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 before being named Redskins coach.
"We were trying to find someone who's best for this staff, who's best for what you want to run, then you're looking for what person's best for your players, who's going to relate to the players, who's going to be able to communicate with them," coach Doug Marrone said. "At the end of the day, we just felt that Jay was the best fit for us."
Marrone also interviewed former NFL coaches Ben McAdoo and Scott Linehan for the offensive coordinator position. Marrone said he wanted someone with previous offensive coordinator experience, as well, because they're in win-now mode. After another offseason of change, Jaguars owner Shad Khan does not have time to wait for a young coordinator to develop and ease into the system.
"My experience has been that I have had people with me who have been first-time coordinators, and I think you go through a learning process and you're getting better each year," Marrone said. "There is a curve to that. One thing that going into it -- what I felt -- was I don't have time for that [learning] curve. I was looking for someone with experience, someone with conviction with what they believe in that matches what mine and our staff believe.
"Our staff was heavily involved in this, too. We all had time spent with each candidate that came in and together we made a collective decision on what was best for all of us."
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 one of his best seasons in 2013: 33 touchdown passes and 4,293 yards, both of which are career highs.
Gruden's offensive coordinator during his first three seasons in Washington was Sean McVay, who parlayed that job into becoming the coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017.
Gruden, 52, is 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, a sixth-round pick, took over and played well enough to get the Jaguars to 4-5 before Foles was able to return.
However, Foles' return lasted just 10 quarters, as the offense continued to struggle. Marrone then benched Foles for Minshew.
Neither Marrone nor general manager Dave Caldwell -- both of whom were retained by Khan despite winning only 11 games the past two seasons -- would commit to either player as the starter heading into the 2020 season.