The New Orleans Saints interviewed former Washington head coach Jay Gruden to be the team's new offensive coordinator - but have decided to go in another direction.
The Saints have employed Sean Payton as the main offensive voice on the coaching staff since 2006, but the Super Bowl-winning head coach retired earlier in the offseason. The team promoted longtime defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to be the team's new head coach earlier this month, leading to a vacancy for a much-needed experienced coach coordinating the offense.
Gruden, 54, is a rather outspoken voice - he recently said the Washington Football Team should have never turned away from the old “Redskins” nickname - but he’s also seen around the rest of the league as a sharp and creative offensive thinker.
And now, following his initial interview with the team, Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network is reporting that Gruden interviewed for the position earlier this week.
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The Saints have, however, opted to retain Pete Carmichael as their new coordinator.
Gruden was the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator before spending five seasons as the head coach in Washington. He served as the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator during the 2020 season and in the 2021 kept his profile high - at least in the Washington area - with his series of notable radio interviews.
Gruden was hired in January of 2014 and helped Washington to a playoff appearance and consecutive winning seasons but was fired by owner Dan Snyder after the club got off to an 0-5 start in 2019, meaning he finished his five-year time as the Washington Football Team head coach with a record of 35–49–1.