Don’t expect to see newly signed Redskins head coach Jay Gruden out on the town every night, or even in the aisles of your neighborhood market. His job entails long hours that leave little time for schmoozing or errands — but that doesn’t mean he won’t make himself at home in the area.
Here’s where you might find him in those rare off-the-clock moments.
Gruden is likely to stick close to the team’s Ashburn clubhouse, to make his commute easier. Rob Carney, a vice president with TTR Sotheby’s, says strong contenders might be Belmont Country Club in Ashburn or Leesburg’s River Creek Club. Proximity to work and golfing nearby (Gruden’s a links lover) make those communities popular with Redskins players, he says.
But if Gruden really does want to bond with Robert Griffin III, he might want to consider making his star quarterback a neighbor. How better to connect than over backyard burgers? In that case, he’d want to shack up in Aldie, Va., where RGIII bought a sweet spread for just under $2.5 million.
Golf seems to be Gruden’s main non-pigskin pastime. And even if he does wind up in a community with a course, he’ll still want to venture out occasionally.
Bradley Shear, a lawyer specializing in sports law in D.C., says the exclusive Congressional Country Club is the obvious choice. “Whether it’s a new football coach or a visiting head of state or the head of a corporation, that’s the golf course they would want to go to,” he says.
In a 2003 interview, Gruden confessed that he and his wife, Sherry, enjoy the occasional hand of blackjack. He’ll have to go to Maryland, where gambling’s legal.
Gruden has described his dream dinner as a juicy steak, so expect him to hit up a few of the local upscale meat markets. But he might consider staying away from The Palm in Tyson’s. Could be some bad juju there — it’s where Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan celebrated inking the now-fired coach’s contract.
Far better vibes at Urban Bar-B-Que Company, where co-owner David Calkins tells our colleague Tim Carman the team’s coaches ate every week during their seven-game winning streak in 2012. Carman also suggests Gruden might enjoy the “cowboy cut” of beef at Rays The Steaks. “Fatty, juicy and delicious,” he swears.
A big bonus: the new Skins coach eating cowboy for lunch makes for a nice metaphor.