Jay Gruden: “There’s going to be doubters and haters all the time and it’s my job to prove them wrong”February 7, 2011 – 10:50 am by Chris Fedor
Last season the Cincinnati Bengals ripped through the AFC North and got to the playoffs behind great defense and a strong running game. The team lost their identity completely this year and it shows up in their record. The Bengals brought in Terrell Owens to help boost their passing game, but it didn’t work at all, Carson Palmer struggled this season with turnovers, and it forced the Bengals to fire their offensive coordinator following a disappointing season.
Now Cincinnati is turning to a guy who has never called plays before in the NFL. Jay Gruden, the brother of Jon Gruden was hired by Marvin Lewis this past week to take over play-calling duties and while he had success in Tampa Bay and he had success in the Arena League and in the UFL, he will be stepping into an unfamiliar role while the Bengals are at a crossroads with their franchise quarterback wanting out of the Queens City.
Jay Gruden joined WLW in Cincinnati with Lance McAlister to talk about whether or not he expected to get this gig, what style he is planning on bringing to Cincinnati, his reputation as being a good teacher, and what he would say to all the doubters that talk about his lack of experience.
Whether or not he expected to get this job with the Bengals:
“I did not. Actually it’s the first time that I ever interviewed for a National Football League position. I worked with my brother for seven years, I’ve always been content where I was. I coached in the Arena League and then I coached in the United Football League and never had a desire to move because I’m in Orlando, my kids are growing up, they love school down here, but the recent development of the UFL moving to Virginia and things like that I thought it would be nice to maybe make a move. Coach Lewis called me, asked if I would interview, so I went up there and presented my offense to him. He offered me a job which was a total surprise and I’m excited about it.”
What style he is going to be bringing to Cincy:
“Well if you want to narrow it down to a style, I guess you have to say the West Coast Offense. I learned a lot from my brother Jon in Tampa and we’re very diverse in what we do. We come at you with a lot of formations and personnel groupings and we try to create matchups and feature our best players and give them a chance to succeed. Every offensive coordinator wants to do that and say they’re going to do that. It’s my job to figure out a way to do that.”
On him being considered a good teacher:
“Well I played the position of quarterback and know how important details are. Depth of routes, footwork, and all that good stuff is the most important thing in all of football. Bottom line you want to see the players succeed but in order for them to succeed they have to do things right, they have to know what to do, and how to do it. Hopefully we will represent them with an offense that they can succeed with and they can buy into. They’ll be excited to come to work and come to practice and get better. That’s all we’ve got to do. We’ve gotta spread the positive word and if they do what they’re supposed to do well have a chance to succeed in a big way.”
What he would say to the naysayers that believe he is not ready for this job:
“There’s going to be doubters and haters all the time. It’s my job to prove them wrong. Right now they’re correct. Never called an offensive play in the National Football League. I’m young and inexperienced to some degree so it’s my job to prove them wrong. First of all my first job is to convince the coaches we have a good plan and convince the players that we have a good plan. It’s my job to get them to execute to the best of their ability.”