McVay and Gruden have an extensive past with each other.
The former Washington Commanders coach worked with McVay as an offensive assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 and again for the UFL’s Florida Tuskers in 2009.
McVay and Gruden went different directions after, as Gruden became the head coach of the Tuskers for a season before joining the Cincinnati Bengals as offensive coordinator, a role he held for three years.
McVay, meanwhile, joined the Washington Commanders’ coaching staff as an offensive assistant in 2010 and was promoted to tight end’s coach the year after. He stayed in that position through 2013.
After Washington fired head coach Mike Shanahan, McVay’s future with the team – and the league – became uncertain. Then, the Commanders hired Gruden, who instantly raised McVay to offensive coordinator, where he thrived for three seasons before taking off to Los Angeles.
While McVay has led the Rams to four playoff appearances in five campaigns at the helm, Gruden didn’t have the same luck, as he was fired during the 2019 season. The 55-year-old landed on his feet as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive coordinator in 2020, but the team relieved everyone from the general manager on down of their duties after the year.
The wheel has now come full circle for Gruden, who’s been out of football since his firing in Jacksonville. After hiring McVay, then 28 years old, to a coordinator role during his first season as an NFL head coach, Gruden is now working under his former protege.
Gruden was spotted at the second day of the Rams’ joint practices with the Cincinnati Bengals. Asked about it afterward, McVay revealed that Gruden will have a remote consulting role moving forward.
“You guys know how close Jay’s been to me,” McVay said. “He’s been such an instrumental part of my coaching career, huge mentor. He’s going to help us out in a consulting role and it’s always good to have him out here. He’ll do that remotely, but he’s a guy that I heavily rely on and have always, whether he’s rocking the Rams blue or not.”
One of many successful coaches stemming from Gruden’s tree, McVay’s staff has quickly become a hotbed of talent and an annual focus during the coaching carousel.
Whether Gruden’s return to the league is merely him helping out a friend or is targeted towards landing another job remains to be seen, but, nevertheless, he’s back.
You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft
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