The Redskins have three games remaining in this troubled 2017 regular season and while many fans have completely tapped out and shown every sign of apathy that you possibly can find, there’s one group of individuals that are working 18 hours a day to try and fix the somewhat recent woes and save themselves from impending doom.
I’m not talking about the players. Sure, there are many that are still giving it everything they have, but some appear to be thinking about their future rather than the now.
I’m talking about the Redskins coaching staff. The same staff that could be gutted if the Redskins finish (5-11) on the year and with an (0-3) finish in their remaining games. Of course, a winless finish would make five straight losses and seven-of-eight.
That’s not good. If the Redskins lose their final two games at home this year (Arizona, Denver) and the regular season wrap-up at the Giants, the optics are going to horrific.
As it is, FedExField is expected to be littered with thousands of empty seats over the next two weeks.
Still, if the Redskins finish (0-3) to end the year – Jay Gruden should not be fired. He probably will, but he shouldn’t be.
Certainly, changes will be made. This is going to happen no matter what. Players are going to be gone, but we won’t find out about those moves until late February and into March.
The question is this: One year after the Redskins lost their hot-shot offensive coordinator to a head coaching position with the re-born Los Angeles Rams and also fired their defensive coordinator (who wound up with the Rams), are you really willing to blow up nearly the entire operation?
I’m not. You shouldn’t be either. The problem is that the executive branch of the Redskins often acts and operates like the President of the United States does. They’re irrational, impatient and hell-bent on revenge and proving a point.
Some coaches would be saved. In all likelihood, Jim Tomsula and Bill Callahan would be kept at the very minimum until a new head coach was hired.
The greater point is this: Jay Gruden should not be fired.
Sure, it looks bad right now. There’s no doubt the Redskins should win at least ONE of these final three games. Quite honestly, they should win all three, but I know that is way too much to ask.
This is my fear: If the Redskins do go (0-3) or even (1-2) with the booing and empty seats at FedExField, which means a lot of lost revenue in parking, beer, hot dogs and other ridiculously priced merchandise – the powers that be will be looking to make a statement instead of a true evaluation.
The only thing that might save Gruden at that point is the fact that he signed a two-year extension last off-season and has three fully guaranteed years left. The executive branch might make the decision to save Gruden’s job simply based on the money they would have to pay out, which is thought to be in excess of $15 million
That might be a good thing if you believe in the Gruden regime and want to see some level of stability in an organization that is woeful at providing that.
The problem that you could have is this: If you have a split in the front office on Gruden, that could lead to a disaster where stories of bitter feelings leak out and rats start coming to the surface looking for anything they can get their measly hands on.
You need a unified feeling on Gruden as the on-field leader now more than ever, because the Redskins are likely to have a different quarterback at the helm next year and it might just be Colt McCoy and a rookie.
If that’s the current in-house thinking and plan, do you want that kind of instability at quarterback AND a new head coach, staff and system? I don’t.
The Redskins need to find a way to eliminate all the chatter. Winning helps but it doesn’t erase and solve the issue completely. Losing would just open more wounds.
I’m not a big fan of votes of confidence, but the Redskins and Bruce Allen, the man who hand-picked Gruden, owe it to Gruden, the fans, their customers and the media to take a stand and say there’s no chance in hell that Gruden is in trouble or not returning as head coach in 2018.
The Redskins would never do this and maybe they don’t have to, but it sure would be nice if they didn’t give the media two weeks to wonder and fuel speculation.
Here’s the bottom-line: Has Jay Gruden done a great job this year? No. Is he a great head coach? Absolutely not. Are the last few games against Dallas and the Chargers a major disappointment? Hell yeah.
Should he be fired? Under no circumstances. Please don’t do it and think that the next great thing is out there waiting and going to change things around. It’s not going to happen so why not value continuity?
That’s what I would do. Of course,
Bruce Allen might think just the opposite
and if he does – that’s going to make things really scary around here.
The Redskins need stability on the field. They need someone who knows the building inside and out. That person is Jay Gruden. Period.
Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com). Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN