Washington Redskins: Jason Reid

Quick Takes: Bruce Allen and more

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
  • Bruce Allen wanted to be in charge and now he is, which means his Redskins tenure is now officially on the clock. That’s what the Washington Post’s Jason Reid wrote and it’s hard to disagree with the column.
  • Allen did handle things this way with Tampa Bay, but when he was there Jon Gruden had all sorts of power. In Oakland, it was Al Davis. There’s no doubting who’s in control of football matters in Washington. Is that a good or bad thing? I remember when he was hired and how people around the league described him as being a good politician. Those skills will come in handy when trying to build a consensus. I also think Jay Gruden’s personality will help in this effort. As a first-time head coach he’s not in position to demand more power.
  • That doesn’t mean it will work. But the personalities, when it comes to those in the front office and on the staff, at least seem like they will co-exist well. They just have to make sure it’s the football people making the football decisions.
  • Former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is still awaiting word on whether or not he’ll get the Miami Dolphins’ job. What would help him: more defensive-minded head coaches getting hired. They would then need someone to run the offense and call plays. But, thus far, every opening has gone to an offensive-minded head coach. I don’t know if he’d have a shot in Minnesota if Mike Zimmer is hired. UPDATE: Miami hired another former Redskins assistant, Bill Lazor, as its offensive coordinator Wednesday afternoon.
  • Count me among those who would love to see Zimmer get a shot as a head coach. I’ve always liked his intensity and I know his brashness has turned off some teams in the past. But I’d love to see what he could do when given the opportunity. His defenses have been good for a while.
  • Yes, Earnest Byner will interview with Washington for the vacant running backs position. Coaches and front office people who worked with him in the past consider him an excellent coach. He can be a tough coach, but the word is that he’s fair.
  • Byner has been caught in some bad timing in his coaching career since leaving Washington. He was fired by Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher after two seasons, but quickly took the same position in Jacksonville. But he lasted only two years because there was another regime change. And he lasted in two years with Tampa Bay for the same reason.
  • The New York Daily News reported that Washington interviewed Jets special teams coach Ben Kotwica on Tuesday. Kotwica reportedly has been offered a contract to stay in New York, but was told he could interview with other teams. It does not sound as if the Jets were wowed by the job he did, but he also wasn’t a disaster. But he also was replacing a legend there in the retired Mike Westhoff.
  • Kotwica’s situation could depend on the length of the contract offer with New York. I can’t imagine he’d turn it down if it was a multi-year deal considering how long he’s been with the Jets (seven years). But maybe sometimes you feel a change is necessary. Or it could be dependent on whether or not Rex Ryan receives a contract extension, which would provide his staff more job security. If you land with a team that has a new coach, you’ll have that security.
  • Kotwica was Westhoff’s assistant for six years before taking over the top job last season after the longtime coach retired. Kotwica wasn’t afraid to try different things, like using three gunners in a game against Carolina rather than the traditional two. Alas, while it worked two times it failed on the third as Carolina adjusted and blocked a punt.
  • The Washington Post’s Dave Sheinin took a look at Gruden’s quarterback journey and why that could be good for Robert Griffin III. After he was hired I wrote that this could be good for Griffin because Gruden played quarterback at a high level in college and because of his personality. Griffin already has met with Gruden and came away excited about what he heard. He’s also met with new offensive coordinator Sean McVay, whom he obviously already knew.

What they said about Jay Gruden

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
Thought it would be interesting to take a look at the coverage of Jay Gruden's hire as coach of the Washington Redskins. We get to write something like this, oh, every several years. So here goes:
  • This was an interesting take by NFL.com's Michael Silver, looking at the impact of Jay Gruden's hiring on both Robert Griffin III and Andy Dalton. Silver writes that Gruden did not coach Dalton hard and would let things slide, at least in public view. While Griffin might respond better to his style, I know that Griffin still needs to be coached hard on certain aspects of his game.

  • Here's my Bengals counterpart for ESPN.com, Coley Harvey, with two stories on Gruden's departure, the first of which says it was time for a change with the Bengals' offense because of the playoff failures. And here are a few quick hit items on the topic. Meanwhile, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green talk about Gruden.

  • My old Washington Examiner colleague Rick Snider writes that this time maybe the Redskins got it right by going a different route and signing the hotshot coordinator. And another former Examiner colleague, Thom Loverro, points to Gruden's last name as a reason he's in this position.

  • The Washington Post did a nice job with a full slate of Gruden coverage. I'll start with Mike Wise's column, which takes history into account and lets Gruden know if he fails, it's not necessarily a reflection on him. Wise wrote, "You will simply be caught up in a vortex of an owner and a management structure that really, sincerely wants to win but still hasn't shown it knows how." And that's a statement I agree with. I touched upon Gruden's unique path to the Redskins head coaching position in a blog posting Thursday night. But Dave Sheinin is, well, Dave Sheinin, and he writes anything better than pretty much anyone else. So here's his take on Gruden's path. The Redskins got it write, says Jason Reid. And Reid is right when he says Gruden's first task is to fix Robert Griffin III.

  • Paul Woody of the Richmond Times Dispatch covered the Redskins in their glory days. He's seen pretty much the opposite ever since, not to mention a number of coaching changes. Woody wonders how well we should get to know Gruden. It is the Redskins after all. But the first day of a new coach also is the time for optimism. Here's where Gruden has a shot as Woody writes: "He's confident. He doesn't pretend to know everything. He has a sense of humor. He's quick witted. He certainly came across as a man who plans to be in charge of his fate, his destiny, his team, his offense and maybe even his quarterback, Robert Griffin III."