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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Jay Gruden decides to stay with Bengals

By Jamison Hensley

In a move that bodes well for the future of the Cincinnati Bengals and young quarterback Andy Dalton, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has to decided to stay with the team and not pursue any head coaching jobs this year.

This is a major offseason victory for the Bengals, who watched Dalton make significant strides with Gruden. And this is the second year in a row that Cincinnati should be thanking Gruden. It was last April when Gruden sold Dalton on owner Mike Brown, who originally wanted to take Ryan Mallett.

“I’m happy here. I like working for Marvin [Lewis] and with the team,” Gruden told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I feel like we’re just scratching the surface on offense, but we have a lot of good, young players and have the potential to do even better next season.”

The Rams had requested permission to speak to Gruden, but he had a better shot at getting the job with the Jaguars, who were reportedly very interested in him. It was the right move for Gruden to stay because the Rams likely will hire Jeff Fisher and the Jaguars have a potential first-round bust in quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

If he drew this much interest after one year as the Bengals' coordinator, there should be plenty more over the next few years. Gruden became a intriguing head coaching prospect because of his work with Dalton.

Under Gruden, Dalton became the only rookie in NFL history to throw for 20 or more touchdown passes while starting eight or more victories. He became the NFL’s only rookie quarterback not drafted in the first round to start 16 games for his team, much less start 16 and lead the team into the playoffs.