Redskins: Three ways Jay Gruden can keep his job in 2020
By Ian Cummings
No. 3 – Keep the team ready, win a respectable amount of games
This has been the Achilles heel of Jay Gruden-coached teams in the past. They win a game, and show out doing so, and then the next week, they come out flat, appearing unprepared and sluggish. It’s hard to quantify how much of that has been Jay Gruden, and how much of that has been personnel, but it’s been a trend under Gruden, and as head coach, he’s in prime position to make it a non-issue.
Making it a non-issue hasn’t happened yet, but perhaps, with his seat on fire, Gruden can tap into whatever reserve he’s left untouched over the past five years, and ascend as a leader of men. These stories don’t often end well for the protagonist. But as long as Gruden still has the job, he still has a chance.
If I were going for cliches, I would say Gruden needs to take a page from the Patriots playbook, and up the intensity level, both on the practice field, and in film study, and foster more accountability. But it’s ultimately up to Gruden to strike the perfect balance between education and enjoyment. The balance that best fits this group of players.
If the Redskins current roster doesn’t have the entire mental makeup necessary to succeed, that’s another story. But Gruden needs to catalyze a hard-working environment, while also preserving the kind of culture that builds chemistry, improves team morale, and ultimately improves play quality. It’s a tough balance to find. But the clock is working against Gruden. He must end the search soon. And if he loses games past a certain threshold in 2019, he won’t be back.