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Redskins fans might lament Jay Gruden, but Sean McVay 'couldn't be more thankful'

Redskins fans might lament Jay Gruden, but Sean McVay 'couldn't be more thankful'

ATLANTA -- Sean McVay will become the youngest head coach ever to lead his team to a Super Bowl on Sunday, and for many Redskins fans, it comes with a bitter taste.

McVay served as Washington head coach Jay Gruden's offensive coordinator for two seasons before departing to take the Los Angeles Rams head job in 2017. Some wonder if the Redskins would have been better served to keep McVay over Gruden, even though that situation at the time was entirely implausible. 

McVay has long talked about what working for Gruden meant, and on Monday at Super Bowl Opening Night, the Rams wunderkind expanded.

"Jay is as big a reason as anybody why I even had the opportunities," McVay said. "Nobody else would have given me a chance to be an offensive coordinator."

Gruden named McVay his offensive coordinator before he even turned 30. That was absolutely unheard of, and it proved to be a great move. 

"The confidence that he instilled in me, the ability to be able to learn and grow as a coach under his leadership and guidance, I couldn’t be more thankful for Jay Gruden," McVay said. "He’s special to me. He’s a great football coach and there’s no chance I would be in this opportunity if it wasn’t for him."

Despite McVay's public support, Gruden has plenty of detractors in Washington. Some of it comes from the lack of playoff success, and others will point to a soft approach with players.

Listen to McVay, or other former Redskins assistant coaches now with the Rams like Aubrey Pleasant or Joe Barry, and everyone speaks highly of Gruden. The Redskins have not broken through to success anything close to the Rams, but injuries have been a big factor. Over five years with Gruden at the helm, there have been plenty of coaching questions too though. 

The national perception of Gruden has never matched the local perception of the Redskins head coach in D.C.

And that's never been more clear than what Sean McVay thinks of his old boss. 

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Don’t think FedEx Field can play like a slip 'n slide? Just ask Matt Ioannidis

Don’t think FedEx Field can play like a slip 'n slide? Just ask Matt Ioannidis

The Redskins played host to the 49ers in Week 7 amid constant downpour that began well before kickoff. Both teams struggled to deal with the conditions, but a play late in the second quarter just about summed up how tough it was for players to find any footing.

That’s Redskins defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis, who almost turned a dive attempt into a shoestring tackle by sliding across the field. The referees have been able to dry the ball in between plays, but there hasn’t been much the crew has been able to do about the grass.

As NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay reported before the game, the puddles were already beginning to form during pregame warmups.

The game was already expected to be a low-scoring affair, but the conditions have only made points even harder to come by.

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Redskins vs. 49ers Week 7 Inactives: Norman inactive for first time this season

Redskins vs. 49ers Week 7 Inactives: Norman inactive for first time this season

Coming out victorious against the undefeated San Francisco 49ers is already a tall task for the 1-5 Redskins, but it'll be even more difficult on Sunday, as the Burgundy and Gold are down two of the best offensive weapons.

After suffering a toe injury against the Dolphins a week ago, running back Chris Thompson will be unable to play vs. San Francisco. Additionally, tight end Vernon Davis will also be in street clothes, as the 35-year-old continues to recover from a concussion.

In wake of Thompson's injury, running back Craig Reynolds was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster on Saturday. He is active.

Dealing with both a hand and thigh injury, cornerback Josh Norman will be sidelined for Week 7. This doesn't come as a surprise, as No. 24 did not practice all week.

Also on the defensive side of the ball, both linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons and safety Deshazor Everett will miss their second consecutive game, nursing a hamstring and ankle injury, respectively.

Here are the Week 7 inactives.

Redskins vs. 49ers Week 7 Inactives:

Redskins Inactives:

QB Colt McCoy
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons
S Deshazor Everett
G Wes Martin
RB Chris Thompson
TE Vernon Davis
CB Josh Norman

49ers Inactives:

QB C.J. Beathard
WR Deebo Samuel
CB Ahkello Witherspoon
FB Kyle Juszczyk
OT Mike McGlinchey
OT Joe Staley
DL D.J. Jones

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