Washington Redskins: Jay Gruden was begging to get firedby Danny Podolsky October 9, 2019 0 comments
Dan Snyder finally made changes to the Redskins coaching staff Monday after an abysmal 0-5 start to their season. He fired Jay Gruden.
The Redskins are a complete disaster, and the reality of the situation was that Jay Gruden didn’t seem like he wanted to be here.
Jay Gruden’s run with the Redskins
Following a disappointing 2013 season in which Robert Griffin III dealt with knee injuries, the Redskins decided to fire Mike Shanahan and hire Jay Gruden. After a bad 2014 season, things started to turn around for Washington. In a weak NFC East, the Redskins went 9-7 in 2015 and clinched the division title. 2015 was a marvelous time for the Redskins, with Kirk Cousins yelling, “You like that?!” It seemed like he could be the Redskins’ franchise quarterback. However, Washington lost to the Packers in the Wild Card that year. The Redskins were 8-8 in 2016 and 7-8-1 in 2017, missing the playoffs due to 13-win seasons from Dallas and Philly in respective years. Five mediocre seasons and zero playoff wins; the Redskins should have fired him right then and there.
They should have put him out of his misery.
Except they let him keep his job to start this season.
Gruden wanted out from the start of this season, and he finally got his wish
Jay Gruden seemed completely uninterested with this team from the end of last season. On draft night, Dwayne Haskins fell to pick No. 15, and with Alex Smith out for the foreseeable future, the Redskins had to take Haskins. However, the Redskins had previously acquired Case Keenum in the offseason, so Gruden gave him the start in Week 1.
After Keenum underwhelmed for the first three and a half weeks of the season, Haskins was put in the game prematurely in Week 4. He struggled mightily, throwing three interceptions, and suddenly Haskins is not Jay Gruden’s “guy.” What’s interesting is that word of Gruden’s not liking Haskins didn’t come out until after his performance in Week 4.
Are you serious? Did Jay Gruden actually expect to keep his job after criticizing the face of their future like that and starting 0-4?
Not only that, but Gruden’s decision to start Colt McCoy in Week 5 was just completely uncompetitive, and the Redskins fell to 0-5.
But in the NFL, there are two types of being bad. One is where you choose to tank in hopes of getting a top draft pick. It’s also known as being the Miami Dolphins.
Then, there’s the second way, where you want to win games, but your team stinks so bad that you lose every game. That’s the Redskins.
#Redskins coach Jay Gruden: “If the key works Monday I'll keep working."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2019
This guy was begging to get fired, and the Redskins finally granted his wish on Monday.
Jay Gruden liked Kirk Cousins
My theory about where this all went downhill was during the 2018 offseason when Washington let Kirk Cousins walk and sign with the Minnesota Vikings. Following Cousins’ best season of his career in 2015, Dan Snyder wouldn’t commit to him as their quarterback and he gave him the franchise tag in back-to-back offseasons. Then, Cousins moved on to Minnesota. While in hindsight this was the right move for Washington (as Cousins has not lived up to his big contract), the fact that they let him walk likely irked Jay Gruden.
The best days of the Jay Gruden era were with Kirk Cousins under center. Kirk elevated his play, and he fit well into that system. Keeping Cousins with the team would have kept Gruden happy, and who knows if the Redskins would be competitive right now.
Losing Alex Smith to injury also hurt the Redskins as they collapsed following a strong start last season.
Gruden’s legacy in Washington
While there were indeed some good days, the reality of Gruden’s tenure is that he had no playoff wins in more than half a decade and he now leaves the Redskins in a bad situation. Gruden is someone whom I was never very high on, and I thought he should have gotten the boot a few seasons ago. He’s now without a job, and I doubt he’ll have many head coaching opportunities coming his way, at least in the near future.
As for the Redskins, they play the Miami Dolphins in Week 6 so perhaps they can get their first win with interim coach Bill Callahan.