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Charley Casserly’s Most Important Question For Jay Gruden

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on January 14, 2014 – 6:00 am


Charley Casserly appeared on NFL Network last week  to discuss what he knows and doesn’t know about Jay Gruden.

The former Redskins general manager liked how Gruden improved the offense in Cincinnati, developed Andy Dalton and had head coaching experience in the Arena Football League.

The expert’s biggest question was, how would Gruden balance  his focus  on calling plays for the offense while managing the other phases of the game?

“A lot of coordinators fail because they still try to be the coordinator and not manage the whole team, the defense and the special teams,” Casserly said. “

“Who does he hire? And how does he manage the other side of the ball? We know he can call plays. That’s going to be the crucial thing you don’t know about him, and that’s the thing you have to manage as a general manager and help him with if he needs it.” 

“You can be successful calling plays. Joe Gibbs did it. Mike Holmgren’s done it. So you can do it. But he has to be able to still supervise the defense. Joe Gibbs would spend half a day a week with the defensive staff studying tape and talking about it, and if there was an issue he would step in and get it solved.”


In Casserly’s estimation, Gruden’s attributes as coach, namely his honesty and teaching ability, will complement quarterback Robert Griffin III. He said Gruden must focus on the quarterback’s footwork and accountability, but he expects the pairing to be positive.

“This will work,” Casserly said. “This will help RGIII.”


Prior to Gruden’s appointment, Casserly detailed his ideal criteria for head coaches in an exclusive series with Redskins.com. He said three factors are of primary importance: leadership, NFL ties and creating balance.

Gruden has already drawn high marks for his charisma and honesty. He has 10 years of experience as an NFL assistant coach with two clubs, creating a network of prospective assistants. Who he selects as coordinators and assistants will determine the balance.

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