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.