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Gruden: Redskins A 'Once-In-A-Lifetime Deal'

Posted Jan 9, 2014

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden made it clear in his introductory press conference that the dysfunction of last season is in the past as he builds for the future.

Things are rarely black and white in the NFL, as there are shades of gray to every situation. The flipside of every defeat is usually a victory for someone else.

That is the situation the Redskins found themselves in last Saturday, as the Cincinnati Bengals were unexpectedly bounced out of the playoffs at home vs. the San Diego Chargers.

While the Bengals (11-5) sat disappointed, Redskins general manager Bruce Allen finally had the opportunity to bring in the guy that had been a target since the beginning of the coaching search: Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

“Fortunately for us, the San Diego Chargers beat the Cincinnati Bengals [laughter], and we were able to bring Jay in," Allen joked during Thursday's introductory press conference.

"He got to interview with the people here – [Director of Player Personnel] Scott Campbell, [Director of Pro Personnel] Morocco Brown, [Vice President of Football Administration/General Counsel] Eric Schaffer and of course, also, he met with [owner] Dan Snyder."

Those interviews began Tuesday night and stretched into the evening on Wednesday. By the time the men parted ways, the Redskins knew which direction they intended to go as franchise.

"We needed someone who would be a good teammate to the coaches, the organization and the players in the locker room, and through this search, we kept looking for that leader and teacher," Allen explained.

"I really come back to one of the greatest quotes I know in sports or life that former Washington Redskins coach Marv Levy...said: 'Where would you rather be than right here, right now?'

"And that quote really is what we are looking for – someone who had the fire in his belly to come and lead the Washington Redskins this season.

"I’d like to introduce to everybody the new head coach of the Washington Redskins, Mr. Jay Gruden."

Gruden began his comments by thanking his family, including wife Sherry; sons Joey, Jack and J.J.; mother Kathy; father Jim and brothers Jim and Jon.

He then thanked the Cincinnati Bengals and Marvin Lewis for the opportunities he was given over the last three years.

Finally he shifted his gratitude to the opportunity at hand, thanking owner Daniel M. Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen for their belief in his approach.

"This opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime deal," he said. "I will do my best to make sure that I put a competitive football team on the field each and every day.

"Really, it’s not about me though. This is about the Washington Redskins. This is about the fans. This is about the workers at FedExField. This is about the players. This is about the coaches.

"This is about a commitment to being a consistently great franchise and we want to provide everybody with the proud sense that we’re going to come to work every day and do the best we can to put a competitive football team on the field every day."

After the season, Allen interviewed the entire coaching staff, relieving nine coaches in total from the staff. It will be up to Gruden to build the remainder of his staff, starting with the remaining assistants.

"I look forward to the chance to interview and talking to many coaches that have the players’ best interests at heart," jay Gruden said, "that will motivate, will teach and provide them with every opportunity to be great.

"I look forward to the challenge and thank you again to Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen for this opportunity."

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