It’s no secret that Jay Gruden entered this season on the proverbial coaching hotseat; it’s a fact that he, himself, has alluded to publicly.
In fact, entering the 2019 NFL season, Gruden was the odds-on favorite to be the first NFL head coach fired, with some bookmakers giving around 3-to-1 odds on such a wager.
So it’s only natural that, if you know your employer is moving closer and closer to firing you, you’d start to build a little resentment towards them. That’s doubly the case if your employer is as completely disorganized, dishonest, and downright inept as the frton office of the Washington Redskins.
We saw our first public seeds of discord between Gruden and the front office when the former made the “55 carries from the I-formation” comment about running back Adrian Peterson.
And according to NFL Insider (and former General Manager) Michael Lombardi of TheAthletic, such discord is just another step to the inevitable “Gruden being dismissed as head coach” conclusion:
There is too much dysfunction to sustain any success: the players don’t trust the medical team, their head coach Jay Gruden does not believe the front office, the front office keeps players on the team that Gruden does not want and their best player, offensive tackle Trent Williams, would rather sit at home then play.
All of these problems will end up with Gruden not being back next season and Snyder starting the cycle all over again, causing his fan base to have a brief moment of excitement by naming someone with stature as a head coach, but then who will just do what Snyder says.”
Lombardi, an admitted fan of the Washington Redskins himself when growing up, has been very critical of team President Bruce Allen, as well as the perpetually disdainful owner Dan Snyder:
From 1999 until today, Snyder has not learned anything about how culture matters for all organizations, how money cannot solve every problem. He hires and fires coaches, pays big money for free agents, and spends to improve the facility, continuing to invest his time and energy into the team year after the year … and yet the results are the same: no playoffs, no winning season and a fan base that’s left disgruntled, and at times disgusted.
His method of operation is simple and fan-like believing that if I get the right coach or the right quarterback, then all will fall in line. He has never understood that organizational culture and player development are the foundation of any winning team. Snyder is blindly loyal to some employees and will fire others quickly. If anyone is associated with the Redskins of Snyder’s youth, then he will love you forever.
The sad part in all of this is that, assuming the Redskins do dismiss Gruden at the end of the year, most people believe they’ll just elevate offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell to the position of head coach, to replace Gruden. While many believe O’Connell has great potential as a head coach, given that he lacks any real gravitas at this point in his career, it’s hard to see much changing in the way this organization is run.
In other words: it’ll still be Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder establishing the culture — or total lack thereof — for the organization