One looming question has been answered at Redskins Park, but the players have plenty more.
In a press conference during his first day of work at the team’s Loudoun County facility, Jay Gruden said he has not named coordinators.
On Friday, players reacted to the news and spoke about their new coach in television and radio interviews.
Pierre Garçon appeared on NFL AM and said Gruden should help boost Washington’s performance in the red zone.
With Gruden as offensive coordinator, the Bengals ranked second in NFL in red zone percentage, scoring touchdowns on 71 percent of their trips. The Redskins ranked 20th (52 percent).
“We didn’t score points in the red zone. We didn’t finish drives. Third down was very tough. Third down and red zone was the No. 1 thing that we didn’t do well on,” Garçon told Paul Burmeister.
“They did well in Cincinnati with their red zone offense. I think (Gruden) can definitely bring in some new wrinkles. Red zone is just about getting an inch of separation to score a touchdown, so we can definitely come in and shake things up with that.”
Quarterback Kirk Cousins told CSN Washington he was “relieved to hear a decision had been made.”
Although the franchise has retained several coaches including Jim Haslett, Raheem Morris and Sean McVay, it’s officially unclear what Gruden has planned for them.
Cousins said he’s excited to have a head coach who played his position, but he’s unsure of how the change will affect him.
“I would think that there’s going to be a lot of dialogue to try to make that transition as smooth as possible. The more continuity and the more consistency from the previous system to the current one that you can have, it does help that transition and it does help that first year probably to be a little smoother,” Cousins said.
“But ultimately what you want is to build a consistent winner, and whatever coach Gruden wants to do along those lines, I’m sure we as players and the support staff are going to be all in favor of.
“I talked to a few teammates, and I think we all have similar feelings. We’re excited about hearing of a new coach. We’re excited that the future is a little more clear, but at the same time there’s a lot of unknowns.”
Darrel Young told ESPN 980 he liked what he heard when he talked to players in Cincinnati about their former offensive coordinator. He said he talked to a couple of teammates, and “everyone’s excited about it.”
“They said they all loved him,” Young said. “They said he’s an intense guy. He loves to swear. He does all that stuff, but at the same time you respect playing for him, you know, and he’s one of those guys that you can run through a wall for.”
As a former undrafted free agent and a fullback, an endangered position in today’s NFL, Young said he liked the prospect of some familiar coaches evaluating his suitability for the 53-man roster.
More than anything, he wanted to get back on the football field.
“Let’s just figure out where we’re going to go with this,” Young said. “Let’s get this playbook going. No one’s excited for a longer training camp, but that’s what has to happen now. Let’s get these playbooks. Let’s get this show on the road. Let’s go out here and change the opinions of people and get back to winning ways.”
Listen to the entire interview to get a sense on why Young and Brian Mitchell said they favor a coach who can chew out his players.
Tags: Darrel Young, Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins, Pierre Garcon, washington redskins
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