Redskins

Redskins

If you're someone who has trouble sleeping, try putting on a random press conference featuring an NFL head coach. Most of those should help you out. Jay Gruden's won't, however.

As far as podium sessions go, Gruden's are almost always interesting because of his honesty and willingness to deliver a well-timed one-liner. Instead of criticizing the posture of reporters or repeating that he's looking ahead to the next opponent, he's usually personable and at times hilarious.

Between that and the way he connects with the guys who fill out his roster — these segments of Gruden wearing a mic at training camp in 2018 are stellar examples of that — he's picked up the label of being a "player's coach," a guy who's more relaxed than many of his peers. 

Now, because of his less than shining tenure with the Burgundy and Gold, many of Gruden's detractors wonder if his laid-back style hurts him as a leader. During a recent Redskins Talk podcast episode, JP Finlay asked former Redskins linebacker Will Compton for his opinion on just that. 

"It always depends on the situation," Compton, who spent time with Washington from 2013 to 2017, told Finlay. "There's a time and a place for everything. There's a time to work, there's a time to have fun. Jay goes a good job balancing that stuff."

 

While analysts and those outside of the Redskins organization can estimate all they want about how Gruden's personality positively or negatively affects his team, only those who've suited up for him can truly speak to it. So, hearing Compton explain that Gruden balances it well is encouraging.

Overall, the 52-year-old is 35-44-1 heading into his sixth season at the helm. He likely needs a playoff appearance to remain in charge of the Redskins beyond 2019, which is something he openly acknowledged himself

Judging by his record, it's clearly hard to label his stint a success. The fact that he sometimes still struggles with clock management is frustrating, too, as is the team's tendency to come out flat in the most crucial contests.

With that being said, aside from Gruden's first campaign, the Redskins haven't bottomed out. Is that the goal of a top operation? Of course not. But in dealing with quarterback drama, off-field distractions and, lately, insane injuries, he's somehow managed to keep Washington afloat and largely competitive.  

That, according to Compton, is an admirable part of Gruden and one very much worth noting.

"When your back's against the wall in D.C. and you have so much that surrounds the facility and the building," Compton said, "it's hard to keep everything tight and he does what he can keeping everything tight." 

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