WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Much of first-year head coach Jay Gruden’s potential for success in the NFL, and with the Redskins, it’s no secret, will hinge on what he can get out of quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Gruden has put an early emphasis on developing his relationship with RGIII, declaring Monday in an interview with Dan Hellie for NFL Network, he plans to “try to be open and honest with him, and not do things behind his back.”
He took those comments one step further, by juxtaposing the relationship he hopes to have with Griffin, against the seemingly failed relationship between Griffin and ex-Skins coach Mike Shanahan, Gruden’s predecessor.
“I don’t know what happened with Coach Shanahan and [Griffin], and where the relationship went south, or if it did, or maybe the media blew it up, but he’s obviously not here anymore,” Gruden said.
“Now it’s my job to get the most out of Robert,” he said. “And I honestly believe that there has to be an open relationship between quarterback and coach/play-caller, to have the comfort level where he can come in and say, ‘Hey, I honestly don’t like this play, I don’t feel good about it,’ or, ‘Can we run more of this?’ or whatever it is.”
As for exactly how he plans to make Griffin comparatively more successful than he was in 2013, Gruden affirmed his belief in developing Griffin as a pocket passer.
“He missed the whole offseason last year, the whole preseason, so to jump right into the regular season and say ‘Here, here’s Week 1, now be a pocket quarterback,’ that’s tough,” he said.
“So they did what they thought they could do with him to be the most effective, but this year, we’re gonna try to take the offseason and really hone in on those pocket skills.”
Dan Hellie lent his own perspective on Gruden, and the expectations he faces in his first year coaching the Redskins, on Tuesday in an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes.
“Listen, everybody’s blamed Mike Shanahan for everything that went wrong,” Hellie said. “Whether it was the defense, or whether it was the offense, or it was Robert Griffin III or it was relationships.
“Well, we’ll find out this year if it was Mike Shanahan’s fault or not. Because this is the same group this year, for Jay Gruden, basically that lost three games last year and won 10 games the year before.
“I think you have a one-season honeymoon, and I think anything .500 or above is gonna be successful.”