Jeff Fisher is still thinking about his coaching options, but both teams, the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams, are proceeding with backup plans. Bernie Miklasz reported on his 101 ESPN radio show today that the Rams have requested permission to interview Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
Jay Gruden is this year's hottest assistant coach, after helping the Bengals get to the playoffs with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton at the helm. Dalton and the team's offense were also helped greatly by the presence of rookie wide receiver A.J. Green, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. This was Gruden's first year on the job as a coordinator. His last job in the NFL was in Tampa Bay as an offensive assistant from 2002-2008, working for his brother, Jon Gruden, then the head coach in Tampa Bay.
Gruden worked in the Arena League and the UFL between those jobs.
Gruden's credentials would certainly seem to benefit quarterback Sam Bradford. Gruden's work with Dalton speaks for itself. He also runs a version of the West Coast Offense, which the Rams used in Bradford's rookie season.
Because Gruden is currently a coordinator, the Bengals cannot refuse teams who would like to interview him for a head coaching job.
Jay Gruden is the brother of Jon, who would have been one of the top coaching candidates on the market had he not opted to stay in the booth for Monday Night Football.