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By ADAM SCHEFTER and JOHN KEIM | ESPN
(ESPN via ABC News)—The Washington Redskins search for a new head coach, which once looked like it could take several weeks, ended Thursday when they agreed to hire Jay Gruden, a league source told ESPN.
Gruden had been scheduled to interview for the Minnesota Vikings coaching vacancy on Thursday before he agreed to become the Redskins' coach. He is expected to be introduced by the Redskins on Thursday afternoon.
He replaces Mike Shanahan, who was fired one day after the season ended. Gruden becomes the sixth coach hired by owner Dan Snyder in his 15 years; none have lasted more than four years.
Gruden, the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator, interviewed with Washington on Wednesday, one day after meeting with Tennessee. He also had visits scheduled with Minnesota and Detroit.
The Bengals plan to promote quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson to offensive coordinator with Gruden headed to the Redskins, a league source said.
Gruden has deep ties to numerous members of the organization, which is why he was always considered one of the top favorites for the position. He worked as a Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive assistant for five seasons under general manager Bruce Allen, now the Redskins general manager. Redskins secondary coach Raheem Morris worked with Gruden in Tampa; Redskins tight ends coach Sean McVay worked with Gruden for one year in Tampa and one year in the United Football League. Finally, Gruden served as the offensive coordinator for Jim Haslett in the UFL with the Florida Tuskers.
McVay is expected to become Washington's offensive coordinator under Gruden, while Morris is a candidate to be named the defensive coordinator, according to league sources.
Gruden spent the past three seasons as the Bengals' offensive coordinator, all of which ended with trips to the postseason. But the Bengals' offense fizzled in the playoffs, averaging 11 points in their three losses. But Gruden earned praise for his work with quarterback Andy Dalton, who threw for more than 3,000 yards in each of his first three seasons.
In that time, the Bengals improved in points per game going from 18th to 12th to 6th. They were the NFL's No. 10th-ranked offense in total yards in 2013.
Gruden also served two stints as head coach of the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League and was the Tuskers' head coach and general manager in 2010.
Gruden's task is to restore sanity to a franchise that thought it had turned a corner last season, going 10-6 and capturing the NFC East. But their season fell apart in 2013 in part because of inconsistent play by quarterback Robert Griffin III -- and a defense that wasn't good enough to offset these struggles.
Griffin was benched for the final three games this past season and had a difficult relationship with Shanahan. Griffin did not always like how he was used, particularly when it came to running the zone read option -- and that was especially true after he injured his knee late in the 2012 season.
But Griffin is only one year removed from a historic rookie season that saw him throw for 3,200 yards and run for 815 more. He threw 20 touchdown passes and ran for seven more.
Gruden's brother, Jon, who is a former head coach of the Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders, is currently a broadcaster for ESPN's "Monday Night Football."
Copyright 2013 by ESPN via ABC News
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