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OPEN THREAD: Is Jay Gruden a Top 10 NFL head coach?


OPEN THREAD: Is Jay Gruden a Top 10 NFL head coach?

Redskins fans are used to the national media criticizing their team. It's normal. But what about national media praising the Redskins? Specifically, head coach Jay Gruden. Get ready, because it happened. 

Earlier this year, MMQB writer Andy Benoit became a lightning rod locally for naming Robert Griffin III the second worst quarterback in the NFL. Benoit listed his reasons, and while some agreed, most argued the assessment of RG3 was overly harsh. The Griffin-zealots yelled the loudest, but they always do. 


So Benoit is back in the D.C. public-consciousness, only this time, he brings good news. Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes Versus The World program, Benoit said that the way the Redskins are playing right now ranks Gruden as a Top 10 coach in the NFL.

For real? For real.

"I think Gruden’s doing a sensational job though with this team,” Benoit told Dukes. “Watching every single team on film each week, you get a sense for who does what and who’s tailoring their game plans and still operating within the confines of their system, and I think Washington does as good a job as almost any team in the league at that, especially when you consider that they really don’t have the quarterback they want.”

Keep in mind, the Redskins sit at 2-3, but if a few plays went different against Atlanta or Miami, the team could certainly have a winning record. It's also worth noting that QB Kirk Cousins has thrown six interceptions in five games, with two in each loss. When Cousins doesn't turn the ball over this season, the Redskins have won. 

But what about fans that say Gruden is in over his head?

"That’s easy to do and it’s totally ridiculous,” Benoit said. “Because there’s no reasoning for it whatsoever. That’s just the guy that they label the head coach and assume that anything that goes wrong is his fault. Gruden, he’s a top ten NFL head coach right now, just going by game-planning."

There it is: Gruden in the Top 10.

There's some merit to consider, despite a QB that statistically ranks near the bottom of most NFL passers, and a run game that disappears for long stretches, Gruden has had his team in position to win in four or five games. 

The early results for 2015 are certainly positive for Gruden, but still, Top 10? Some names are obvious, in no particular order: Belicheck, Carroll, Harbaugh, Tomlin. Tom Coughlin has two Super Bowl rings and the Giants currently sit in first place of the NFC East. Ron Rivera has the Panthers undefeated at 4-0, and new coach Dan Quinn has the Falcons loss free at 5-0. Marvin Lewis is a perennial playoff coach, and the Bengals are 5-0. Oh yeah, Mike McCarthy has a Super Bowl ring and the Packers are undefeated, and Bruce Arians has the Cardinals 4-1. That makes 10, and Gary Kubiak sits at 5-0 in Denver.

Does Gruden the head coach look much better in 2015 than he did in 2014? Absolutely. Making a Top 10 argument, however, seems a bit harder to do. 

Disagree? Let us know in the comments. 

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 


What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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