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Sources: Jags, ex-Skins HC Gruden near OC deal

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Published in Breaking News
Tuesday, 21 January 2020 19:29

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are close to hiring former Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden as their offensive coordinator, league sources told ESPN.

A deal, which NFL Network first reported as being close to completion, is likely to be finalized Wednesday.

Head coach Doug Marrone also interviewed former NFL head coaches Ben McAdoo and Scott Linehan for the position.

The Redskins fired Gruden in October after an 0-5 start in his sixth season. He led the Redskins to a 35-49-1 record that included an NFC East title and playoff appearance in 2015. Gruden was the offensive coordinator with Cincinnati for three seasons prior to being named the Redskins' head coach.

Gruden's offenses with the Bengals ranked in the middle third of the league in yards per game, rushing, passing and scoring in 2011 and 2012 but ranked in the top 10 in yards per game, passing and scoring in 2013. The Bengals had winning records all three seasons and quarterback Andy Dalton, the team's second-round pick in 2011, had his best season in 2013: 33 TD passes and 4,293 yards -- both of which are career highs.

Gruden's offensive coordinator in his first three seasons was Sean McVay, who parlayed that job into becoming the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017.

Gruden, 52, will be the third offensive coordinator Marrone has hired in his four seasons with the Jaguars. He retained Nathaniel Hackett from the 2016 staff but fired him midway through the 2018 season and hired John DeFilippo last January. The Jaguars and DeFilippo announced earlier this month that they had mutually agreed to part ways.

Gruden's top priority will be figuring out the quarterback situation in Jacksonville. The team signed Nick Foles last March to a four-year, $88 million contract that included a franchise-record $50.125 million guaranteed, but Foles suffered a broken collarbone just 11 snaps into the 2019 season opener. Rookie Gardner Minshew II, the team's sixth-round pick, took over and played well enough to get the Jaguars to 4-5 before Foles was able to return.

However, Foles and the offense struggled and Marrone benched Foles for Minshew after 10 quarters.

Neither Marrone nor GM Dave Caldwell -- both of whom were retained by owner Shad Khan despite winning only 11 games the past two seasons -- would commit to either player as the starter heading into the 2020 season.

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