hue Jackson takes his place. Not because Jay is bad, but because Hue is very very good.

  36. tokyosandblaster says: Jan 5, 2014 10:44 PM

    I don’t know why these guys are tagged in a vikings story.

    Absolutely NO ONE wants that gig.

    They’ll get the scraps after all the other head coaching gigs are taken.

    With the worst defense in the division, the worst offense in the division, and a fan base that stinks of lutefisk and boone’s farm, it is literally the least desirable football job. Including college. Division I and II.

  37. junglerat524 says: Jan 5, 2014 10:50 PM

    It’s time for Marvin to move upstairs & become the GM. He’s great at finding talent, just no so good at coaching them in big games. Give the job to Zimmer. Please don’t let him leave. Gruden can go wherever. Just as long as he’s not back. A nae can only get you so far.

  38. nflinsider711 says: Jan 5, 2014 10:54 PM

    You need to have a above average to big time arm or at least be dangerous as a runner to quarterback play in the NFL these days. Noodle arm Guys like A. Smith, Dalton, and Ponder may can get you to the playoffs but they wont win there. They are better served as backups.

  39. umrao1 says: Jan 6, 2014 12:00 AM

    Now that’s swagger you can’t buy. lol

  40. johnemi says: Jan 6, 2014 1:16 AM

    “Zimmer once called former Falcons coach Bobby Petrino, who quit after one year on the job, ‘a gutless bastard’ . . . ”

    Actually, I think the problem that Zimmer had with Petrino was that Petrino didn’t stay on the job for one year, but left a bit before that.

  41. vikingsfansarefat12 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:32 AM

    Hey the pack will be no match for use in a year. All my fellow FAT Vikings fans Johnny Mansiel will rescue us

  42. tokyosandb1aster says: Jan 6, 2014 1:34 AM

    Hey, Dom Capers and Tom Clements are available for interviews, too.


  43. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 6, 2014 5:11 AM

    Six Rings

  44. bengaldom2 says: Jan 6, 2014 5:18 AM

    Fire Marvin Hire Zimmer and any team that wants a coach that can not game plan take Gruden.

  45. dickshotdogs says: Jan 6, 2014 7:10 AM

    The NFL needs 31 Mike Zimmer’s. Belichick is already here. Go Zim!!!

  46. cincy05 says: Jan 6, 2014 8:25 AM

    Zimmer can stay, Gruden don’t let the door hit you on the way out. You and your brother are over rated garbage. Bad thing is you don’t know it but I’m pretty sure your brother does that’s why he keeps saying he doesn’t want to coach because he knows he sucks.

  47. bengalsucker says: Jan 6, 2014 8:39 AM

    As I’ve been saying for 2 years. Make Marvin the GM. He’s a fantastic personell guy. Terrible HC. Can’t get guys motivated and can’t properly manage a game. He’s atrocious there. But he can pick players. Move Zimmer up to HC. Give him a shot. He deserves it. Players love playing for him and they leave everything out on the field when he’s leading them. Let someone take Gruden like right now! His play calling is god awful. Maybe he’ll work a trade for Dalton on his way out. Dalton is awful.

  48. bizieman says: Jan 6, 2014 9:31 AM

    It’s hard to believe that Hue Jackson isn’t being consider over these two clowns. He is even a better coach than Lewis. I can’t believe in 2014 race is still keeping qualified coaches out.

  49. gnizzle says: Jan 6, 2014 9:55 AM

    Mike Brown hire a GM??? That’s a new one… Newsflash idiots: Never has, never will.

  50. realfootballfan says: Jan 6, 2014 11:46 AM


    Doubt it’s race keeping Jackson out, but rather he’s not part of the good old boy network to be considered for these jobs. The fact that he’s not, at minimum, in this league after what he did with the Raider offense full of misfits is a joke.

  51. voyager6 says: Jan 6, 2014 12:00 PM

    I am worried about Zimmer leaving for one reason: He takes his players with him. How many ex-Dallas players have played or are playing for the Bengals? As their contracts expire, the Bengals could be stripped of their depth.

    The players are loyal to Zimmer, not the team.

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