Jay Gruden is out as the coach of the Washington Redskins after an 0-5 start to this season, which itself followed two previous disappointing seasons.
As TMZ reports, hours after the Redskins’ devastating loss at home to the New England Patriots, team owner Dan Snyder announced that he’d had enough. In a statement, the team said that it will be moving forward without Gruden in an attempt to turn around the misfortunes of the past few seasons.
“Through the first five games of the 2019 season, the team has clearly not performed up to expectations, and we all share in that responsibility. Moving forward we are committed to doing all that we can collectively as an organization to turn things around and give our Redskins fans and alumni a team they can be proud of in 2019 and beyond,” the statement said.
The Jay Gruden Era
Gruden was brought on to turn around the Redskins’ fortunes in the offseason following the disastrous 2013-2014 season, during which the team had gone 3-13 under Mike Shanahan.
It seemed like a good idea at the time: Gruden had put a Super Bowl on his resume during his tenure as an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, working under his brother, John Gruden. Then, as offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, he helped steer the team to three straight Wild Card playoff spots.
At first, it looked like the team had made the right move. They went 4-12 in their first year under Gruden, although by all accounts it was a rebuilding year and expectations were low. However, in the 2015-2106 season, Gruden coached the Redskins to a 9-7 record, enough for a Wild Card playoff spot against the Packers. Unfortunately, the ‘Skins lost that game, and haven’t been to the playoffs since.
That playoff loss was followed by two more mediocre seasons, which were then followed by this season’s 0-5 start.
The Bill Callahan Era
For now, Bill Callahan, who was at once the assistant head coach and the offensive line coach, will handle head coaching duties while the team searches for a more permanent replacement.
Callahan, like Gruden, has Super Bowl experience under his belt, having coached the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and 2003, a tenure that included a loss in Super Bowl XXXVII. Perhaps ironically, it was Jay Gruden’s brother, John Gruden, who coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their decisive victory over Callahan’s Raiders.
Whether or not Callahan can turn around the Redskins remains to be seen. But Washington area sportswriter Craig Hoffman, writing for 106.7TheFan, isn’t convinced. He notes that the team has been bedeviled by poor hiring decisions, particularly when it comes to the job of quarterback, as well as a series of injuries.