It seems like this happens every few years. That is, the Redskins fire a coach and hire a new one. The last semi-successful coach for the team was Joe Gibbs (the second time around), with two playoff appearances and a playoff win in four seasons. Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan both had .375 win percentages in their tenures in D.C. — an average of 6-10 a year.
The Redskins hired former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden as the team’s new head coach to a five year deal last Thursday. Interestingly, that’s exactly one year after Robert Griffin III had surgery on his right knee after the team’s playoff loss in 2012-13 to Seattle (January 9).
What should Redskins fans expect from Jay Gruden? I have no clue. Gruden was criticized from time to time in Cincinnati for not running the ball enough. I hope that’s not the case in Washington. Alfred Morris is arguably a top seven running back in the league. Kyle Shanahan was a victim of not using Morris enough in 2013.
There are a lot of things Gruden and his staff will have to fix. As he himself said, there are many issues with a team that was 3-13. The defense allowed almost 30 points a game, the special teams unit was historically bad, and the offense failed to produce. Gruden will also be expected to get Robert Griffin III on track after a regression in his second year.
Hopefully for Redskins fans, Jay is like his brother Jon in terms of his intensity and his passion for the game. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter put it best, Jay sounds like his brother, so that might be a start. I was listening to Jay’s Hard Knocks clips from training camp in 2013 with the Bengals – that guy brings a level of intensity to the locker room. That’s what Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen are hoping for when they hired him.
In addition to all the team goals (Super Bowl or bust, right!?), Gruden should have one long-term goal for himself: Jon will be known as “Jay’s older brother” by the time the Jay is done in D.C.