Coach Jay Gruden’s pink slip is coming. Reason for termination: Team frequently didn’t show up for work.
Washington (2-2) was blown out 43-19 by New Orleans on Monday night. Once again, when the Redskins had plenty of time to prepare after a bye and an opportunity to pad their NFC East lead, they failed to take advantage.
It’s not the first time Gruden has failed to ready his team for a big game. In five seasons, he is 1-4 in openers (and 30-37-1 overall).
Last year, when the Redskins needed to win the finale to finish 8-8, they looked miserable in an 18-10 loss to the 2-13 New York Giants.
In 2016, Washington needed to beat the Giants in the season finale to reach the playoffs but lost 19-10. Two weeks earlier, Washington was awful in a 26-15 loss to Carolina.
The only time the Redskins have won a big game under Gruden was in 2015, when they took the division by defeating Philadelphia in Week 16.
The only way Gruden will keep his job is by winning the division this season. Luckily, the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants are just as crummy as Washington. Whichever team goes 4-2 against the other three will probably take the NFC East at 10-6 overall.
This is a winnable year for the Redskins, just like 2015, when they won the division with a 9-7 record. But Gruden can’t seem to get his team up when it’s most vital. They play like the Walking Dead. And that’s all on coaching.
Redskins practices rarely seem to have a sense of urgency under Gruden, who is not a screamer, or even a demanding boss. Unfortunately, most NFL coaches are not nice guys, but the successful ones get the most out of their players. Gruden does not.
Look at the passing game. Tight end Jordan Reed is normally the best option. He was invisible against the Saints, with one catch on two targets.
Gruden is the offensive expert, but he rarely makes in-game adjustments. Did he really do anything to counter the Saints’ defense?
He is supposed to be a quarterback whisperer, having developed Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins. But Alex Smith looks lost. He’s not finding receivers and is checking down too quickly. Even worse, Smith is getting receivers hurt. Chris Thompson was nearly decapitated on a failed two-point try; fellow back Adrian Peterson was blasted on a sitting-duck pass and hurt his shoulder.
While Gruden runs the offense, he is supposed to oversee all the units. But his defense has too often looked clueless, and was overwhelmed Monday by Drew Brees. Gruden keeps changing defensive coordinators — Greg Manusky is in his second season — without seeing results. That’s on the head coach, too.
This roster is Gruden’s, and its poor effort is his fault. Those employees may get the boss fired.
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