ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA9) -- The Washington Redskins introduced Jay Gruden as the franchise's new head coach Thursday afternoon.
General Manager Bruce Allen said the team was searching for "someone who had the fire in his belly to lead" and fortunately the San Diego Chargers beat Gruden's Cincinnati Bengals, allowing the new head coach to become available.
Gruden said his relationship with Allen and and a number of remaining coaches from former coach Mike Shanahan's staff contributed to his interest in the job.
The distractions and drama surrounding Redskins Park this season are something Gruden said he was aware of but did not follow closely.
"All the players want to forget about last year and move forward," Gruden said.
"We let the past be the past and move forward and try to build a trust factor from day one between the coaches, players and ownership," Gruden said later in an interview with WUSA9.
The new head coach has not yet had an opportunity to speak with quarterback Robert Griffin III, something Gruden said he's looking forward to doing.
"I see every trait a quarterback has to have to be successful," Gruden said of Griffin. "Why wouldn't you want to coach a player like that?"
In addition to Griffin, Gruden was excited about the core group of players in Washington. The evaluation process will begin immediately, he said.
Gruden told WUSA9's Dave Owens that he was looking forward to working with all 53 players to make 2014 a successful a debut campaign.
"I will do my best to make sure I put a competitive team on the field every single day," Gruden said.
While Allen will have final say on personnel, Gruden said he expects to be involved in the process and call plays on offense. No decisions have been made regarding any assistant coaches, Gruden said.