The face was different, the words familiar. Like Mike Shanahan and nearly every recent Washington coach, Jay Gruden is anxious to declare an end to the franchise's days of dysfunction.

"I don't know what happened last year," Gruden said. "I know that interviewing with Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen and everybody here that the passion for excellence is there. All they want to do is win, and they're going to provide me with every avenue to win."

Gruden was introduced Thursday as the man charged with ending the perpetual state of turmoil the team has endured under owner Snyder and recently under general manager Allen.

Gruden was a given a five-year contact for his first NFL head coaching gig, taking over a 3-13 team that has finished last in the NFC East in five of the last six seasons.

"We HAVE to get it right," said Allen, who led the search and interviewed six candidates. "We need to get the franchise back on track in a winning direction. ... We were looking for a new leader, somebody who can inspire our football team. We knew it was more than just X and O's, it was about finding the right person to build a team chemistry that we needed."

Gruden is Snyder's eighth coach in 16 seasons as an NFL owner. Unlike Shanahan, who was fired last week, Gruden will not have final say over all football matters. He'll report to Allen, who has taken charge of assembling the roster and other personnel decisions.

Gruden, 46, has spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hall finalists: Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo and ex-Raiders receiver Tim Brown are among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Also selected were former 49ers Charles Haley and Kevin Greene and ex-Stanford star John Lynch. Former Raiders punter Ray Guy was announced in August as a senior nominee along with Claude Humphrey.

The other finalists announced Thursday included first-year nominees Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison and Walter Jones. Also named were Michael Strahan, Andre Reed, Jerome Bettis, Will Shields, Aeneas Williams and Morten Andersen.

The 46-member selection committee will vote Feb. 1, with a minimum 80 percent required for induction.

Seahawks: Coach Pete Carroll announced that receiver Percy Harvin will play Saturday against New Orleans in an NFC divisional playoff game.

"I'm just glad to be out there helping my team win right now," Harvin said. "The playoffs, that's what we all dream about."

Harvin missed the first 2½ months of the season after hip surgery in early August. He returned in Week 11 against Minnesota and caught one pass and had a 58-yard kickoff return. Harvin then was sidelined again by what Carroll called "soreness."

But Harvin's problems went beyond just soreness. He had fluid buildup and swelling in his hip after that game against the Vikings, a 41-20 Seattle victory.

Bengals: Cincinnati didn't wait long or look far for its next offensive coordinator, promoting Hue Jackson shortly after Jay Gruden was introduced as the next head coach in Washington. Jackson, who coached the Bengals running backs last season, was the Raiders offensive coordinator in 2010 and head coach in 2011.

Titans: The team confirmed it has finished interviewing Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer for its head coaching job. Zimmer has been Cincinnati's coordinator since 2008, and his defense ranked No. 3 overall this season.

Giants: Running back David Wilson needs neck surgery, and his future in football is uncertain. Giants general manager Jerry Reese disclosed the news during a radio interview. New York's first-round draft pick in 2012, Wilson will have a fusion of the vertebrae to repair the herniated disc in his neck.

Browns: Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel made it clear he would like to work in the NFL, but he said the Browns haven't talked to him about their head-coaching vacancy. "I have not had discussions with Cleveland," Tressel said during a radio interview with 97.1 FM in Columbus. "It doesn't mean that I don't have any interest in the NFL or anything. I don't want to paint that picture."

The Akron Beacon Journal contributed to this report.

Percy Harvin, who played in only one regular-season game for the Seahawks because of a hip ailment, will be on the field Saturday against the Saints.


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