It isn’t a secret that Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is brutally honest when it comes to speaking with the media. He’s openly discussed certain players on the team in a way that makes us wonder just how good Gruden’s media skills are.
Now comes multiple comments on Tuesday directed at starting quarterback Robert Griffin III and star receiver DeSean Jackson.
A day after naming RGIII the starting quarterback, mainly because of an injury to Colt McCoy, Gruden had this to say about his enigmatic signal caller (via NFL.com).
“It’s important for us to have success on first and second down so we don’t have to drop back and throw it 30 times a game, have a lead so we don’t have to worry about it,” Washington’s head coach said on Tuesday.”Eventually, when you get behind, when you get in third down, you get behind the chains, those have to be accomplished — the drop-back reads, progressions have to be accomplished, and that’s something we’re fighting through right now.
This comes on the heels of Gruden openly discussing just how much RGIII was struggling last month (via CBS Sports).
Robert had some fundamental flaws,” Gruden said last month. “His footwork was below average. He took three-step drops when he should have taken five. He took a one-step drop when he should have taken three on a couple occasions and that can’t happen.
He stepped up when he didn’t have to step up and stepped into pressure. He read the wrong side of the field a couple times. So from his basic performance just critiquing Robert, it was not even close to being good enough to what we expect from the quarterback position.
While we know full well that Gruden’s relationship with RGIII is not reparable right now, openly questioning your quarterback’s ability to actually do things that define what a quarterback is supposed to be doing on the field isn’t a great look.
It also differs from what seems to be an unwritten rule when it comes to a head coach questioning his quarterback. Just look at Jim Harbaugh’s public support of Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco as a case study.
Gruden didn’t stop with RGIII. In a conference call with the press in Philadelphia, the first-year head coach had this to say about star receiver DeSean Jackson.
He’s a very good wide receiver but, the last couple weeks he’s been dealing with an injury and he hasn’t been quite the same,” the Redskins head man said, “I’m a ‘what-have-you-done-for-me-lately’ kind of guy and lately we haven’t seen the DeSean we need to see.
At 3-11 this year, Gruden’s first season with Washington has been a downright disaster. In addition to a seemingly horrendous relationship with RGIII, it also appears that Gruden is at odds with general manager Bruce Allen and owner Daniel Snyder when it comes to the embattled young signal caller.
Now that Gruden has started to openly question other members of the team, the following question needs to be asked.
Is Gruden angling to force the Redskins into firing him?
Reports earlier this week suggested that Washington is fully prepared to bring Gruden back for a second season in the nation’s capital. But if he continues to throw shade at multiple members of his own football team, that possibility could very well decrease with every unprofessional word that Gruden utters to the media.
It’s a bad look for both the franchise and the first-year head coach. And it could very well be enough for Snyder and Co. to show Gruden the door. It would then remain to be seen if the Redskins could do so with cause. After all, Gruden has given the team ample evidence that he’s not living up to its expectations of how a head coach is supposed to act publicly, especially when it comes to talking about his own players.