Jay Gruden has hit Washington—or at least Reston anyway.
There was a flurry of reports on Twitter last night that Gruden, Bruce Allen, and two other unidentified men (possibly Scott Campbell and Morocco Brown) were having dinner at a restaurant at Reston Town Center. Allen left before the others did, leaving Gruden and the two others in what was described as intense discussion.
The Redskins have always been very good in the wining and dining department. This morning they start perhaps the more difficult task of persuading Gruden that this job will be the best of any he might be offered. And Gruden will have to sell Allen and company on his ability to lead and to make the huge jump from coordinator to head football coach, with all of the extra duties that the top job entails.
Although Robert Griffin III is in Hawaii, he will very much be in the room in Ashburn. The Redskins will want to hear what Gruden would do to utilize Griffin’s talents to the maximum. And Gruden will want to know how much of the dysfunction in the building over the course of the last year can be laid at Griffin’s feet.
As noted here yesterday, some think that Gruden is the frontrunner for the job. This has led many to ask if there is a possibility that the team won’t let him leave Redskins Park without a signed contract. According to some reports, Gruden is scheduled to visit the Vikings on Thursday. They may put on a full court press to avoid the possibility of losing him is he is indeed their man.
That’s just speculation. We don’t really know how Allen operates in such situations because we haven’t seen him be the guy heading up a search for a head coach before. We’ll just have to wait and see.
—The Redskins might see one of their candidates get out of the pool. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin could be headed to Penn State or he could be staying right where he is. Davis Williams, the athletic director at Vandy, thinks Franklin will be sticking around. “I expect James to be our football coach,” said Williams. “I’m planning on it.” Maybe he will stay or maybe that’s typical brave talk from a smaller-school AD hoping to compete with the big bucks from a program like Penn State or from the NFL.
Status of known candidates as of 9 a.m. (according to multiple media reports unless otherwise indicated):
- Darrell Bevell, Seahawks offensive coordinator—Interview conducted Tuesday, Dec 31
- Sean McDermott, Panthers defensive coordinator—Interview conducted Saturday, Jan 4, per the Washington Times
- Jim Caldwell, Ravens offensive coordinator—Interviewed conducted on Sunday, Jan 6, confirmed by the Redskins
- Perry Fewell, Giants defensive coordinator—Interviewed by Redskins on Monday, Jan 6, confirmed by the Redskins
- Rich Bisaccia, Cowboys special teams coordinator—Interviewed on Friday, Jan 3, confirmed by the Redskins
- James Franklin, head coach at Vanderbilt—Interview later this week per Chick Hernandez of CSN.
- Jay Gruden, Bengals offensive coordinator—Interview today at Redskins Park
- Mike Zimmer, Bengals defensive coordinator—Interview requested
- Vic Fangio, 49ers defensive coordinator—Interview requested
- Greg Roman, 49ers offensive coordinator—Interview requested