Jun 17, 2014; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden (middle) smiles on the field next to Redskins running back Silas Redd (24) and Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy (16) during minicamp at Redskins Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Will Jay Gruden’s approach work better for the Redskins?

Former Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was already known as a great coach long before he came to Washington.  His Denver Broncos teams had won two super bowls, and were always in the thick of the playoff hunt every season.  So Shanahan seemed to exude a confidence that suggested his past greatness should translate to his present.

But it didn’t work out that way.   Shanahan had such great success with the Broncos that I think he knew his legacy was already set regardless of what happened with the Redskins.  But that’s not the case with new Redskins head coach Jay Gruden.  Who knows that if he fails, he may not get another shot at being an NFL head coach.

Jay Gruden’s style is at times laid back and fun, but he’s also showing fire and energy.  This is good to see, as one of my gripes with Mike Shanahan was that at times there seemed to be no sense of urgency.  Rarely were starters in danger of losing their jobs, and during games Shanahan seemed more like a spectator at times than a coach desperately trying to win.

That may not have been how it actually was, but it seemed that way.  On the other sideline you’d see the head coach coaching with passion and fire, and then you’d see Shanahan just kind of standing there.  Oh you’d see him go off on an official every now and then, and all coaches do that.  But what impact is the head coach having on the games?

However, even though Mike Shanahan’s stint with the Redskins wasn’t successful, he still had a great career and he more than likely will end up in the Hall of Fame.  It just didn’t work out in Washington.  Jay Gruden may never accomplish half of what Shanahan did, but it’s just nice to see a new vibe injected into the team, and the Redskins may be better off because of it.

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Tags: Jay Gruden Washington Redskins

  • http://twitter.com/aprilwalker14 april walker

    Very well written. I was expecting another MS bashing article as many and most are. Folks don’t have to have liked MS to write about the differances between coaches without trashing Coach Mike. I liked him and still think if not for our QB he still is our coach. Im warming more to the new coach, it seems QB has changed his ways a tad. Been a fan for 30 years, will always be one. Im all in with my Redskins and the new coach. Well done. HTTR

    • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

      I had you in mind when I wrote this article April. I know there are Redskins fans out there who like Mike Shanahan, so I wanted to be as fair to him as possible. I don’t dislike Shanahan, I wanted him to succeed. But I just think he did a very good job as the Redskins head coach.

      • Rodney Thomas

        This makes me so proud to know I wasn’t the only Redskins fan who liked Shanny.

        I think our roster, culture, and direction is better NOW, and the credit goes to Mike Shanahan for assembling a competent and capable roster.

        In 2012, the team overachieved.

        In 2013? Easily underachieved.

        My firm opinion, the $36 million penalty, Seattle game, Robs injury, and subsequent “bad” year (although I could formulate a compelling argument against that line of thinking) were just the undesirable recipe we all had to swallow as a franchise and fan base.

        I wish Shanny were here for one last year to truly show and prove with a full salary cap, but it is what it is.

        Best of luck to Gruden, but for his sake and ours, he needs to win NOW.

        I’ve no time or patience for a rebuild.


        • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

          I think the plan is to win now. The Redskins are only one year removed from the playoffs, and at least on paper, they are look to be a better team than they were last year. The question is, is Jay Gruden the coach to step in and get things rolling again? Thanks for the comment Rodney.

      • http://twitter.com/aprilwalker14 april walker

        HaHa…Thank you Maurice!!!

        • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

          No, thank you April. I’ve been very hard on Mike Shanahan, maybe a little too hard. And your comments have helped me realize that. So thank you.