Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is staying the course in regards to his coaching staff, even as the losses continue to pile up and a positive outlook on the season becomes slimmer by the day.
Despite the Redskins 0-4 start and many people calling for a change with the coaching staff, particularly with defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, Gruden told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay in an exclusive interview on Monday that he does not envision making any changes to his staff at this time.
"I don't know why that would be a benefit right now," Gruden said. "We have a system in place right now. If you're going to change coaches or think you're going to change systems on a Wednesday and put in a whole new defense, I don't think it would really be beneficial."
While the sixth-year head coach did say that his assistant coaches need to be better, he knows a lot of the responsibility lies on him as well.
"We just have not got the production out of the coaching staff. We have to take full responsibility for it," Gruden said. "Then the players haven't quite produced the way we thought they would. It's a combination of things. As coaches, we have to do a better job of putting these guys in a position to succeed. And for the players, when the plays are there and present themselves, we have to make the plays."
It's no secret the production hasn't been there for Washington. They've struggled mightily on both sides of the ball. The team can't sustain drives on offense and has been historically bad on third downs on defense.
Through four games, Washington ranks 28th in yards per game on offense. The 49.8 rushing yards per game they've averaged is second-to-last in the NFL. The team's longest gain on the ground in four games has been 14 yards.
Gruden attributed the offensive struggles to a combination of play calling and just plain execution.
"Any time the plays do not work, it's the play-calling," Gruden said. Any time the plays do work, it's not about the plays, it's about the players. It's a combination of things. We had some guys open that need to be hit."
Gruden doesn't plan to change the way the team calls plays, either.
"We have total input. Obviously coach [Bill] Callahan, Kevin [O'Connell], coach [Matt] Cavanaugh, we have a group committee as far as calling plays," Gruden said. "I think it's a good system. We just have to do a better job. "
The defense was supposed to be the strong suit of this team entering the season, and they've failed to live up to any of the hype. Only six teams have allowed more yards per game than Greg Manusky's unit. The 29.5 points per game the Burgundy and Gold are allowing is the worst in the NFL besides the tanking Miami Dolphins.
Washington is 0-4 for a reason, and outside of the first half against Philadelphia in Week 1, have not played good football at all in 2019.
The production just hasn't been there. Gruden did not seem upset with the player's effort, however.
"The players play hard for coach Manusky, they play hard for coach Callahan, they play hard for everybody else in this building," Gruden said. "We just have to get more out of them. Coach Manusky knows the challenge at stake, and has to do a better job, as do I."
Starting the first month of the NFL season without a victory is certainly frustrating for everyone in the building. Gruden knows the team has a lot more talent, and is simply a lot better than what they've shown this season. To him, that's what's frustrating the most.
"We still have enough talent in here to do a lot better than what we've done in the first four weeks," he said. "That's a direct reflection on me."
At some point, the talk of the team being better has to translate on to the field. While Gruden may not want to make any changes now, if the team continues to lose, change will be inevitable.
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