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Bengals coach Lewis praises Jay Gruden as coordinator

PALM BEACH — In his first year as offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa’s Jay Gruden made quite an impression on head coach Marvin Lewis.Jon Gruden’s younger brother helped the Bengals to the AFC playoffs as Cincinnati went 9-7, with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton throwing for 3,398 yards and 20 touchdowns.”Jay’s done an outstanding job,” Lewis said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. “His ability to work with our young players and infuse them into our offense was awesome.”Gruden, a former Arena League standout as a quarterback and a head coach, spent seven seasons on his brother’s coaching staff with the Buccaneers.”Jay sees the offense through the eyes of the quarterback, — and that’s what I was looking for,” said Lewis. “To me, that makes the most sense. We teamed up his enthusiasm with a dynamic kid like Andy Dalton who can’t get enough and it was a great combination.”Jay Gruden was rumored to be a head coaching candidate in St. Louis and Jacksonville before he removed himself from consideration in January, declaring his intentions to remain in Cincinnati.”He has a bright future, we all know that,” Lewis said, “but Jay Gruden is a guy who has his head down, focused on what he’s doing. He’s not worried about what’s coming down the line. Jay also had a few opportunities with some major universities as well after the season, and he’s going to have opportunities to move on in the future. In my mind, he made a big statement about the city and the organization when he said he was staying with the Bengals.”

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