Jay Gruden hasn't spoken yet to Robert Griffin III, but he said Thursday during his introductory press conference as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins that he is a fan of the quarterback's work. Gruden also said, "I expect him to take the blame on some throws."
The comment shouldn't necessarily be considered a slight, but it also suggests that Griffin perhaps wasn't the meddling influence over owner Dan Snyder during the hiring process as some suggested he would be. Griffin posted on Facebook that he "can't wait to get to work" with Gruden, and so far things are going relatively smoothly in Washington post-Mike Shanahan.
Gruden described his coaching philosophies during the press conference, and gave no indication that on-field play-calling will be drastically different than what Redskins fans saw last season. Gruden said he will be calling his own plays, and that he will incorporate the read-option to take advantage of Griffin's athleticism. The defense should remain in a base 3-4 scheme, with Gruden mentioning that he "hates" going up against the defense as an offensive coordinator.
The Redskins' off-field problems were brought up, but Gruden balked except to praise those who brought him onboard. Gruden said that Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen "have winning at heart."
"I don't know what happened last year," Gruden said, via Mike Jones of the Washington Post. "I know in talking to Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen the passion for excellence is there to win."
Now Gruden must set about hiring a new set of assistant coaches. Sean McVay, the Redskins' current tight end coach, was reported to become the Redskins' next offensive coordinator Thursday, but Gruden denied that the 27-year-old had been hired. Per Pete Roussel at Coachingsearch.com:
Gruden humorously said, "Nice. (smiles) Good for Sean." (pause) "I have not (hired Sean). I do like Sean. He's a heckuva guy, a heckuva coach, but we'll go through the process. There's a lot of great coaches out there and he's a great person and great coach."
Gruden did say he has received roughly 350 texts from prospective coaches looking for a job. A lot will be said about the hire in coming months. For now, the Redskins should be relieved to have some positive momentum and a clean slate to build from with the 2014 offseason looming.