Over the past couple of days, a video clip taken mildly out of context from RGIII’s postgame news conference led to mildly misleading blog headlines, possibly (or possibly not) leading to a DeSean Jackson Instagram flap, leading to a Jay Gruden press conference rejoinder, leading to an RGIII Facebook and Twitter response, leading to a re-post of a re-post by Jackson.
I fuel my life force with the essence of social media, and even for me, this was all a bit much. So here’s Jay Gruden talking even more about the issue, with his message being that people should probably say less to the media. A message he delivered by talking to the media.
“As a head coach, you have to be concerned about what’s happening off the field that can affect on-the-field play,” Brian Mitchell said during Gruden’s weekly appearance with Comcast SportsNet. “The players stated last week that they were all together, and you see the little pot-shots that are happening with social media. Do you as a coach feel you need to bring those players in and talk to them and set some type of standard for your players moving forward? Because if they say it, we have to talk about it.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” Gruden said. “That’s the beautiful thing with social media. It’s fun. But I addressed it today in front of the team. You know, it’s got to be addressed in front of everybody, so everybody knows what’s happening, and what can happen if you say something that can be construed the wrong way. The more you say things, the more you talk, the more opportunity you give the ‘wonderful’ media a chance to twist your words around, and that’s what’s happening right now. So the less you say, the better. Guys are obligated to speak to the media, but they don’t have to elaborate on other people at other positions. Just talk about themselves.”
“Let’s be honest coach, we don’t always twist the words,” Chick Hernandez noted. “Sometimes the words speak for themselves.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” Gruden agreed.
“You saw DeSean Jackson and his Instagram today,” Hernandez continued. “It’s hard to argue what his point was there. So how do you address that with a player?”
“Same thing,” Gruden said. “Like I said, I read it to everybody on the team today. We just have to make sure that we’re all on the same page and we’re not throwing rocks at each other. It’s hard enough to beat your opponent on a Sunday, when you’re also trying to defeat the media and your own team in your own locker room. So we’ve got to make sure we squash everything right now, get everything out in the open, let everybody understand we’re all on the same team, we’re all trying to accomplish the same goals as a team, and that’s beating the San Francisco 49ers. But we’ve got to squash it all now.”
“You are a very honest coach, which I love about you,” Mitchell said. “Do you ever get concerned about players taking something that you may say the wrong way, or do you feel the truth is the truth?”
“The truth is the truth,” Gruden said. “And sometimes I do talk a little bit too much, and it does get me in trouble. You know, somebody asked me about [Jason] Hatcher a couple weeks ago, and I said, ‘Oh, he needs to play better, as does the whole team.’ And the headline was ‘Gruden says Hatcher needs to play better.’ Which, it happens. But as long as everybody understands that I have their best interests at heart, and I want what’s best for them, and I’m trying to get them to play better, that’s the bottom line. I have a job to do, and that’s to get our team to play better and improve on a weekly and a daily basis.”
Now somehow take a screenshot of this blog post so it can be Instagrammed and re-posted and tweeted and pinned and MySpaced and Vined and Snapchatted and read on a street corner with a megaphone and discussed during weekly regional sports network interviews.