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Gruden will return for second season as Bengals' OC

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Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has pulled himself out of consideration for head-coaching positions, league sources said Tuesday.

Jay Gruden joined the Bengals this season and coordinated an offense that featured a rookie QB yet reached the playoffs.
Jay Gruden joined the Bengals this season and coordinated an offense that featured a rookie QB yet reached the playoffs.

Gruden later confirmed the news, telling the Bengals' official website in a text message: "Decided to stay here and not pursue any other job."

The St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars had wanted to interview Gruden for their vacancies, but he's very happy in Cincinnati and looks forward to continuing to work with young quarterback Andy Dalton after a 9-7 season in which the Bengals made the playoffs.

"We were going on the fly with no offseason workouts, and we're looking forward to being able to sit down and get to know it better," wide receiver Andrew Hawkins told the Bengals' website about Gruden deciding to stay in Cincinnati. "A change is something that could have killed your quarterback. Or take a guy like (tight end) Jermaine Gresham. It would have been his third system in three years. That's tough."

Said center Kyle Cook: "It's awesome that he would want to stay and build on what we've got here. Look at what he did here in just one year. He brings youth, he brings enthusiasm. It was a change of culture to what we had before. It's what we can do and how can attack things and about building positives."

Gruden, 44, has been a hot name in league circles after joining the Bengals before this season. He coached for seven seasons (2002-08) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before spending two seasons in the United Football League as an offensive coordinator and head coach with the Florida Tuskers.

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