By HCR Staff | Oct. 12, 2019
Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was fired earlier this week following an 0-5 start. Here is our take on Jay Gruden’s future as a head coach.
Gruden was dealt a tough hand in Washington. Obviously, there is dysfunction in the front office and at the ownership level. Additionally, Gruden had to deal with a rash of injuries during his tenure that, in our opinion, was ridiculous even by NFL standards.
So Gruden leaves Washington with a losing record and the perception that he is not a good head coach.
Will Gruden ever get another shot? If it were up to us, he’d be a top candidate for any opening in 2020.
We watched all of the Redskins games during Gruden’s tenure, and we saw many flashes of brilliance. However, any time he got any momentum, that momentum was derailed by significant off-field distractions and/or an injury epidemic.
One of the most important reasons — at least to us — why Gruden should be a top 2020 head coaching candidate is that he has had a good amount of reps now. He’s been a head coach in the Arena Football League, and in the NFL, and there isn’t going to be anything about the job that will be a surprise to him. Accordingly, any team that gives him another chance will benefit from his ability to hit the ground running.
On the surface, this might seem to be a minor point, but we assure you it isn’t. Too many owners get enamored with what we call “virgin” head coaches — these are guys that have never had their butt in the seat, and as a result, have never had the opportunity to ever make a mistake. That mistake-free background looks appealing to owners.
In our view, that’s the wrong approach.
For this reason alone, we would consider Gruden to be a strong 2020 head coaching candidate. Along the same lines, another person we would consider strongly is Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. But he’s a story for another day.