The Washington Redskins had a crucial decision to make with Jay Gruden, and they made the right one.
The Washington Redskins are not going to make the playoffs, and with the end of the season quickly approaching, the front office has a decision to make with their head coach Jay Gruden. The Monday after Week 17 — known as “Black Monday” — is usually when coaches are fired, and Gruden potentially could have been one of those coaches.
The Redskins’ front office, though, decided that Gruden would not be looking for a new job at the end of the season, and they will retain him as the team’s head coach next season. It’s good for Gruden, and a smart choice by the Redskins front office.
The Redskins are 7-8, and play their final game Sunday on the road against the New York Giants. Should they win that game, they will finish 8-8, and will have at least finished with a .500 record in all but one season of Gruden’s tenure in D.C.
Gruden is not the reason the Redskins are essentially an average team. In fact, he’s done a lot with the roster he’s had for the past couple seasons. They already don’t have the deepest of rosters, but it doesn’t help when you have 21 guys on injured reserve one season alone.
Most of the players on injured reserve are key components to the team. Phil Taylor and Trent Murphy have missed the entire season. Chris Thompson, Jordan Reed, Robert Kelley and Mason Foster have all spent the majority of the season on injured reserve.
Every one of those guys play a key role to the Redskins, and it’s hard to be extremely successful as a team when guys like that miss basically the entire season. Especially guys like Reed who was coming off an injury last season, and Thompson who was dominating week in and week out this season.
One guy missing that went under the radar is Su’a Cravens. He’s on IR, but he’s not actually hurt; he took the year off because he thought he was going to retire. Cravens was one of those hybrid linebackers that could play the run like a middle linebacker, and cover guys like a safety. After his rookie season his future looked extremely bright, but now the Redskins are stuck trying to convince him to come back.
Gruden hasn’t had the best of luck, nor the greatest roster since he’s been in the nation’s capital. The fact that he’s only finished below .500 once is a testament to how good of a coach he actually is. He and Cousins seem to work well together, and since the 49ers have their quarterback of the future, Cousins might want to stay so long as the front office doesn’t manage to find a way to mess it up.
If the front office could manage to bring in some good young talent through the draft, and guys could stay healthy for once there’s no doubt that Gruden can get these guys back to the playoffs.