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Dan Pompei Details A Week In The Life Of Jay Gruden

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 9, 2014 – 12:19 pm



Back in October, Dan Pompei of BleacherReport.com was granted access to Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden for his week of preparation for the New York Jets and Rex Ryan’s defense.

I highly recommend you read the whole piece here for insightful reporting into Gruden the man and Gruden the coach.

Here’s a condensed look at tidbits from each day with Gruden.


Pompei details Gruden’s relationship with the quarterbacks, his sense of humor and notes the coach is a fan of “The Voice.” I, too, enjoy CeeLo Green.

“A former quarterback who set every significant passing record at Louisville and won four Arena League championships for the Tampa Bay Storm, Gruden takes special interest in the play of his quarterbacks and sits in on all of their meetings. “



Gruden puts in a 15-hour day on the players’ day off, watching film while rocking AC/DC and Air Supply.

Pompei asks Gruden about utilizing feedback and empowering his quarterback, familiar themes throughout the feature.

“We want to have the ability to give our quarterback the chance to get us out of a bad play into a better play,” Gruden says. “It might be overwhelming for some quarterbacks. Luckily our quarterback can handle it. If we had a different quarterback in here, we’d probably be doing some things differently.”



Pompei provides more tidbits on Gruden putting the opinions of his players and fellow coaches to use.

“He’s very open to input,” quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese says. “I’m having the time of my life because of it. Everything you can think of you want to do, you can at least say. He is willing to allow for ideas to be spread and talked about. Not everybody likes to hear all those things. But he’s either faking it or enjoying it.”


Offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth appreciated this aspect of the offensive coordinator.

“it’s nice that he’s willing to listen and be vulnerable in that respect. It gives each guy a chance to think, ‘He trusts me. He believes in me.’ It gives you confidence.”



Gruden snaps a shot of a sleeping Marvin Jones and tells the Bengals to get their rest. He talks about preparing for head coach interviews after the season.

Anybody can put together a schedule. It’s about leading men and finding great players and coaches.”


Gruden finds time to takes his wife and sons to dinner after a  long day of work.



Gruden shares his thoughts regarding Twitter and gets in a steak dinner with his wife.



Pompei delineates the differences between Jay and Jon Gruden. The article stated the two talk once or twice a week.

Jay has spent much of his coaching life in his brother’s considerable shadow. He was an assistant on Jon’s staff in Tampa for seven years. But they are not the same coach. Jay is not as intense as Jon, who famously rises at 3:17 a.m. every day and rushes in to start watching tape.

“I’m not like my brother,” Jay says. “I need my sleep.”


Gruden shows players a tape of a Tiger Woods interview to define confidence.



Andy Dalton throws five touchdowns in a 49-9 victory.

What is lost on most of those outside the Bengals offices and locker room is that Gruden’s offense prevailed more because of mind than muscle. The plan to give Dalton more control of the play call at the line worked beautifully, as he changed up about 20 times.



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  2. Jan 15, 2014: The Redskins Blog | Jon Gruden Talks Jay Gruden On ESPN’s Mike & Mike: ‘It’s A Tremendous Opportunity, And I’m Happy For Him’

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