by Rob Boylan
The Washington Redskins announced on Thursday that they have hired Jay Gruden to a five year deal as head coach. Gruden, the former head coach of the Orlando Predators, will try to turn the Redskins' fortunes around after a disappointing run under Mike Shanahan, whose offensive schemes did not mesh with phenom quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Gruden, a quarterback in his college and Arena Football days, is thought to be a better -- or at least more sympathetic -- fit with RGIII, the Heisman Trophy winner who has struggled to find the form of his outstanding rookie year following knee surgery. Griffin III has taken heat in the press and from teammates for his play and his father's hovering relationship.
"I see toughness," Gruden said Thursday to ESPN. "I see a guy that wants to win and I see a strong leader. I see every trait a quarterback has to have to be successful. Why wouldn't you want to coach a guy like that? I'm excited to coach him."
Gruden is a six-time Arena Football League champion, winning four times with Tampa as a player and twice with Orlando as head coach, and won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as offensive coordinator for older brother Jon, now an ESPN analyst.