Jay Gruden has an interview with the San Diego Chargers as the in-demand Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator continues his tour of coaching vacancies.
After interviewing with the Arizona Cardinals, the younger brother of coach turned analyst Jon Gruden is set to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars this week as well.
The Chargers fired head coach Norv Turner after a disappointing 7-9 season that started with playoff expectations. Quarterback Philip Rivers was under assault, suffering 49 sacks this season, and the Chargers were kept out of the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Before his interview, Jay Gruden spoke highly of the opening, ESPN noted.
“The Chargers are an excellent franchise,” Gruden said. “They’ve always been competitive. For a number of years they were near the top of the division and won it a few times. It would be excellent to be a part of it.”
Gruden would be able to bring the Chargers the strong reputation he has gained in Cincinnati for turning around the Bengals offense. In 2011, he led rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green to the playoffs and this season has also helped take the team to a wild card berth.
The performance in Cincinnati has made Jay Gruden a hot prospect for interviews, CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora reported Sunday. He also has head coaching experience, leading the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League to the Arena Bowl title twice.
“I’ve been a head coach before for a while,” the 45-year-old Gruden told reporters after his interview with the Cardinals. “I know it’s a different league and it’s not the NFL, but I’ve handled people and handled organization, handled salary caps, done all the things necessary to be a head coach. I understand the game and I think it would be a good fit.”
Jay Gruden had a chance to interview for a head coaching vacancy in the past but turned down the St. Louis Rams last season to remain with the Bengals.