Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden hasn’t necessarily been afraid to question his players in the media. This didn’t change on Thursday when the head coach spoke with NFL Media’s Albert Breer.
It’s a production-based business. We haven’t won many games lately with him,” Gruden said. “We gotta figure out a way to get in the end zone. We just have to score. I don’t care how we do it. If it’s running the zone-read, I don’t care. Quarterback sneaks, I don’t give a damn. We gotta find a way to utilize him where we can get productive drives and stay away from negative plays and have some consistency.
It even got to the point where Gruden indicated that Colt McCoy, who has won two of the Redskins three games this season, was “pushing” RGIII for the job.
In his honest assessment, the first-year head coach continued…
His biggest thing, he’s been coddled for so long. It’s not a negative, he’s just been so good, he just hasn’t had a lot of negative publicity,” Gruden said. “Everybody’s loved him. Some adversity is striking hard at him now, and how he reacts to that off the field, his mental state of mind, how it affects his confidence, hopefully it’s not in a negative way.
“Coddled” is an interesting term for a head coach to use as it relates to his own quarterback. But ever since RGIII’s Baylor days, he has had success on the football field. That changed last season, and it seems to be impacting his confidence a great deal.
These comments come on the heels of Gruden indicating that RGIII was nowhere near good enough last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and needs to work on a few different mechanical issues.
Mechanical issues that really should be solved by a quarterback’s third season in the NFL.
If we expected Gruden to back off from his strong stance towards RGIII, the rest of his interview with Breer pretty much threw that out the window.
He’s auditioned long enough,” Gruden said. “Clock’s ticking. He’s gotta play. We’ll see. … We want Robert to excel, we really do. But the last two games, it hasn’t been very good, anywhere. We gotta play better around him. And the biggest thing for us as play-callers, and for him, we just have to come together and jell with plays he’s comfortable with. That takes time. But we don’t have a lot of time
RGIII has won four of his last 17 starts with one of those victories coming Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars when he exited the game after three pass attempts.
Washington now has the task of going up against a San Francisco 49ers defense that ranks fourth in the NFL against the pass and has allowed a 74.3 quarterback rating on the season. Another bad outing from RGIII, and it could very well become Colt McCoy time in D.C.
Photo: USA Today