Two days after criticizing quarterback Robert Griffin III for “fundamental flaws” in the loss to Tampa Bay, Redskins coach Jay Gruden expressed regret over his blunt assessment.
“Somehow, we’ve made it more about him than about the team, and that’s my fault,” Gruden said Wednesday. “So, big thing moving forward is, let’s correct everybody, not single anybody out, and move on and do what we can do to beat San Francisco.”
Gruden’s line on focusing on San Francisco mirrored Griffin’s responses to reporters’ questions earlier in the day. Griffin replied, “We’re focused on San Francisco,” to most questions he fielded.
Gruden didn’t pull back from his assessment that Griffin struggled during Sunday’s game, but he said that he shouldn’t have gone into the detail that he did when critiquing the third-year quarterback.
“I think it was a mistake on my part and after a loss like that, we’re very disappointed the way we played and the question came up about how he played and all that stuff and I just answered it first thing that came to my mind and sometimes the first thing that comes to your mind isn’t the smartest thing,” Gruden said. “It wasn’t the right thing to do on my part. Corrections should be made in-house with everybody involved. The play speaks for itself. The production on the field spoke for itself. I didn’t have to elaborate on any individual, fundamental things other than the team was not good enough, was not prepared enough, was not coached well enough to beat the Buccaneers. [Buccaneers Coach] Lovie [Smith] had their team ready to play more than I had my team ready to play and that’s a direct reflection on me. The whole production of the game: offense, defense, special teams, the blown assignments, lining up wrong. That is a direct reflection of myself and the coaching staff and I have to take responsibility for that.”
Gruden continued, “[Griffin’s play] wasn’t great by any stretch by anybody. There are some things I know Robert wishes he could’ve done better and I wish I could’ve coached him up better. There are some things we just have to figure up why he’s struggling with certain things and coach him up and get him ready because offensively to score seven points any week with the talent we have, is not good by any stretch. The first guy that gets looked at is the quarterback and the second guy is the offensive coordinator and of course the head coach. Both of us should be questioned equally. It takes everybody on a team to lay a goose egg and play as poorly as we did. And there are some things he can clean up and will clean up, but we have to get it done. We don’t have a lot of time and he’s at a stage right now in his career where we need to see improvements.”
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