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Gray Matters

Aug 5, 2006, 9:26 AM EDT

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There are some new articles out there about Jerry Gray, the Redskins’ new cornerbacks coach. One is by Howard Bryant of the WP, the other by Melinda Waldrop, the new beat reporter for the Daily Press in Hampton Roads. Both made the point that he may not be around here for long.

Bryant wrote of Gray accepting a job for which he is “clearly overqualified” in order to be reunited with Gregg Williams. Gray played for Williams with the Houston Oilers and coached with him in Houston and in Buffalo. He was the defensive coordinator in Buffalo under Mike Mularky until being dismissed when Mularky resigned after last season.

Waldrop’s article makes the point that Gray’s chances of moving up in the NFL world, back to a coordinator spot or even, eventually, a head coaching job, depends greatly on the team’s success.

“It’s (the secondary) gonna be a real big strength,” [Carlos]Rogers said. “That’s what we’ve been talking about. We’ve got to lead this defense.”
If that happens, Gray might find himself back in a leading role very soon.
“I think it depends on what we do here,” Gray said. “Everybody wants winners. Everybody (thinks), ‘I want somebody from their staff, because they won.’ “

The Redskins went through a phase during the 1980’s when they had difficulty holding on to talented assistant coaches. Joe Bugel and Dan Henning, for instance, left to accept head coaching offers elsewhere. Jack Kent Cooke told Joe Gibbs to hire a staff of future head coaches. While only three of them eventually made it—besides Bugel and Henning, Richie Petitbon succeeded Gibbs—the idea was to hire quality and not be afraid if you get somebody who might do some things better than you do. Along with Gray, Greg Blache and Dale Lindsey are also former NFL defensive coordinators, so Gregg Williams obviously isn’t intimidated by strong resumes in contrast to, say, Steve Spurrier.

If you’re afraid of losing good people, you’ll never attract them in the first place. Williams realizes that even if he stays, it’s unlikely that Gray will be around for more than a year or two. And, to this team, that’s a good thing.

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