Jay Gruden prefers to delegate to assistant coaches

Jay Gruden helped run drills during last week’s minicamp, but also likes to let his coaches coach. (Richard Lipski/For The Washington Post)

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden during last week’s rookie minicamp displayed more of a hands-on style of coaching than his predecessor Mike Shanahan, as he jumped in here and there to instruct players and at times threw passes to wide receivers. But offensive coordinator Sean McVay for the most part ran his unit’s sessions, and Gruden left the defense to Jim Haslett and special teams units to Ben Kotwica.

We’ll see if anything changes next week when the Redskins hold their first full-on offseason practices. But Gruden said he prefers to let his coaches coach. That’s why selecting men he knew he could trust carried the highest priority as he assembled his first staff as an NFL head coach.

Gruden, who held head coaching jobs both in the AFL and UFL before coaching Cincinnati’s offense for the last three years, said he aims to maintain the same approach and style as a head NFL coach as he did in his other stints.

“I’ve always tried to delegate,” Gruden said. “Even when I was a coordinator, I tried to let the line coach the line and the running backs coach and the receivers coach, and I try to delegate responsibilities of certain areas of the game and that’s no different here.

“Coach Haslett’s going to have a major responsibility on defense, obviously,” Gruden continued and then added with a laugh. “Coach Kotwica, I’m never going to overstep my boundaries with Coach Kotwica. Hell, he intimates me, I’m going to leave him alone. And of course our line coach [Chris Foerster] does a great job; Sean does a great job. That’s the whole thing: You’ve got to have faith in the people around you, and I do. I feel like I’ve hired a great staff. Scouting staff, everybody up here, we have a good foundation right here and moving forward I feel confident about everybody’s ability to coach and to play.”

The Post Sports Live crew debates how many Redskins rookies can make the team's 53-man roster. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

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Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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Mike Jones · May 22, 2014

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