The Redskins front office fires Gruden after a 0-5 start but should be looking inward
On Monday at 5 a.m. EST, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was called into a meeting with owner Daniel Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen where Gruden was fired after the team’s 0-5 start. The Redskins named former Raiders and Nebraska coach Bill Callahan as interim head coach for the remaining eleven games of the 2019 season.
Everyone who follows the NFL knew this move was coming, but many are left with the feeling that this was not all Gruden’s fault. A record number of injuries and holdouts crippled the team before the season even started. Injuries to star tight-end Jordan Reed and top running-back Darrius Guice put the offense on hold, as well as former first-round draft pick, tackle Trent Williams, who held out for a new contract.
With these pivotal positions out, it left the offense with no real leadership or playmaking ability. These issues collimated the quarterback fiasco in Washington, starting with Case Keenum, who was pulled after his terrible play with a passer rating of 23.7. Then on to 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins who had poor debut against the giants where he threw three interceptions. Then this past week, Colt McCoy got the start and was obliterated by the Patriots 33-7.
Nothing is going right for the Redskins in their 0-5 start, and this problem is not all Jay Gruden. The biggest issues are with the guys upstairs in the organization, namely Snyder and Allen. This organization has not won a playoff game in 15 years.
They also have had opportunities to hire some of the best coaches who they had on their staff including Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, and Kyle Shanahan. These are some of the best head coaches in the league in 2019, and they were all at one time in Washington. The fact that the Redskins let all of these guys go is a tough pill to swallow.
Gruden needs to be held accountable for a part of the misshapes as well. Since taking over for the Redskins in 2014, he has had quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, and Robert Griffin III. These are quarterbacks who can lead a franchise and yet none of them were able too. Gruden should have been fired a long time ago. But he was given chance after chance with quarterback after quarterback and could not get it done.
The next chapter for the Washington Redskins looks to go beyond interim head coach Bill Callahan. The Redskins will be evaluating Kevin O’Connell, an offensive coordinator, another bright mind in the Redskins organization they cannot afford to lose. He has been compared to McVay, Lafleur, and Shanahan as a brilliant offensive mind who many believe will go on to be the next great young coach.
Other predictions for their next head coach could include Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka who has done amazing work with 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. A big move for the organization would be going after the quarterback and offensive guru Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma’s head coach. Riley has had Heisman winners in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray and what looks like to be a third in as many years with Jalen Hurts in 2019. The Redskins would have to offer him big money to leave Oklahoma, probably somewhere along the lines of $15 million, but it would still be tough to get him.
For now, the Redskins will move on with a transition period in 2019. They look to the leadership of interim head coach Bill Callahan to muster together what they can for the remainder of the season to play for their fans and hope for a brighter future.