Gruden: No changes coming to coaching staff

Brian Tinsman
December 09, 2018 - 8:18 pm
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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If you're looking for sweeping changes after one of the worst performance in recent Redskins history, you're likely to be disappointed.

Head coach Jay Gruden appeared to say all of the right things after the 40-16 loss to the 4-8 New York Giants, but the buildup came with no punchline.

"Our guys continue to compete. That product we put on the field today was not a reflection of the guys' work during the week and in practice," he said. "However, it did look bad and it's a reflection of all of us.

"I think our players competed and did the best that they could."

Those are the sort of comments that come before throwing a defensive coordinator under the bus for allowing the largest halftime deficit at home since at least 1940. Those are the comments that foreshadow firing an offensive coordinator who couldn't get anything going until the fourth quarter.

But when asked if Gruden would make any changes in the next few days, as far as coaches or players, he shut it down.

"No, not really,' he said quickly. "No, we have a game to win next week in Jacksonville and we've got to go about and figure out a way to do it."

In his haste to answer, he forgot to mention that quarterback Josh Johnson would stay on as the new starter. He later confirmed that.

Gruden sounded only mildly concerned with his own job status, after precipitously dropping from first place in the NFC East in recent weeks.

"My job is in jeopardy every week, so I've just got to go about it and do the best that I can and get these guys ready to go," he said. "We'll continue to do that."

In fairness, it's hard to coach well when injuries swallow your entire depth at quarterback and offensive guard, while creating a shell game of availability at other positions.

It's still possible that Gruden, who likely had not spoken with ownership or the front office before talking to the media, will have a change of heart over the next 48 hours. Postgame comments from safety D.J. Swearinger also put pressure on the situation, as the powers that be will have to decide if Gruden's staff has lost the locker room and the fan base.

"Can’t say [it was] the players, man. We the same players. We the same guys," Swearinger said, emphatically, after the game. "We've been putting in the same work. Defense - we been practicing hard. Speaking for my players, man, we're practicing hard. From a players standpoint, we practicing, bro.

"So, I don’t know. Like, I said, I can’t give you no answer to that cause I’m not the coach. As players we’re trying to do what we need to do on defense as players. You know we trying to. We trying hard."

Major changes may have to wait until after the season, but it's increasingly clear that something has to give.

 

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