No coach wants to be fired during the season, but they especially do not want to be the first one who is run out. After the worst start since 2013, Jay Gruden is widely believed to be on track to be the first sacrificial lamb of the 2019 season. He has not had a successful run for the Washington Redskins, but he was once believed to be the man who could help the Redskins rise to the next level.
Now, he may be looking for another job if the team doesn’t get its act together soon.
The Redskins under Jay Gruden
At 35-48-1 going into week five of the 2019 NFL season, Gruden has not impressed during his Redskins tenure. His best season was a 9-7 season during his second season with the team. That was his only playoff season with the Redskins, as the team has hovered at or under .500 since that season and appears to be heading in a downward spiral this year.
While Gruden’s brother has been heralded as a great coach, he has not proven an ability to be anything more than an average NFL coach, and with the current team in shambles, it may be time for the Redskins to look toward the future.
The 2019 Redskins
The Redskins are winless through four games, and while the first game showed promise, the amount by which they have lost has increased with every game as their scoring has gone down.
The week four loss to the New York Giants was a particularly low point for the Redskins, who failed to get more than a single field goal onto the scoreboard.
Week five isn’t looking any easier for the team, either. The Redskins will face an undefeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Washington, and while a win versus Miami could right the ship, a loss against Miami in week six could theoretically be the final nail in Gruden’s coffin.
Although Case Keenum was fine during the first two games of the season, an injury in week three limited his production, and he came out in week four looking flat. The defense isn’t helping things, either.
Through four games, the Redskins have only allowed opponents to score under thirty points once, and when the Patriots come into town that could get even worse.
Is it all Jay Gruden’s fault?
Gruden deserves a healthy amount of the blame for the Redskins woes. His offense has consistently underperformed, and his defense has consistently fallen flat. However, there are certain aspects of his tenure that made his job unforgiving.
When he took the job with Washington, there was still hope that young quarterback Robert Griffin III could salvage his career and relive the glory of his first season. Injuries and poor performance derailed this, quickly.
Gruden did get some good years out of Kirk Cousins, but the team thought they could be something special when they brought in Alex Smith to lead the office. Unfortunately, Smith went down with a horrific injury, and the Redskins have not been the same since. A good coach adjusts to on-field adversity, so Gruden doesn’t get an entire pass, especially with the team’s history of handling injuries.
However, one does have to feel for some of the bad hands he has been dealt with.
Is there hope for the Washington Redskins?
The Redskins have an unproven quarterback and a coach who may have one foot out the door. The team has only had one mildly successful season in the last six years and has shown few signs of life since Alex Smith’s injury. Because of this, it may be time to start completely over, keep some of the new pieces, and begin a new chapter for Gruden, the franchise, and the players.