So the agenda for the next 20 days at the Redskins’ facility in Richmond will borrow a bit from the Cincinnati Bengals, where Gruden, 47, served as offensive coordinator. It will also borrow from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he served on the staff of his elder brother Jon’s Super Bowl champion squad. No doubt it will also reflect takeaways from past Redskins coaches, and other NFL coaches.
But ultimately, it will bear Gruden’s imprint, the coach said Wednesday. And its hallmarks will be a quick tempo, high energy and an emphasis on fundamentals and repetition. In hopes of getting peak energy from his players amid the sweltering heat and humidity, Gruden has scheduled the tougher daily workout in the morning, with the walk-through in the afternoon, flip-flopping custom under Mike Shanahan.
“You try to learn from history,” Gruden said after a closed conditioning session involving all but four of the roughly 90 players who’ll vie for a place on the Redskins’ 53-man roster. “But ultimately, it’s your team and your stamp. And you have to do it your way and feel good about it and feel confident in your ability to lead and coach and not worry about the second-guessing. Because it’s going to come eventually: We’re going to get second-guessed.”
In many respects, there is no place for Gruden to go except up in his NFL coaching debut. The Redskins finished 3-13 under Shanahan last season, failing to win a single game in their division and eking out just one victory in 12 NFC matchups overall.
If any members of that squad return to training camp with a chip on their shoulder as a result, Gruden couldn’t be more pleased.
“Anytime you lose the last one — whether you go 2-14 or 11-5 (As the Bengals did last season) — you should have a chip on your shoulder,” Gruden said.
“We don’t have anybody coming from [Super Bowl champion] Seattle, so everybody in this locker room should have a
child chip on their shoulder and should be eager to get back on the field and excited to play.”
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