Vikings Coach Search: Jay Gruden Is a Candidate


Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

A member of the Gruden family is on Rick Spielman’s wish list, but it’s not Jon, it’s his brother Jay. The Cincinnati OC and his DC counterpart Mike Zimmer are both reportedly being asked to interview for Minnesota’s head coaching vacancy.

Jay Gruden is one of the hottest names around after a three-year run of success calling plays for Andy Dalton and the gang in Cincy. Before his stint with the Bengals, most of his experience was in Arena Football, but he did put in some time as an offensive assistant in Tampa Bay when his brother Jon was coach there.

The Vikings might have some stiff, big-spending competition for Gruden. Reports say the Washington Redskins are very high on Gruden and if Dan Snyder comes calling with his bottomless pockets, it might be tough for the Vikes to stay in the negotiations, especially with all their well-documented disadvantages (the stadium situation being chief among them).

If the Vikings do have one advantage over Washington it’s the talent on the field. The Redskins may have RGIII, a way better QB than anything the Vikings can throw out there, but Minnesota has the Redskins beat in overall skill position talent.

Gruden is an attractive candidate in Minnesota for his offensive mind, his ostensible skill at developing young QBs (the story being that he helped Andy Dalton become what he is today) and most importantly his Gruden name.

The name makes him an easy sell to a malaise-ridden fanbase, and trust me, that kind of stuff matters to Spielman.

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