NFL news roundup: Jay Gruden introduced as Redskins HC, Hall of Fame finalists named

Patrick McDermott

Jay Gruden made his introduction to Redskins fans on Thursday, and this year's finalists for the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame were named. Those stories, plus updates on Kellen Winslow, the Titans' coaching search and the Dolphins' favorite GM prospects.

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Jay Gruden held his introductory press conference as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins on Thursday and touched on several subjects, though none more pressing than his thoughts on his new quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Gruden said he was excited to work with Griffin, who is entering his third season in the NFL. Gruden also said that he expects Griffin "to take the blame on some throws."

Gruden's comment suggests that Griffin may not be the meddling force inside the Redskins' locker room that many have implied in recent months, or that Gruden plans to put an end to whatever took place. Griffin, for his part, posted on his Facebook page the he "can't wait to get to work" with Gruden.

So far so good for the post-Mike Shanahan era.

Michael Strahan, Walter Jones among Hall of Fame finalists

Former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Walter Jones and Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks headlined the list of 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists announced Thursday. Strahan and Jones have been named finalists before, and are favorites to finally be given their gold jackets. Brooks is looking to earn his election in his first year on the ballot.

Other names of note: Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy and wide receiver Marvin Harrison.

Kellen Winslow charged with synthetic marijuana possession

Kellen Winslow could be facing disciplinary action from the NFL after a report surfaced Thursday that the New York Jets tight end has been charged with possession of synthetic marijuana. Winslow was found with the substance in November, four days after the end of his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Synthetic marijuana would put Winslow in violation of the league's substance abuse policy, which could incur an even stiffer suspension. That's bad news for a player hitting the free agent market. Even worse, Winslow could serve up to five years in prison if found guilty of possession of a controlled substance.

Titans interview Mike Zimmer

The Tennessee Titans have completed their interview with Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. The organization is looking to replace fired head coach Mike Munchak.

Zimmer has been mentioned as a head coaching candidate for several offseasons, but has yet to be hired away. At a glance, he has an impressive resume. Zimmer helped mold the Bengals' defense into one of the best units in the NFL. This season, Cincinnati finished among the top five teams in the league in total, rushing and passing yards allowed.

Zimmer is a sharp departure from the offensively-minded Munchak, which may be exactly what attracts the defensive coordinator to the Titans' front office.

Dolphins line up interviews for new GM

The Dolphins are hard at work trying to find a new general manager just one day after mutually parting way with Jeff Ireland. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the organization has already submitted requests for interviews with members of front offices around the league. Among the names are: Jason Licht of the Arizona Cardinals, Omar Khan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ray Farmer of the Cleveland Browns and the Dolphins' own Brian Gaine.

Of note is the fact that none of the four names listed above have ever served as a general manager. Many believed that the Dolphins would exclusively target a candidate with GM experience after Ireland was seemingly promoted before he was ready. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is apparently still willing to take a chance on a relatively unproven man, however.

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