ASHBURN, Va. -- The first part of this interview with Jay Gruden ran earlier Tuesday. In the second part, Gruden talks about his dad and brother, sort of, and a little of Robert Griffin III as well as his Washington Redskins staff. A lot of questions Gruden couldn't answer, such as whether or not Jim Haslett would return. And a lot of the big, important questions were asked in his Monday press conference. Anyway, here's the second part of the interview:
You come from a football family. How much did you lean on your brother and dad?
Gruden: My dad calls every morning. I can set my watch by it. He always gives me motivational speeches, like hang in three. He gives me stories about how he was at Indiana with Lee Corso and they got their butts kicked. Light at the end of the tunnel, but the light at the end of the tunnel’s a freight train and you just get run over again.
What time would he call you?
Gruden: Right around 6:30 or 7. He’s been through it all, and growing up in that family you understand how people would blast him. You’d just sit in the crowd listening to fans yell at the coaches. "That’s a stupid call! You suck, you’re an idiot." My brother was up there fighting guys. So we got trained as youngsters of how tough this profession is, but also how rewarding it is when you win. Losing games, it’s not fun on anybody. You get hammered in the media, you get questioned by co-workers and players like, "Why are we doing it like this?" You try to stay consistent with your approach and eventually the hard work can pay off hopefully.
You’ve been a straight shooter with Robert [Griffin III]. Did you have to explain some things to him or did he know what you’d be talking about?
Gruden: I sat down and explained some things: "It came out today, I said this or that and that’s not what I meant." The big thing was the time where I challenged his fundamentals and didn’t like him and all that stuff and there was an issue at a team meeting where something had to be said and unfortunately all hell broke loose. The one thing he’s got to understand is that he’s the quarterback and I’m the coach and we won’t always agree in what I do as far as taking him out of games, but he has to understand I have his best interest and the team’s best interests at heart. That’s it.
Do you feel this staff can come back and compete?
Gruden: It’s something Bruce (Allen) and myself will have to sit down and talk with. These guys all worked hard and gave it their best. Defensively, I know [Haslett] is getting hammered, but he’s been destroyed with different guys and it’s been tough. You lose a lot of your packages, like when Brian Orakpo is hurt and now Trent Murphy is the starter as opposed to being a third-down guy who does the move-around stuff, so you lose that element of your defense. So many issues. Tracy Porter. DeAngelo Hall. It’s crazy. Barry Cofield for half the year, Chris Neild hurt early. Jason Hatcher dinged up.