On Thursday afternoon, Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen introduced Jay Gruden as the team’s newest head coach. In his first press conference as a member of the Redskins, Gruden was asked questions regarding his assistant coaches, and he had some rather intriguing things to say.
Thursday morning, news broke that Gruden was going to be named the team’s head coach. Later on in the day, more news broke that tight ends coach Sean McVay was going to be elevated to the offensive coordinator position and Jim Haslett would stay as the defensive coordinator. Gruden’s answers questions regarding his staff would say otherwise.
First off, he immediately dispelled the rumor of McVay becoming the offensive coordinator when he answered one reporter’s question with a joke saying, “Nice, good for Sean.” His response made it quite clear that he has yet to make a decision on the future of his coaching staff, especially the position of offensive coordinator.
Whenever a question was asked regarding his future assistants and coordinators, his answer was consistent, generic and vague. Each time, it was a variation of the usual, “We’ll interview everyone and see what’s best for the team.” Gruden did say that he had a number coaching friends (he said 350) around the country that had reached out to him regarding a position on staff.
For Haslett, his job is likely safe. While Gruden has yet to make any decisions on his coaching staff, he did express his desire to stick with the 3-4 defense. So, it would only make sense that Haslett remain the team’s defensive coordinator. Also helping Haslett’s case is the fact that the he and Gruden worked together, but in reverse roles, with the UFL’s Florida Tuskers.
While Gruden was vague about the future of his coaching staff, there’s no reason for either of the current coaches to worry about their jobs. Haslett’s time in D.C. hasn’t been that impressive, but Gruden wants to stick with the 3-4 defense, something that Haslett brings to the table.
The other two coaches whose futures could come into question are McVay and Raheem Morris. However, McVay is regarded as an up and coming coach and Morris is well respected and liked by the players. When the reign of Shanahan ended, numerous reports stated that both would stay with the organization into the future.
As the Gruden-era begins for the Redskins, it should be interesting which of his 350 colleagues he picks to fill out the rest of his coaching staff. Currently, he needs to fill seven positions. Offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach, linebackers coach, special teams coordinator, and offensive quality control all need to be occupied.
Two names that come to mind for the offensive coordinator position are Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo and former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. Both have extensive background at the quarterback position and could aid in the development of Robert Griffin III. On the other hand, you’d hate to have too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, trying to give Griffin tips and advice.
However he decides to go, the filling out of the Redskins’ coaching staff should be an interesting story to follow in the coming weeks.