Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 22, 98 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock for the first round of the NFL draft.
Question of the day
We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question is from Twitter:
Welcome to the NFL, Jay Gruden.
Yes, he’s been around the league since the early 2000’s and had three years as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator. He was introduced as the head coach of the Redskins a little over a year ago. But he had his honeymoon season in 2014. And now he will experience life as the coach of a 4-12 team with a new general manager who is going to build through the draft, a new defensive coordinator with only a couple of bad years running a defense on his resume, and a fan base that is getting antsy.
In other words, he’s really experiencing life in the NFL starting now, at least the way it has been in Washington for most of the last two-plus decades.
How long does he have to turn it around? How patient will Dan Snyder be?
I’m inclined to think that he has two more years to get the team moving in the right direction. However, he does have to show improvement and that’s where the seat is getting hot.
The improvement doesn’t have to come in the won-loss record although a season of, say, 6-10 or 7-9 would help his prospects and 2-14 would damage them. If Scot McCloughan is true to his word and the Redskins look to rebuild almost exclusively via the draft then they know it will take some time.
The improvement has to come in a few areas. At times last year it seemed like the job was too big for him. That’s not unusual for a coordinator promoted to a head coaching job. But he needs to show progress in getting a handle on things.
Also, the team needs to have its act together. If players get beaten physically, that’s to be expected. If they get beaten because they are missing assignments or committing the same correctable errors of commission and omission over and over again, that’s another thing that will land on Gruden.
So, yes, Gruden’s seat is warm. But if he and his team appear to have their acts together, the temperature dial won’t get turned up any higher. If it looks like he’s in over his head and the players aren’t buying in it could get very hot very fast.
—It’s been 25 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 234 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 28; NFL free agency starts 47; 2015 NFL Draft 98
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If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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