Riggo’s Rag Roundtable: Top picks to replace Jay Gruden as Redskins head coach
Kyle Hundley’s Pick: Clemson HC Dabo Swinney
As I write this, I know there is almost a zero percent Dabo Swinney will ever leave Clemson. But you never know. I hold out hope because many people thought Pete Carroll would never leave USC. And aside from Carroll (who has done wonders with the Seahawks culture), Swinney is the biggest believer in growing a strong culture in college football and has turned Clemson into a powerhouse with his beliefs. I believe when you’re the type of person Swinney is, you can win anywhere at any level.
When you think about the Redskins’ success with Joe Gibbs, it came with a winning culture. Since Snyder has purchased the team — and especially since Bruce Allen took over — the culture has progressively only gotten worse. The term “Redskins” has almost become synonymous with being losers. Swinney is a winner.
Since arriving at Clemson in 2008, the Tigers have progressively gotten better and won at least 10 games every year since 2011. Swinney has won two National Championships along the way and had Clemson in a third. That is a proven track record. Clemson is 5-0 this year and looking as if they could get Swinney his third championship in five years.
If Snyder were to convince Swinney to come to Washington for a new challenge, both he and Bruce Allen must (and this is an absolute must) be as hands-off as humanly possible with how Swinney would run this football team and how he would establish his culture. Snyder would also have to be patient with Swinney as he tries to change things, as he would have a lot of damage to fix. Snyder gave Jay Gruden six years, and Swinney would need a similar time frame to establish his culture and root out 20 years of systemic losing.
Yes, I get the Redskins don’t want to lose Kevin O’Connell the same way they lost Sean McVay. But, McVay had much, much more NFL experience running a team as an offensive coordinator (plus his time as a tight ends coach under two-time Super Bowl-winning Mike Shanahan) than O’Connell has. I’m worried if KOC gets promoted, he is going to come in and get overwhelmed by just how many responsibilities a coach has (plus having Snyder for a boss). Swinney has the coaching experience needed to succeed. I believe KOC could thrive as an offensive coordinator under Swinney if he stayed on.
The Redskins have arguably the worst culture in the NFL at the moment. No, Bruce Allen, the Redskins culture isn’t “damn good.” as you said at your Monday press conference. It’s not even close. If they can’t hire Swinney, they need someone very similar in their beliefs of a team-first, winning culture. We will be here again a few years from now having the same conversation about finding a coach if they don’t. The Redskins must choose wisely.
Follow Kyle on Twitter @khundley10 for more of his work and Redskins analysis.