By now, we’ve all opened up our eyes and realized that Gruden was indeed the one espousing the virtues of building confidence in his players at the Redskins introductory press conference. No, not THAT Gruden. You know, the OTHER one, Jay, who sounds almost exactly like his famous brother Jon. No disrespect to Jay at all, but he may not even have been the Redskins first choice within the Gruden family for the top job.
Some have gone so far as to question whether he would’ve been offered the gig had his name been, oh say, Gates. We’ll never know, but the reality is Jay is the 8th coach in 16 seasons under owner Dan Snyder. My colleague at NFL Network Jeff Darlington, who first broke the news, worked to see if Robert Griffin III had much input in the hiring process. That’s also an unknown at this point.
One thing is for certain: Gruden will need to develop a seamless synergy with the franchise’s young quarterback.. and pronto. He just got to D.C. and Gruden already is campaigning, reiterating that RG3 is the starter, so he’s off to a good start from that respect. The lack of a cohesive, trusting relationship was a major reason why Mike Shanahan is out of a job.
Gruden’s hiring was a sign that the team wanted an offensive mind to develop and nurture Griffin. Gruden tutored Andy Dalton in Cincy, where fans are wondering whether the red-headed QB was just limited or Gruden didn’t prepare him well enough for the rigors of the playoffs. Still, he managed to improve the Bengals offense in each of his three seasons as offensive coordinator, so we’ll see what he does with RG3. His first order of business though, is to get his young signal-caller to buy in to the Gruden Way, otherwise he’ll be following Shanahan out the door.