Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 12, 44 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
Gruden has a team he can trust going into minicamp
Jay Gruden no longer has to be a micromanager.
The coach is going into his fifth year as the Redskins’ head coach. Assuming he makes it to Week 1, he will have the longest run as head coach of the Redskins since Norv Turner coached the team from 1994 until he was fired with three games left in the 2000 season.
One of the reasons for his staying power has been some of the veteran players he and the personnel department have brought in. Gruden has a core group of players that he believes he can rely on to take care of the details so that he can focus on the big picture.
“The good thing is I don’t have to put my finger on everything that’s going on around here,” he said last week. I have great trust in the players that are down here, led by the veteran guys like [Ryan] Kerrigan and Ziggy Hood and the rest of the older-type guys. They do an excellent job down here, and [when] they’re out at practice, they’re in meetings.”
Gruden also mentioned QBs Alex Smith and Colt McCoy, OL Brandon Scherff, LB Mason Foster, and S D.J. Swearinger as players he relied on to help keep things running.
“It’s one thing as a coach you don’t want to have to worry about is just always micromanaging every detail about meetings and what’s going on in the locker room,” said Gruden. “We have a great group of guys that are tight-knit, and they work extremely hard.”
It’s no accident that Gruden has players that he can lean on.
“It’s evolved, and it goes into your draft and who you’re getting as free agents and all that stuff,” he said when asked about how the team’s culture has changed. “Sometimes you have to deal with some issues from time to time, but it’s important for the veteran leaders to take them under their wing and try to bring them along the right path. And I feel like we have a good majority-rules-type thing that are all hard workers and good guys and good football players.”
When you hear that the Redskins are not interested in a particular free agent or potential trade target because “he doesn’t fit”, think of this. If a veteran player isn’t interested in being one of the guys who tend to the details or listen to the direction of the players who are, you have a problem. Some very talented players fit that description and you may end up worse off despite having obtained a good player.
That sounds good but at some point, the approach has to show results. It’s great to have “character guys” but if you continue to hover around .500 every year and your peak season is a first-round playoff loss, you may have to rethink that. Not that you have to bring in players who are at high risk of suspensions, but perhaps a player who might require some micromanaging from the coaching staff might be able to help you out.
This doesn’t mean that they should get rid of Hood and Swearinger and try to bring in some questionable characters. But a culture is only good if it is a winning culture. There are different ways to develop a winning culture and if one approach isn’t working you may have to go looking for another one.
If you don’t, the head coach who replaces you sooner rather than later will.
Tandler on Twitter
In response to Keith Olbermann’s tweet that said, “The beat an EXPANSION team.”
Just in case you need any more reasons to dislike Olbermann. https://t.co/OVd0Plj4ao— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) June 11, 2018
—Training camp starts (7/26) 44
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 58
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 81
The Redskins last played a game 161 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 89 days.
In case you missed it
- 2019 NFL Mock Draft
- Redskins face Bucs' monster D-line plus D-Jax in Week 10
- Don't expect Redskins to make a run at Earl Thomas
- Five Redskins backups who could start games in 2018