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Voice_of_Reason

Evaluating Jay Gruden in 2018

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@Skinsinparadise

 

Can't quote you directly because of the forum problems, but in the article you posted, they said this:

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If there is the feeding frenzy that we have seen in some other years, with more jobs than obvious candidates, then you end up with Jim Zorn and Jim Tomsula being NFL head coaches. The men I have mentioned here stand a far better chance of success than those regimes did for various reasons. And, along with former head coaches like Jim Caldwell, Chuck Pagano and Jack Del Rio, I expect them to have opportunities to explore NFL vacancies.

Do you think he's saying that Zorn and Tomsula could be candidates this season, or that it'll be candidates like them? Tomsula sounds believable, Zorn and his not being involved in the NFL for 6 years doesn't sound likely.

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Gibbs 2.0 clearly did not understand roster construction in the modern era. And he was saddled with a GM who never understood roster building in any era. The game had clearly passed Gibbs by, understandably. Those rosters were top heavy, light on youth and draft picks, were saddled with even worse personnel mistakes than the current team has made, and played pretty vanilla football even for the time period. 

 

And even considering all of that, Gibbs achieved higher highs than Gruden in the regular season, made the playoffs more and actually won a playoff game...

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1 hour ago, NickyJ said:

@Skinsinparadise

 

Can't quote you directly because of the forum problems, but in the article you posted, they said this:

Do you think he's saying that Zorn and Tomsula could be candidates this season, or that it'll be candidates like them? Tomsula sounds believable, Zorn and his not being involved in the NFL for 6 years doesn't sound likely.

 

Yes, he's saying that's how you got poor candidates like those guys in the past. 

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One thing I noticed about this team is that the relatively new people come in and it doesnt take long before they are aghast at the attitude and culture of the team.  Guys that have been here a year or two like Swearinger, AP, Jon Allen come in here and say to themselves (or the media) "what the hell is going on around here?"  The guys who have been here just kinda accept it and go with the flow.  Or are beaten into submission.

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2 hours ago, Skinsinparadise said:

 

 

Several points:

 

1. I don't care if Bruce fires Jay.  I DO care if Bruce hires the next HC.  A GM/President should not get 3 tries to find a HC.  That said, Bruce could say to Dan that Shanahan was essentially hired before Bruce, so everything on the Shanahan watch was on Shanahan, and Bruce has only been in control since Jay's been here.  He made a mistake with Jay, learned from it, and deserves a second chance.  I think that's complete and total bull****, but that could be the argument from Bruce.

 

I want a new President/GM in place before the next HC is hired. I honestly don't care who cleans up the Jay Gruden mess.

 

2. I would also argue that Gruden has a checkered record with talent evaluation.  He really tends to favor less talented, try hard guys who might know where they need to be rather than more talented guys who need to be coached more.  Sometime it works out.  Sometime it doesn't.  While he might have an ok eye for talent, he's certainly no Bobby Bethard or anything.

 

3. I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that Jay is running around the building with his hair on fire blaming injuries to Smith and the guards for EVERYTHING, which, if Dan believes it, might save both him and Bruce.  He's doing it publicly, so I'm sure he's doing it privately.  The answer to Lovero in the press conference, when Lovero followed up on a quote from Gruden earlier in the conference, saying they practiced well, and Lovero asked basically why there is a disconnect from practice to game, Jay blamed Sanchez for being there for 2 weeks and then having 2 guards who were named yesterday.  In the 1:1 with JP Finley, He doubled down, saying that not only was the QB injury the cause of the offensive struggles, but it's the cause of the defense also because they're left on the field too long.

 

Everything with Jay right now is "woe is me, the injuries, the injuries, the injuries."  He can't answer one question about anything without bringing up the QB and guards. 

 

The problem is that he had absolutely no plan in place to overcome the injuries, just trying for the same old, same old.  No attempt to do things which the QBs and guards might be better at.  If it appeared as though Sanchez was somewhat uncomfortable in practice, and Josh Johnson could call plays better, why not do something creative like mix the two in together?  Why call a sequence of plays that almost certainly puts Sanchez in known passing situations?  Why try counter plays with puling guards when they can't run?

 

There's so much in Gruden's control as a coach that he's not controlling, but he's lamenting the things outside of his control.

 

And that message gets back to the player.  When they hear their coach making excuses all week for the poor play, it kinda lets them off the hook.

 

I have no idea what Dan is going to do, but the last 2-3 weeks of Jay have been the absolute worst, without question.  And it appears as though he's lost the room.

 

Now, if they come out and beat a really bad Jags team, that might say something, maybe they can get something back.

 

But Jay's entire approach since McCoy went down has been 100% wrong.  Just plain bad leadership and coaching all the way around. 

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12 hours ago, Burgold said:

I disagree. Gibbs made it to the playoffs twice. Gruden only did it once. Gibbs won a playoff game. Gruden never did. Gibbs had Cerrato while Gruden had Allen. Gibbs had a ten win season. Gruden topped out at 9-7.

 

Gibbs, ten years removed from football, still outclassed Gruden by a far margin.

 

Yeah, maybe. I think Gibbs was more of a figurehead than anything else the second time around. Always a class-act though. He left with one year on his deal for a reason. His final season was saved by a miracle run and he wanted to go out on a high note. Smart.

 

And to be fair to Jay, the Skins would have won a playoff game and gone to the playoffs had Capt Kirk not choked at the worst possible time -- twice.

 

But we could go round and round on this. And I think it's time for Jay to go -- but only if Bruce goes first. We need a complete reboot. No one here should remain. Not Doug Williams -- give me a break -- not anyone. 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, justice98 said:

One thing I noticed about this team is that the relatively new people come in and it doesnt take long before they are aghast at the attitude and culture of the team.  Guys like a year or two like Swearinger and AP come in here and say to themselves (or the media) "what the hell is going on around here?"  The guys who have been here just kinda accept it and go with the flow.  Or are beaten into submission.

You hit the nail on the head.  Just the overall culture around Redskins Park. I’ve always thought that we spoiled the career of Trent Williams in that he’s not looked pissed off about losing since the 2012 playoff game against Seattle.  The losing, in conjunction with witnessing and answering to drama regularly, is cancerous.  I’m not saying that Trent Williams doesn’t want to win.  I’m saying he doesn’t care enough if we lose.  That’s a disease he caught being drafted to the Redskins.  Add Jonathan Allen to the list of guys that appears to be disgusted with losing and can not grasp how others are okay with it.

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Culture is such a large part of NFL success. Or any sport organization's success.

 

Truth be told, I'm not as down on Jay Gruden as many are. He has flaws, but I like him as the head coach of the Redskins.

 

The problem is that he has now been a part of the culture here for the last half of a decade. Not much has changed on the surface. His message will fall on deaf ears moving forward, despite my thought that he is a decent NFL head football coach.

 

Repeated injuries, front office decisions and ultimately not succeeding have fully ingrained him as part of the losing culture that needs to be purged. 

 

Like I said, I like Gruden. I hope someone else hires him and he does well. But his tenure in DC has been mired by disaster after disaster, many of them through no fault of his own. But he is also an Allen decision. And for the culture to shift I believe both men need to be moved on from. Jay with absolutely NO disdain in my heart. 

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2 hours ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

3. I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that Jay is running around the building with his hair on fire blaming injuries to Smith and the guards for EVERYTHING, which, if Dan believes it, might save both him and Bruce.  He's doing it publicly, so I'm sure he's doing it privately.  The answer to Lovero in the press conference, when Lovero followed up on a quote from Gruden earlier in the conference, saying they practiced well, and Lovero asked basically why there is a disconnect from practice to game, Jay blamed Sanchez for being there for 2 weeks and then having 2 guards who were named yesterday.  In the 1:1 with JP Finley, He doubled down, saying that not only was the QB injury the cause of the offensive struggles, but it's the cause of the defense also because they're left on the field too long.

 

 

So the thing about the injuries is that I'd but that as an excuse if this was the first time on the block with that issue. We had the same type of OL Injuries last year. We can't on one hand praise the scouting department for their drafts and their ability to find talent and how deep our roster is, and then complain that we have no backup guards, and no backup corners and nobody to play ILB when when our current ILBs suck. Thats not just an injury issue its a depth issue. Why are we paying a guy like Dunn on the roster if we're not going to play him? Why is SDH on our roster if he's not going to play? Why are we paying a guy like Alexander if he's not going to play? I get that they're raw, but why did we have Dunn on our roster for like 10 weeks, supposedly as depth, then cut him when we need a G to play. If Cooper was better depth then why did we not have Cooper on our roster from the getgo? 

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1 hour ago, BatteredFanSyndrome said:

You hit the nail on the head.  Just the overall culture around Redskins Park. I’ve always thought that we spoiled the career of Trent Williams in that he’s not looked pissed off about losing since the 2012 playoff game against Seattle.  The losing, in conjunction with witnessing and answering to drama regularly, is cancerous.  I’m not saying that Trent Williams doesn’t want to win.  I’m saying he doesn’t care enough if we lose.  That’s a disease he caught being drafted to the Redskins.  Add Jonathan Allen to the list of guys that appears to be disgusted with losing and can not grasp how others are okay with it.

The culture starts with Dan.  The issue with Dan is that he doesn't hold Bruce accountable.  Bruce in turn doesn't hold Jay accountable.  And Jay doesn't hold anybody accountable.

 

We get "camp Jay," we get not wanting to practice, we get lack of adjustments, we have the same re-tread, uninspiring middle-of-the road or worse DCs, we have an offensive staff that has no structure.

 

It all starts with Dan.  Now, it COULD change at any level.  Bruce COULD decide to hold Jay accountable, and thus the players accountable, without Dan doing anything. 

 

Jay COULD decide to hold coaches and players accountable.  Instead of making excuses. 

 

But nobody does.  Ultimately, Dan needs to fix this, because Bruce and Jay are incapable.  I doubt Dan is either, honestly.  However, if you're the top guy on the totem pole, then the responsibility falls to you by default.  At the very least he has to try something different, because what he's been trying for 20 years isn't working. 

 

1 hour ago, Hooper said:

 

Yeah, maybe. I think Gibbs was more of a figurehead than anything else the second time around. Always a class-act though. He left with one year on his deal for a reason. His final season was saved by a miracle run and he wanted to go out on a high note. Smart.

I completely disagree.  Gibbs took over the Spurrier catastrophe teams, and had them at 10 wins in 1 year.  That doesn't happen by accident.  You know what else he did?  He found the best defensive coordinator on the market and hired him immediately.  Sure, there were some extremely questionable personnel moves, but his teams were mostly well  prepared, and you could argue that he got every ounce of productivity out of the talent that he had. 

 

Gibbs had 2 major mistakes: 1. He really shouldn't have given up the offense to Saunders in 2006 after the playoff run in 2005.  2. He really needed a better personnel guy to lean on than Vinny.

 

Gruden's teams aren't prepared, there are no adjustments to anything, and he will miss the playoffs in 4 of 5 years. 

 

There's no comparison. 

 

1 hour ago, Hooper said:

And to be fair to Jay, the Skins would have won a playoff game and gone to the playoffs had Capt Kirk not choked at the worst possible time -- twice.

That's not entirely true either.  In 2016, and to some extent in 2015, Gruden cost the team wins by hiring the worst defensive coordinator in the history of the league.  And that's not hyperbole.  Barry had THE WORST resume of any DC ever.  And then he came here and showed exactly why. 

 

Let's go through the 2016 collapse, just for old time's sake:

 

1. They are completely unprepared for the opener and get blown out by the Steelers.

2. They lose a tight game where they didn't play particularly well against Dallas. Kirk throws a pick in the end zone to basically seal the deal.

3. They win 4 games in a row to get to 4-2.  Credit here for getting that done. 

4. They lose against Detroit because Gruden is unaware, lacks aggressiveness and doesn't try to win the game on offense, instead gives the ball back to Detroit, and Barry calls a soft defense all the way down the field for a last minute score. This loss is 100% on Gruden not having awareness, game management or balls.

5. They basically do the same thing in London, and would have actually escaped with a win if the kicker hadn't screwed it up in OT.  However, Gruden had th game won, and then let Dalton and company come back on them because he lacks killer instincts. 

6. They rebound and beat a bad Minnesota team, followed by one of the best games in Gruden's tenure, a beat down on SNF of Green Bay. 

7.  They go to Dallas, basically fail to score in the first half, can't stop the Cowboys at all, and lose.  They are now sitting at 6-4-1 with a great shot to get into the playoffs.

8. They lay a complete egg the next week to lose to an abysmal Arizona team.  6-5-1

9.  They beat a horrible Eagles team to get to 7-5-1.

10.  They lose to a terrible Panthers team at home, 7-6-1.

11. They beat an awful Bears team.  8-6-1, putting themselves in position to win a game to get into the playoffs.

12. They lose to the most vanilla, uninterested Giants team who had nothing to play for to finish 8-7-1.  Gruden didn't coach well, Kirk didn't play well. 

 

From 6-3-1, with a bunch of winnable games, especially with that offense, they went 2-4 to finish the season, with awful losses against Arizona, Carolina and the Giants.

 

Hindsight (for almost everyone) being 20-20, we knew exactly what we had in both Kirk and Jay after the 2016 season.  Neither one of them have done anything different since then.  Which is why I advocated BEFORE the Giant game firing Gruden and not trying to re-sign Kirk if they lost the game. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Hooper said:

But we could go round and round on this. And I think it's time for Jay to go -- but only if Bruce goes first. We need a complete reboot. No one here should remain. Not Doug Williams -- give me a break -- not anyone.

It's time for both to go for sure.  But anybody who says that Jay isn't part of the problem here is, at this point, completely delusional.  He's part of the problem, not part of the solution.  He isn't the only part of the problem.  But he's a big part of it. 

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20 minutes ago, Thinking Skins said:

 

So the thing about the injuries is that I'd but that as an excuse if this was the first time on the block with that issue. We had the same type of OL Injuries last year. We can't on one hand praise the scouting department for their drafts and their ability to find talent and how deep our roster is, and then complain that we have no backup guards, and no backup corners and nobody to play ILB when when our current ILBs suck. Thats not just an injury issue its a depth issue. Why are we paying a guy like Dunn on the roster if we're not going to play him? Why is SDH on our roster if he's not going to play? Why are we paying a guy like Alexander if he's not going to play? I get that they're raw, but why did we have Dunn on our roster for like 10 weeks, supposedly as depth, then cut him when we need a G to play. If Cooper was better depth then why did we not have Cooper on our roster from the getgo? 

Let me add to this:

 

1. If You're going to bring back and count on a bunch of guys who are always hurt to be producers, then you have to have a backup plan.  They had no plan.  Either in scheme or in players. This is more on Bruce than Jay, but organizationally, it's not an excuse. 

 

2. If Colt McCoy, who has a history of injuries, including in this pre-season I believe, is your backup, you need a 3rd QB somewhere, either on the practice squad or roster. Same as above, somebody's got to be smart enough to know that your backup QB gets hurt a lot. 

 

3. When you have injuries, you have to find ways to scheme around them, or at least try, rather than just crossing your arms, pouting, and saying you have a lot of injuries.

 

If we had seen ANYTHING on Sunday that indicated Jay was trying to do something different, I WOULD give him a pass.  But we did nothing different.  We called the same run plays that don't work.  We ran on first down almost exclusively, which didn't work with the starters either for the last 5 years.  We didn't try to be creative with formations.  That doesn't effect the guards.  What Cooley said, try and run exactly the same easy concepts out of 35 different formations.  Motion people around.  Even if it's just pre-snap have the TE switch sides.  Do ANYTHING creative that can simplify the game. 

 

But we did nothing. 

 

Since we did nothing, injuries cannot be an excuse. 

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@Voice_of_Reason

Post of the day!

 

I thought it was short sighted to go without a young QB in the mix, if even just the best free agent out there, on the practice squad. Sure, the kid would likely not pan out, but Alex and Colt are not the future, and I think a team on an endless search for a young QB, has to at least try. We gained an extra roster spot, but when the roster is an injury turnstile anyways, what's the difference.

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23 minutes ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

1. If You're going to bring back and count on a bunch of guys who are always hurt to be producers, then you have to have a backup plan.  They had no plan.  Either in scheme or in players. This is more on Bruce than Jay, but organizationally, it's not an excuse. 

 

 

I will comment that I think they had plans to play Arie K and Catalina as their guards and depth this year and both went down after they really had any options to do anything. Those are the two that finished last year at OG for us and its reasonable to think they were our hope there. We've even heard Jay reference it a few times talking about the injuries. I mean we do have 5 guards on IR. Supposedly the starter was supposed to be Arie k who has no known injury history, Cooper and Lich have injury histories, but berg and Scherff don't. So I can kinda understand from that standpoint, but I just wish Jay trusted his players more. maybe its the whole "red shirt them" philosophy, and a feeling of not putting the raw guys in if the season is still recoverable...I don't know

29 minutes ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

2. If Colt McCoy, who has a history of injuries, including in this pre-season I believe, is your backup, you need a 3rd QB somewhere, either on the practice squad or roster. Same as above, somebody's got to be smart enough to know that your backup QB gets hurt a lot. 

 

I think Colt is a good backup QB but my main problem with him since 2014 has been his injury. He will play good for a game or 2 and then go down. I wanted us to keep either Nate or the guy who went to Denver over him for this reason. Not saying either would be a worldbeater but (a) they're young and could be a Trent Green / Kurt Warner / Marc Bulger type QB, and (b) they don't have Colt's injury history. And even if they couldn't beat out Colt, I'm still an old fashioned guy who would like to keep a third developmental QB over a 9th OL who will never see the field 

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31 minutes ago, Thinking Skins said:

 

And even if they couldn't beat out Colt, I'm still an old fashioned guy who would like to keep a third developmental QB over a 9th OL who will never see the field 

 

A couple of things...

 

As we've seen this year, the 9th OL very well might need to come in. So, as it relates to the active roster I was find how it was constructed. But, the practice squad should always be seeded with a QB who is learning the system, etc. 

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9 minutes ago, TD_washingtonredskins said:

As we've seen this year, the 9th OL very well might need to come in. So, as it relates to the active roster I was find how it was constructed. But, the practice squad should always be seeded with a QB who is learning the system, etc. 

In an ideal situation, but here that was Dunn who we simply cut. And right now its Rhainey and Fuller who haven't seen the field yet. So I'd contend that while valuable it would have been better to have kept a guy like Hogan or even Morris who I think we cut before training camp, but he's a guy who has looked good in Indy's preseason before. But I just think its always good to have a developmental guy. Its unlikely he'll be good and Danny from 1067 (and a lot of media) says that if you get to your third QB you're already bad, but a lot of these guys who are backups now were once third QBs, like Chase Daniels in Chicago. They may never amount to the starters I named earlier but the third QB is the ultimate redshirt philosophy which we seem to be running. Sit them and develop them. If we need the spot because of injuries then you take your chances, but always be developing this position because you almost never know what will happen. 

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Back to the soft practices debate.

 

 

 

Clearly Johnson is saying that the practices the team holds every day are as hard as Disneyland vacations. :816:

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Regardless of who is the coach in 2019, the Skins will be flirting with the franchise record (13) for losses.  It's going to be that bad next year.

Then in 2020, we will be watching our 2020 Drafted Franchise QB, go through his growing pains.  Another double digit loss season.

2021 we might start seeing the light day, definitely by 2022.

 

I don't want Jay to have any part of that.

 

I want a new coach to start the rebuilding in 2019 and then assist us in getting that franchise QB in 2020 and then grooming that player.  Jay has earned his exit in 20 days.

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3 hours ago, TD_washingtonredskins said:

 

A couple of things...

 

As we've seen this year, the 9th OL very well might need to come in. So, as it relates to the active roster I was find how it was constructed. But, the practice squad should always be seeded with a QB who is learning the system, etc. 

I always thought you should have both. I generally think of the template for offensive roster spots should be:

 

QB-3

RB-4

WR-6

TE-3

OL-9

 

Which adds up to 25.

 

But you're absolutely right that at the least you should have a 3rd QB on the Practice Squad. To not do that on a team with a 34 year old starter, an injury-prone backup and dreams of contending, is beyond laughable.

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9 minutes ago, Rdskns2000 said:

Regardless of who is the coach in 2019, the Skins will be flirting with the franchise record (13) for losses.  It's going to be that bad next year.

Then in 2020, we will be watching our 2020 Drafted Franchise QB, go through his growing pains.  Another double digit loss season.

2021 we might start seeing the light day, definitely by 2022.

 

I don't want Jay to have any part of that.

 

I want a new coach to start the rebuilding in 2019 and then assist us in getting that franchise QB in 2020 and then grooming that player.  Jay has earned his exit in 20 days.

That's the direction next year should go. But if Bruce is back, I would bet he goes for a first round QB this year and he certainly goes after another 9-7 type of season. All-in for saving his job as long as possible.

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13 minutes ago, Rufus T Firefly said:

That's the direction next year should go. But if Bruce is back, I would bet he goes for a first round QB this year and he certainly goes after another 9-7 type of season. All-in for saving his job as long as possible.

Actually, if Bruce is back; he's probably trade the pick for some washed up veteran.

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9 minutes ago, Rdskns2000 said:

Actually, if Bruce is back; he's probably trade the pick for some washed up veteran.

Don't think so. No matter how he's snowed Snyder to this pint, if he's back for another year, Allen has to realize that he's getting to the point where even Danny boy might realize it's time for a change. A first round QB likely buys him a couple of years, and at least raises the hope for a brighter future which could keep hi around longer.

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@Voice_of_Reason in that game against the lions in 2016, didn’t our offense drive down the field in the final minutes for the touchdown that SHOULD HAVE won us the game? Our offense didn’t lose that game for us. Our defense did. So I’m not sure i get the “doesn’t try to win the game on offense” part there....

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1 hour ago, Cooleyfan1993 said:

@Voice_of_Reason in that game against the lions in 2016, didn’t our offense drive down the field in the final minutes for the touchdown that SHOULD HAVE won us the game? Our offense didn’t lose that game for us. Our defense did. So I’m not sure i get the “doesn’t try to win the game on offense” part there....

If I’m not mistaken, they had the ball one time after they scored the TD, ran three times and punted the ball back to Stafford.  I could be mis-remembering. But I really remember being furious that Gruden has a chance to close the game out without Stafford having an opportunity.  I’ll have to go back and see if I am wrong...

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