Nov 2, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden looks on during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 29-26. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
There are a lot of questions surrounding the Washington Redskins this offseason. We’ve tried to answer some of them and most of those have to do with the players. But what about the coaching staff, in particular head coach Jay Gruden?
Gruden is coming off of a 4-12 season in his rookie year as a head coach. Part of the reason I think things didn’t go well for Gruden was that he basically inherited most his coaching staff, a decision that’s still very confusing on the part of the Redskins organization.
But this year Gruden got to pick his position coaches and coordinators, so that should help him in trying to improve on what the Redskins did in 2014. But is Jay Gruden on the hot seat this year? How may wins does he need to solidify his standing in D.C.?
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On offense he made two major changes. One, he hired Bill Callahan to be his offensive line coach. In addtion to coaching the offensive line, Callahan will also help in calling the running plays in installing a power running game.
Also, Gruden hired Matt Cavanaugh as the quarterback coach, a position that didn’t exist last season. This will give the quarterbacks attention and detailed coaching and allow Gruden and offensive coordriantor Sean McVay more time to game plan.
Gruden was expected to help quarterback Robert Griffin III become a better passer last year but it didn’t happen. RGIII was out injured a good portion of the season and the two clearly weren’t on the same page.
That has to change in 2015. Gruden was criticized heavily for how critical he was on Griffin in the media and RGIII made his share of snafus in the media also. So both have to improve in this area and so far this offseason things appear to be going smoothly.
Play calling was an issue last year too, as Gruden at times abandoned the run too quickly and none of his quarterbacks seemed to gain a firm grasp of the offense. Things will be expected to run a lot smoother on offense moving forward.
Defensively Gruden made the surprising decision to hire Joe Barry as his defensive coordinator when there were more experienced and successful candidates available. Barry’s track record is questionable but Gruden likes the energy he brings to the table.
Jay Gruden has done a good job of upgrading his coaching staff and GM Scot McCloughan has given him more talent to work with than he had last year
There’s also new coaches at defensive line (Robb Akey) and defensive back (Perry Fewell). Fewell is the former defensive coordinator of the New York Giants and he brings a lot of experience as DB’s coach.
So Jay Gruden has done a good job of upgrading his coaching staff and GM Scot McCloughan has given him more talent to work with than he had last year. That calculates into another poor season possibly costing Jay Gruden his job.
No one expects the Redskins to win the Super Bowl this year but never the less they must improve. The fact is that Scot McCloughan didn’t hire Jay Gruden and while he’s had some good things to say about him, typically general managers like to pick their own head coaches.
If the Redskins don’t show marked improvement over last season, meaning at or near .500 it wouldn’t surprise me to see McCloughan go with someone else. What do you think? Can Jay Gruden survive another disappointing season in 2015?