Joe Theismann was a part-owner of the United Football League’s Florida Tuskers when Jay Gruden was their head coach, so he knows a bit about Gruden’s coaching style. In a call with Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan, the Redskins legend gave the hire his stamp of approval.
“Jay has his own style, I think you’re gonna find out,” said Theismann. “I think that’s the best way to put it. I really enjoyed the time I spent with him, just watching him work, watching him prepare, the way he handled the football team. He took the team to a championship down there. We got sorta hosed, we thought, the championship game down there. But, just his organizational skills, the way he runs his offense, the syle of offense he plays, the ability to be able to communicate to players was very impressive to me.”
Theismann also said that Gruden’s time in the Arena Football League and UFL will serve him well in the step up to the NFL.
“You go back to when he was the head of the arena football team,” he said. “There are things that you have to do in the Arena Football League that I think you can adapt to the NFL. The style of play, the openness of the game, the creativeness of formations. Then when he coached in the UFL, he became a head coach. So he understood what it was like to get up in front of an entire football team, to handle an entire football team, to coordinate an offense based upon the personnel and the people you have. And maybe they’re not at the level of the NFL, although a lot of guys came on. We had Edgerrin James down there at the latter part of our time when we had the UFL team, so he knows what to do with quality players.”
As for whether Gruden is the right guy for the Redskins long-term, Theismann was reluctant to commit. He did say that it’s not just about how the new coach jells with Robert Griffin III, but the whole team.
“To say he’s the right guy, you don’t know because you don’t how how relationships build and the style of offense,” said Theismann. “You’ve heard me say this in a number of cases, The quarterback is the single most dependent guy on the field. It depends on how well the offensive line can block, it depends on dropped passes, it depends on whether a defense can stop somebody. Can kickers make kicks when they get the opportunity. There are so many things to look at when we judge quarterbacks, which is, to a degree, unfair.
“I really feel like, Jay is used to working with Andy Dalton, a young guy in this business,” he continued. “So you take a coach who’s been with a young quarterback, developed him, got him to the playoffs a number of years, and that’s really the kind of relationship that you’re looking for, is one that’s in a developmental stage. There isn’t anything polished about either one of them because they’re gonna grow together. And I feel like Jay has the abilities to be able to adapt an offense to the personnel that he’s dealing with. Not just his quarterback, but also everybody else on that football team .”
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