Voice_of_Reason

Evaluating Jay Gruden in 2018

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Xs and Os are only one aspect of coaching.

The BIG under-valued aspect is motivating players.

 

IMO it goes along with my view of good coaches make good players. Its one thing to tell a player to throw on a uniform and get on the field, but another thing to teach the player the nuances of NFL caliber football compared to college. To understand what a player's limits are, then strategizing them and putting that particular player in a position to win his battle against his opponent. Developing game plans for an opponent, finding their weaknesses and exploiting them, then game planning for adjustments his opponent will make.

 

Mostly, players look to their coach for leadership, even if they don't show it. At times you can see frustration on a player's face when he comes to the sidelines, because he may see something totally different than the coach does. This is where communication between coach and player must happen. A coach has to have his team prepared and motivated. If not they will lose. We see it all the time, a 2-8 team smokes a 7-3 team. Parody? No, preparation and motivation.

 

Coaches like Gibbs, Parcells, Landry, Belichick, Reid, and a few others, knew what to say, when to say it, and how to say it, and their players responded. They also worked hard to study game film and develop game plans for their opponents. Hec, between these 5 HCs, they've won about 1/3 of all SuperBowls played.

 

There are really no 'big threats' on this team, no big game-changers, so where that lacks comes a need for design and motivation. Gruden needs to really step up, or this could very well be his last season. After having a handful of good players, then letting them go for money reasons and stupidity, there's only one thing left, and that's outstanding coaching, and reaching these players. Gruden is on the clock.

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Gruden has done a complete 180 from previous seasons. Instead of flat first halves and guns blazing in the second when we're down, it's guns blazing in the first half, flat in the second. It's inexplicable.

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On 9/20/2018 at 12:31 PM, The Hangman- C_Hanburger said:

Agree 1000% especially the 1st sentence. So if *we* see it or *think* we see it..are we WRONG? Gruden has to hear this criticism..the players definitely feel it because you don't throw the coach under the bus with "Lack of Energy" comments unless you are trying to tell the coach to wake the F up! It is such a common theme throughout his tenure..why has he not responded? Look at Brady's comments..he wanted a "divorce" from Belichick  but praises him as a coach and feels he gets his teams to play hard (aka RESPECT).

 

You can be a fair hard coach and still have the players respect you..I just don't get it why Gruden doesn't pick this up when he knows his job is on the line. *My* only answer is that he just not that enthused to being a head coach...I dunno???

Way to answer the BELL!!! Now..lets build on that attitude. Lets do it against Saints!!! KUDOS TEAM!!

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This was a good answer to yesterday's dog of a game, but it doesn't erase the fact that last week was a really bad game. They need to be consistently good. Otherwise, you wind up 8-8 and 7-9

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17 minutes ago, Burgold said:

This was a good answer to yesterday's dog of a game, but it doesn't erase the fact that last week was a really bad game. They need to be consistently good. Otherwise, you wind up 8-8 and 7-9

Ass Kicking like that I don't think is a barely .500 team.  Two out of three games we for the most part dominated.  Saints game I believe will same a lot, but no one has scored more then 21 points against us yet.  It's really the consistency of the offense that's our biggest danger, I believe in that defense, all in.

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On 9/16/2018 at 10:46 PM, carex said:

 

how many team hire from the staff of their fired head coach?

 

 

That's a pointless argument and actually supports my statement.  It would have been a great move by the front office because it doesn't happen very often and it would have meant they were actually thinking outside the box

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15 minutes ago, CutPryorNow said:

That's a pointless argument and actually supports my statement.  It would have been a great move by the front office because it doesn't happen very often and it would have meant they were actually thinking outside the box

Still debating the fire Gruden and promote McVay argument?

 

If some are still believe this would have happen, then you're having a problem as I don't see McVay accepting the job in this situation as Gruden would have been fired to make place for him, not because he was that bad and deserved it.

 

That would have been a terrible PR move from us and killed us to bring in any valuable coach to this team.

 

Both were close, and even if there's only 32 HC's gig in the NFL, McVay was widely known as good enough to get a gig somewhere anytime soon.

So firing Gruden was just the last thing to do by the time.

And since then, they've met, and Jay is 1-0 over McVay.

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Good article about Jay today from the WP

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/jay-gruden-never-gets-too-high-or-too-low-on-weeks-like-these-it-suits-the-redskins/2018/09/23/2fcaef90-bf6d-11e8-90c9-23f963eea204_story.html?utm_term=.7185219373f9

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6 hours ago, Wildbunny said:

Still debating the fire Gruden and promote McVay argument?

 

If some are still believe this would have happen, then you're having a problem as I don't see McVay accepting the job in this situation as Gruden would have been fired to make place for him, not because he was that bad and deserved it.

 

That would have been a terrible PR move from us and killed us to bring in any valuable coach to this team.

 

Both were close, and even if there's only 32 HC's gig in the NFL, McVay was widely known as good enough to get a gig somewhere anytime soon.

So firing Gruden was just the last thing to do by the time.

And since then, they've met, and Jay is 1-0 over McVay.

Never was an argument and it was a hypothetical statement that pretty much sums up how a lot of fans feel,  but you're welcome for stimulating your small world viewpoint 

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Saints game to me is a must win for Gruden. I believe a 3-1 start gets this team fired up and gets them hungry for playoff action. A 2-2 start kind of makes it seem like we're going down the same path as all four of his other years. 

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So I thought I would change the way I do my "weekly" report cards based on the OP.  It's not game by game, it's a season to date grade. 

 

1. Quick start - If we define a "quick start" as essentially the first quarter of the season, Gruden gets high marks for winning the opener, low marks for the Colts, and high marks for GB.  Still in the early part of the season.  Overall, I think he' gets a B for this category because of the complete debacle at the cots. 

2. Run game - C+.  This might not be popular, and I'll go into more detail below, but the reasons are basically inconsistency game to game, and a ridiculously high percentage of runs on first down that go nowhere. I will add that C+ is better than the F he would have gotten the last few years. 

3. End of half/game situations - So far, I haven't seen any real gaffe's. B.  Nothing special, nothing to downgrade him either. 

4. Don't blow leads - While I don't love the way we've produced in the second halves of games offensively, we haven't blown a lead.  So, I guess B, because if they keep scoring 3 points when they have the lead, that's going to be a problem. 

5. Be aggressive with leads - C.  They have not been aggressive with leads.

6. No duds:  Colts game was a dud.  D.  One dud out of 3 is a failing grade. 

7. You are what your record says you are: 2-1

 

Overall, I give Gruden a B+ for the game.  A for the first half, C + for the second half because GB never had the ball in their hands with the opportunity to tie the game, however they allowed GB to control the clock and never quite put their foot on the throat to close the game out.  3 points in the second half isn't great, and the argument "they didn't have the ball much" means that your defense got figured out.  No real shame in that with Rodgers, but they essentially allowed GB to control the entire 3rd quarter, which isn't ideal. 

 

Ok, so now lets investigate the running game.  My issue with the running game is particularly on 1st down.  The Redskins snapped the ball on 1st down, which wasn't a kneel down, 28 times against the Packers.  Of those, 20 were rushes.  The total yards on first down was 109. 

 

In a vacuum, that is great.  That's 5.4 yards a carry.  That's awesome.

 

BUT.  I remember 8th grade math.  I learned about Mean, Median and Mode.  The mode is the number that appears most often in a set.

 

Of the 20 first down runs, 5 were for 2 yards, 5 were for 3 yards.  3 were for 1 yard, and 1 was for -2 yards.  So on 14 of the 20 rushes, the 'Skins were in 2nd and 7 or wore.  That's bad.  That's 70% of the time they ran on 1st down, they were in 2nd and 7 or longer. 

 

They gained 83 of their 109 yards on 6 carries.  On the remaining 14, they gained 26, or 1.85 yards per play.

 

And this is far from an outlier for Gruden's 1st down play calling. Yeah, they'll hit the big one a few times which makes the numbers look better.

 

Here's something else: of the 8 passes on first down for the game, 6 were complete.for 90 yards.  The completions were for 7,46, 9, 1, 9 and 18 yards. 

 

To be clear, I'm not advocating getting away from the running game.  However, Gruden's 1st down play calling is and has been predictable, and puts the team behind the sticks a lot.  Of the 28 second down opportunities, they were in 2nd and 7 or more 17 times (14 runs, 2 incomplete passes, 1 pass for 1 yard).  That's 60 percent of the time, you're in 2nd and long. 

 

In case anybody was wondering, here are the season numbers:

 

Total first downs: 96

Total first down rushes:60 (63%)

Total first down rush yards: 283, 4.7 yards per rush

Total first down rushes for 3 yards or less: 35 for 21 yards, or .6 yards per rush.  That's 58% of runs for the season on 1st down are 3 yards or less.

Total first down rushes for over 3 yards: 25 for 262 yards, 10.4 yards per rush. 

 

I could go back and do this same analysis for other games, I've done it before.  I did it for games in 2015, I did it in 2016, and I've done it for this game.  Te difference this year is that in previous years, the 'Skins didn't have the back that could break the 17+ yard rushes.  The number of rushes for <= 3 yards, on a percentage basis, is pretty similar.  Between 60 and 70% of the time over the past 3 years, the rushes resulted in 3 yards or less.  The difference is this year on the 30-40% of the plays where they get more than 3 yards, AP (and to some extent CT) are able to pick up bigger chunk yards, which is a huge improvement.

 

But I can't look at the running game, from a coaching perspective, and say that I'm all that impressed with it.  The difference is AP is better than Kelley/Perine and Mike Jones.  Otherwise, it's basically the same.  Play calling is still lacking, the production on first down is still bad and predictable, and it's going to catch up to them where they're not going to be able to get out of 2nd adn 7+ consistently.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Voice_of_Reason
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6 hours ago, ConnSKINS26 said:

Only semi on-topic, but why is this so obvious and yet it takes a boy wonder genius to implement? 

 

 

Because he studies ever aspect of coaching, is immersed in it, and thinks creatively about ways to get competitive advantages which others do not think about. 

 

That's not really a shot at Gruden (just a little bit) but praise of McVay. 

 

It was so obvious that the right, though extraordinarily hard and unusual choice after the 2016 was to let Gruden (and by definition Barry) walk, promote McVay and allow him to hire Phillips.  I've made the argument that there's no question you could have ample grounds to make the move (you really only need 1, hiring Barry and then having it fail was a fireable offense by itself), but it would have been insanely out of the box, Dan would have taken a ton of heat for it as a guy who just rotates through coaches willy-nilly, and Bruce would never do that to family friends.

 

That said, it was absolutely clear to anybody looking objectively what Gruden's ceiling and McVay's ceilings were, and one was higher than the other. 

 

There was no way for it to happen, given Dan's reputation, and apparent desire to be overly patient and cautious and not make changes now.  He trusts Bruce to make the calls.

 

Bruce is too much of an idiot to see he had Bill Walsh in the building. 

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have the Redskins done anything highly unusual, ever, and had it work out?  I'm pretty sure the answer is no.  So why would you want them to start under an owner and GM you  consider incompetent

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Going into today, the Skins are in 5th place.

 

http://www.espn.com/nfl/standings/_/view/playoff

 

It's way to early but if early season trends hold; then expect a shakeup in this years NFC playoff participants.  Teams you thought would go might not and teams you though wouldn't go, might.     The Skins will need to play like they did during the first half of the Packers and Cardinals games for the entire game.    At least early on, it looks like the playoff window will be open to the Redskins; like it was in 2012 and 2015.   Will Gruden be able to take advantage of that window?   Or are we going to play inconsistent .500 football?  Up one week and down the next.  

 

The Saints game, especially coming after a bye; is a real test.  Still early but Gruden could be facing a playoffs or else scenario.  If he can't get this team to the playoffs in a what could be a favorable year; then it's goodbye Jay.   

 

Minnesota, Green Bay, New Orleans, Atlanta don't seem to be the same; at least early on.  Hell, Minnesota could even miss the playoffs.  They lose to the Eagles and they are in hole, they probably can't dig out of.   The NFC East doesn't look so great, early on.   Philly isn't the same.  Dallas isn't that good and same with New York.    There's looks to be an opportunity there to be taken.

 

So, if Jay can't take advantage; then he needs to go.  If he takes advantage; then he probably gets more years added to his contract.

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On 9/29/2018 at 11:39 AM, carex said:

have the Redskins done anything highly unusual, ever, and had it work out?  I'm pretty sure the answer is no.  So why would you want them to start under an owner and GM you  consider incompetent

Because traditional hasn't worked either, so why not take the chance? 

 

However, again, I am willing to bet neither of them either had an inkling that was even an option. 

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5 hours ago, Rdskns2000 said:

Minnesota, Green Bay, New Orleans, Atlanta don't seem to be the same; at least early on.  Hell, Minnesota could even miss the playoffs.  They lose to the Eagles and they are in hole, they probably can't dig out of.   The NFC East doesn't look so great, early on.   Philly isn't the same.  Dallas isn't that good and same with New York.    There's looks to be an opportunity there to be taken.

It's true, but there are some other teams that look better than expected in Tampa and the Bears.  Granted, the Bears are CRUSHING Tampa.

 

Skins have a very good opportunity to get to 3-1 given New Orlean's defensive struggles.

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5 hours ago, Rdskns2000 said:

Hell, Minnesota could even miss the playoffs. 

 

Clearly you haven't been reading this forum properly. Minny have KC and that means they are automatically going to win the Superbowl because "Look at Kirk's stats". I expect you'll be accused of being a Bruce Allen lover now because you've dared to say Minny may miss the playoffs despite having the anointed savior of football under center. HE THROWS FOR 4000 YARDS PER SEASON DONTCHA KNOW?!?!?! ?

 

I think we have a legitimate shot at the playoffs this year. If not, I do think Gruden is gone. Can't see Danny boy sitting on his hands after another season. Doesn't matter if the move he makes is worse, he just has to make a move... that trigger finger must be getting itchy by now.

 

In other news - Really looking forward to seeing Saints vs Giants tonight. Have it on TV as I'm working on my laptop, and our Sports channels show 1 game per kick off slot... Patriots vs Dolphins at the moment. Total borefest predictable Pats blowout. 

Edited by UKskins

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I'm not sure the Redskins came to play today. If Gruden can't motivate them to be ready for a bye week kickoff that really does speak to his lack of charisma. Worse, I think there's been a all-out revolt on the field. The Redskins haven't played a single call that Gruden signaled today. WTH is going on in Washington?

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58 minutes ago, Burgold said:

I'm not sure the Redskins came to play today. If Gruden can't motivate them to be ready for a bye week kickoff that really does speak to his lack of charisma. Worse, I think there's been a all-out revolt on the field. The Redskins haven't played a single call that Gruden signaled today. WTH is going on in Washington?

 

On the plus side, none of our receivers have dropped a ball and the Defense is looking stout after a solid bye week shut out.

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11 hours ago, UKskins said:

 

On the plus side, none of our receivers have dropped a ball and the Defense is looking stout after a solid bye week shut out.

Gruden also abandonned the run sadly.

No RBs has a single freaking carry! 

Add to this that Giants and Eagles lose and we barely capitalise on this...

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Next week is a HUGE opportunity for the team and for Gruden. 

 

The Saints defense is absolutely horrid.  Their offense is, as usual, special.  However, the team has had 2 weeks to prepare. 

 

First, let's be honest: Brees is going to get his.  And Payton is as good an offensive designer as you can get, and they're going to get guys open.  That's just going to happen because, well, they're really, really REALLY good on offense. Kamara is also special, and he's going to make some guys look foolish.  That's expected, and you can't hold that against Gruden or Manusky.  Let's be realistic.

 

So Gruden has a real challenge this week: You want to control the game with your offense, giving Brees and company as few opportunities as possible.  BUT you also have to assume you're going to have to score 30 points to win, so you can't be completely conservative.  It's a tough balance.

 

As a suggestion, I would suggest a good starting point would be to mix-up first down, and not run on 60% of them.  It is within the rules of the game to run on second down after a 1st down pass.  There is no flag for this.  (Unlike any hit on a QB that isn't delivered by a teenage girl swinging a pillow...) I would also suggest that even if you're up by 28 in the second half, you should try and score another 28.  We've seen that team make a 21 point lead disappear in about 7 minutes routinely through the years when they get the ball out of the half. TD-stop-TD-opponents offense panics and does something stupid-TD and whammo, 21 points erased in a blink of an eye.

 

In years past, this would be the "lose 1" week in the "win 1, lose 1, wash-rinse-repeat" cycle. 

 

The Saints are a good, but not great team.  They can be beaten.  If Gruden can get the team to a win, that would be a huge step in the right direction.

 

Also, if they lose, that's not the end of the world AS LONG AS they don't:

1. Blow a big lead like they did last year

OR

2. Play a dud game and lose by 24+ points and get completely out-played on both sides of the ball.

 

If either of the above happen, then no progress has been made, and it's same-old-same-old. 

 

 

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On 9/27/2018 at 9:10 AM, Voice_of_Reason said:

There was no way for it to happen, given Dan's reputation, and apparent desire to be overly patient and cautious and not make changes now.  He trusts Bruce to make the calls.

This is part of why being a Redskin fan is so tough. The idiots in charge have made so many terrible mistakes in the past, that we are over compensating and doing everything differently now because we just don't have wiggle room to screw up anymore. Can't fire mediocre coaches otherwise it will look bad. Can't trade for elite talent like Mack, because it will look bad. Just sucks.

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2 minutes ago, dyst said:

This is part of why being a Redskin fan is so tough. The idiots in charge have made so many terrible mistakes in the past, that we are over compensating and doing everything differently now because we just don't have wiggle room to screw up anymore. Can't fire mediocre coaches otherwise it will look bad. Can't trade for elite talent like Mack, because it will look bad. Just sucks.

Yeah, there's no question there is some over-compensation going on. 

 

Shrug.  What you gonna do?

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