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Theismann: Jay Gruden’s Not Polished, But Ability Is There

by Chris Lingebach
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Jay Gruden (credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Jay Gruden (credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Jay Gruden’s most recent head coaching experience — prior to his three years as the Bengals offensive coordinator — came by way of the UFL’s Florida Tuskers (now the Virginia Destroyers), a team previously, if only partially owned by Redskins great Joe Theismann.

Theismann called into 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny Thursday, after it was announced Gruden would filling the vacancy in Washington, to lend his wisdom about what the Redskins organization will be getting in Gruden, from the perspective of an owner.

“Just his organizational skills, the way he runs his offenses, the style of offense he plays, the ability to be able to communicate to players was very impressive to me,” Theismann said.

“You go back to when he was the head coach of the Arena football team,” he continued. “There are things that you have to do in the Arena Football League that, I think you can adapt to the NFL — the style of play, the openness of the game, the creativeness of formations. And then when he coached in the UFL, he became a head coach. So he understood what it was like to get up in front of an entire football team, to handle an entire football team, to coordinate an offense based upon the personnel and the people you have. And maybe they’re not at the level of the NFL, although, a lot of guys came on. We had Edgerrin James down there at the latter part of our time when we had the UFL team, so he knows what to do with quality players.”

“The quarterback is the single most dependent guy on the field,” Theismann noted.

“I really feel like, Jay is used to working with Andy Dalton, a young guy in this business,” he said. “So you take a coach who’s been with a young quarterback, developed him, got him to the playoffs a number of years, and that’s really the kind of relationship that you’re looking for, is one that’s in a developmental stage. There isn’t anything polished about either one of them because they’re gonna grow together. And I feel like Jay has the abilities to be able to adapt an offense to the personnel that he’s dealing with — not just his quarterback, but also everybody else on that football team.”

At the start of the interview, Theismann was played an obscenity-laced clip of Gruden shouting at his Bengals offense, which came from an episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks. Joe offered the following insight about Jay’s propensity for using foul language:

“Jay has really his own style, I think you’re gonna find out,” Theismann said. “I guess that’s the best way to put it.”

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