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Five questions for Jay Gruden at the NFL Combine

Feb 18, 2015, 10:12 AM EDT

Gruden-presser-2

INDIANAPOLIS—Redskins coach Jay Gruden will address the media early this afternoon here at the NFL Combine. He has not formally spoken to reporters since the day after the regular season ended. There are a few things to catch up on and here are some of the questions we will ask him.

Did he recommend that Kirk Cousins do some offseason word with his brother Jon? This news just surfaced yesterday. We will see how much of a hand Jay had in sending Jon a week’s worth of work and what the coach thinks the quarterback can get out of it.

How is Morgan Moses progressing after suffering a late-season Lisfranc injury? The 2014 third-round draft pick filled in for about a game and a half for an injured Trent Williams. He did a few things well but it was apparent that he needs a lot of work. If he is going to miss a substantial portion of the offseason rehabbing, his chances of seriously competing for a starting job will be greatly diminished.

How well is he working with Scot McCloughan? The way the new GM explained it, he would be working with the coaches to figure out the types of players they need to run their systems. We will try to find out how that process is coming along and if we should expect to see anything different.

Are they considering cap cuts and should we expect to hear anything soon? Even though the Redskins are officially some $13 million under the cap, teams trim payroll every year. Although Gruden is unlikely to name names, perhaps we can get an idea of where the are in the process.

Do the plan on being active in free agency? McCloughan comes in with a philosophy of building through the draft. But there are immediate holes that the Redskins need to have filled. Will they go the free agent route, an approach that has not worked for the team in the past? Or will they patch things as best they can with the players on the roster?

  1. bangkokben - Feb 18, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    First.

  2. troylok - Feb 18, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Why not ask Gruden what his shopping list is for McCloughan? What player is he most excited about talking to at the combine? Indy came out and said that forty times were what they were looking for at the combine – what is Washington looking for?

    • 214hof - Feb 18, 2015 at 11:54 AM

      Players that love the game, have the drive to get better, and most of all they that have their heads on straight.

      • troylok - Feb 18, 2015 at 12:42 PM

        Granted, but one of those guys that plays corner and runs the forty in a day and a half isn’t going to be on the draft list. I mean, we all know the team wants to get bigger on the offensive line. What else? Are they looking for 6′ 4″ plus receivers and tight ends? Are they looking for 230-ish inside backers with 4.5 forty speed? Are they going to continue the recent trend of bigger corners and safeties and are they willing to trade off speed for size? If a raw pocket passer with a strong arm comes along, will they take him or are they looking for someone with some scrambling ability to serve as a backup to RG3? Are they looking for a scat back? Do they feel the need to draft a fullback that has a little bit better running ability to serve as a short yardage plow horse?

  3. Blucollarguy - Feb 18, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    I would ask what should we expect to see from the defense under Barry. More aggressive? Lot of blitzing? Simplify perhaps, to allow youngsters to play faster?

    • ajbus1 - Feb 18, 2015 at 1:11 PM

      I’d like to know about Barry too. What’s his plan to fix the D?

  4. ajbus1 - Feb 18, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    I think we’ll be lucky to get many straight answers.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 18, 2015 at 2:17 PM

      This was my thought. Give it back!
      ~

  5. goback2rfk - Feb 18, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    Gruden will become the next coaching victim of the Redskins buzz saw. He wont make it 2 more years, watch.

  6. captblood3000 - Feb 18, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    Rich, please ask Gruden about Cousins and Moses when you get a chance. I think your other questions will only get us coach speak.

  7. 214hof - Feb 18, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Pretty choked that yet again Bob’s inability to perform is being swept under the rug for another year, and is being named starter before he even proves worthy of the title. I do realize the amount he cost this team to secure, and by doing so tied the hands of the front office for a few years. That being said, after watching Griffin play(and fail) the last 2 seasons, I do not agree with letting this guy coast to another starting position. He hasn’t shown anything to be granted the job without a true competition… Sometimes I wonder why I root for the skins… This team is a shell of what it was, and I’m too young to remember any glory years. I only remember the team as a smash mouth group on D run by GW, with the likes of ST, Arrington, Washington, Marshall, Clark( the first time around) offence was a healthy dose of Portis, strong O line with Samuels, Jensen, Thomas and my boy COOOOOOLEY. They were at the very least a watchable football team… With Griffin leading the way… I’m not sure if I renew Sunday Ticket … SMH

    • redskinsinrichmondva - Feb 18, 2015 at 5:12 PM

      What “true competition”? I think that all three QBs on this roster can play, but come on now: your other competitors are a QB who is already playing on his third team in six seasons; and an inconsistent, 4th-round QB who was benched for a QB who is already playing on his third team in six seasons — which happened when Griffin wasn’t even playing! Also keep in mind that unlike Griffin, both of these QBs are (supposedly) more acquainted with a “pro-style” offense such as the one being implemented by Gruden. Some may say that this is year four for Griffin, as if he should be a great QB by now; but if they’re saying that, they also need to remember that this is also Cousins’s 4th season. He started for Griffin when Shanahan switched QBs in 2013, and you watched what happened there (subpar play overall). Then Cousins starts for Griffin after Griffin injures his ankle, and you also watched what happened there (a couple of great performances, but also some uneven performances and a benching at the halftime of the Titans-Redskins game). And you have to wonder why Colt McCoy has already been a part of three NFL teams.

      Are some posters acting as if Steve Young and Tom Brady are sitting on the bench in D.C.? If they are, you would think that the QB spot would be a no-brainer for Gruden.

      • 214hof - Feb 18, 2015 at 6:21 PM

        For one Colt isn’t even on the roster for two, there are less then a hand full of positions that should have starters pencilled in. QB in my mind is not one of them… Is Kirk the answer at QB? No probably not, is he a better QB then RG, Debatable… What I do kno is what I saw. Griffin could not move the offense 10yards. Cousins on the other hand move the ball, picked up first downs, SCORED, and for the most part made better decisions.(aside from one bad quarter against NYG pressing in a loosing game, and one bad quarter against the Titans before he got the hook) Stats don’t lie… Take away the 4th quarter against the G-Men and we’re not even talking about this, Kirk out played Rob.

        • redskinsinrichmondva - Feb 18, 2015 at 7:46 PM

          Those quarters count, though.

          If you use adjusted net yards per attempt, Cousins had an above-average season. However, he was inconsistent: his performances ranged from elite (Eagles, Seahawks) to just okay (Cardinals) to below-average (Titans) to abysmal (Giants). Which performance reflects Cousins’s true value in the offense? And, once again, he was benched for someone who might be on another roster next season.

        • 214hof - Feb 18, 2015 at 8:23 PM

          Yeah I get that Kirk was up and down as a starter, but RG was just down every start he had. Even Griffin’s “good” games he was almost a non factor. What your telling me is out of both KC and RG( both UFAs next year) you would rather hope RG returns to form to justify the picks spent on him, rather then trying to iron out the wrinkles in Cousins game. I’ve seen enough of Griffin(lack there of) in the last two seasons, nor am I saying KC should start. I’m saying is bring in another Colt McCoy(maybe Locker or Freeman) and let the best man win… Giving Griffin the start by default hasn’t worked out previously(insert definition of insanity) , but I am a mere fan what do I kno.

        • 214hof - Feb 18, 2015 at 9:13 PM

          P,LT, FB,WR,LOLB,Mike LB, these are the positions that should be set in stone… I’m not saying Griffin shouldn’t/can’t start, I’m only saying he should not be afforded the job before winning it. Griffin is without a doubt the more physically gifted of the two and whoever else they choose to bring in. But why just let the guy start after underwhelming for two straight seasons. Let him fight for his spot. Amerson had a terrible year, I don’t think anyone’s going to be handing him a starting job with ” hope” that he’ll rebound. He’ll have to prove he’s the starter by earning it in OTAs, TC , and pre season just like RG should have too.

        • redskinsinrichmondva - Feb 18, 2015 at 9:19 PM

          Do you also remember that Griffin has less experience in an style of offense that Kirk Cousins (supposedly) played in college? This isn’t three seasons of Griffin playing in Gruden’s offense; it’s one season of using the run/play-action offense he played at Baylor (with some read-option run used here and there), then a little of more of a mix with the traditional west coast in 2013. Then, in 2014, Gruden used a lower % play-action and read-option plays with his QBs than the Redskins used with Griffin with Shanahan as coach (the numbers support this claim). Griffin also played in seven starts in 2014. And he also just turned 25. *And* QB performance tends to be inconsistent from season to season (this can be shown statistically).

          It’s not about justifying picks as much as it’s about keeping drafted talent and seeing what they can do with some stability. The team isn’t a Super Bowl contender as contructed, so there’s no point in adding a QB to the team unless you can add one who is Griffin’s age or younger and is guaranteed to be a much better QB. Jake Locker and Josh Freeman aren’t helping the Skins gain a lot more success (if at all, especially with this roster) than the current QBs.

        • 214hof - Feb 18, 2015 at 9:54 PM

          Its not like Kirk is a grizzled vet that had been in Gruden’s system for years, he too was playing by ear this year. As for the excuses on RGs behalf, he has been a walking band-aid year in and year out, that’s his own fault for play recklessly.Washington knew at the time they selected him that he didn’t come from a ” traditional” or “pro-style” offense. He said he wanted to become a pocket passer, yet I have not seen him improve in the slightest(aside from a play or two a game where he actually stepped up and completed a pass). As they took the zone-read away little by little, RGs effectiveness went with it.

        • redskinsinrichmondva - Feb 18, 2015 at 10:56 PM

          He isn’t, but that’s not relevant. If Cousins played in that style of offense in college and Gruden’s offense shares that same style, then Gruden’s offense is already somewhat tailored for Cousins’s skillset. It isn’t for Griffin; hence the production issues. He has to learn how to play in that style of offense. Do you think that Cousins would excel from the get-go in a play-action/shotgun/read-option hybrid offense? And in just seven starts?

          Yes, Griffin didn’t come from a “traditional” offense. But he’s also a 2nd overall pick with youth, athletic gifts that suit the QB position (even after an ACL tear); who already had some success in the NFL (unlike incoming draft prospects) and who is playing in a professional sports league that is known for its unpredictability (including with QB production). You don’t go for other QB talent unless you can ably replace those things, or if you have a great team — which the current Redskins don’t have — and can add an above-average QB for a Super Bowl run.

        • 214hof - Feb 18, 2015 at 11:08 PM

          Touché

        • taken0315 - Feb 18, 2015 at 11:31 PM

          True

    • taken0315 - Feb 18, 2015 at 11:29 PM

      Yes, you are so right!

  8. bangkokben - Feb 18, 2015 at 6:23 PM

    What a great time to announce it! So we don’t have to wonder: What about Bob? Bob is the starter. Anyone who doesn’t see the sense in this isn’t trying. The Redskins invested a ton in this young man and have one more year to try to get a lasting return on that investment. You ask, “What about the other 52 players on the team?” They are inconsequential as you have said yourself, “We’re not winning this year, anyway.” 2015 is make or break for RGIII. Gruden may even get another year out of this irregardless of the QB’s performance. Sure, upper management is pinning this a Gruden’s decision but if you believe that, I’ve got some land in Florida for you.

    I hope he gets it together and learns the position. Any fan who hopes otherwise is probably living forever or has Mother Teresa’s patience or is a racist or wants to be able to say next year: “I was right along about Griffin,”

    Whateves. Go ‘skins!

    • 214hof - Feb 18, 2015 at 7:20 PM

      I was skeptical about the trade… Then Rob played lights out in the opener against NO and I was on the RG bandwagon. But alas those days a gone. My suspicions/fears came true, Griffin now plays scared and doesn’t trust anyone around him. (or his own knee) I kno we aren’t winning next year but at the same time I would like to be able to WATCH the Skins play… The whole team, not just D and ST. I do understand and to an extent agree with your point though, Snyder paid a high price for the man formally known as RGIII and for that reason only he will get his unwarranted and hopefully final shot… Starting Rob is beating a dead horse IMO. At worst somebody else comes in and makes losing look a lil’ better. Again just my opinion

    • Joe Greene - Feb 19, 2015 at 5:32 PM

      It’s amazing how many people want to try and give Bob the excuse of legitimate criticism of his pathetic, and declining, play being ignored because it’s somehow racist. Bob sucks out loud as a QB and isn’t showing any improvement at all. He can’t perform the most basic, fundamental tasks of the position 3 years into his career. He’s had 2 pro head coaches and both have explicitly stated that he doesn’t watch enough game film. He’s a bust, that’s not debatable anymore.

      • redskinsinrichmondva - Feb 19, 2015 at 6:21 PM

        It is debateable, and the relevant points to that debate were outlined above.

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