Jay Gruden Promises Thorough Roster, Coaching Review

ASHBURN — Redskins coach Jay Gruden plans a thorough evaluation of his roster and staff by the organization this month, but declined to say if there would be any changes to his assistant coaches.

“Well, we’re going to always look at every staff member in-house and that’ll take some time,” Gruden said. “That won’t happen overnight. We’re going to go through all that – every member of this building, thorough evaluation – and we’ll go from there.”

Defensive coordinator Joe Barry has drawn the most criticism given his teams have finished in the bottom tier of NFL defenses the past two seasons given most statistical measurements. Of course, Barry’s personnel is widely acknowledged to be lacking top-end talent at most positions.

Gruden didn’t say one way or the other if Barry would return. He added Barry to his staff before the 2015 season. Jim Haslett was the defensive coordinator in Gruden’s first season with Washington. But he insisted the decision primarily would rest with him with input from owner Dan Snyder, team president Bruce Allen and general manager Scot McCloughan.

“How much say would I have? Hopefully a lot,” Gruden said. “I was the main reason we brought [Barry] in here so ultimately I would think it is my call – our call. Bruce [Allen] will have some input, Dan [Snyder] will have some input, Scot [McCloughan] will have some input, but from a staff standpoint, I like to think I have a lot of pull on that one.”

It’s hard to find a defensive metric that values the Redskins highly. They rank 28th in yards allowed per game (377.9), 24th in yards allowed per play (5.76), 27th in rushing yards (119.8), 27th in rushing yards per play (4.53), 25th in passing yards per game (258.1), 21st in passing yards per play (7.01) and dead last in third-down percentage (32nd – 46.63 percent).

Even in the red zone things aren’t great (26th – 59.26 percent). And move on to the advanced metrics and things still are dire: Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings place Washington 25th in pass defense and 25th in rush defense – 27th overall in weighted defense.

“I think you have to assess both [talent and coaching] and that’s what we’re going to do here for the next couple of weeks,” Gruden said. “I think we got a lot out of the players that we had. The players played hard. We had some injuries to key players back there – guys fought and battled – but we still have to evaluate everybody, player and coach alike.”

One of Gruden’s assistants will interview for a head coaching position. Offensive coordinator Sean McVay probably isn’t a favorite to land the job with the Los Angeles Rams given he’s still just 30. But he will interview with Los Angeles on Thursday and is at least on the initial list of candidates.

“[McVay has] done a great job and deserves an opportunity to interview and see what happens,” Gruden said. “But he’s brought a lot to this football team as far as offensively and done a good job calling plays and utilizing the people that we have. Unfortunately we didn’t get it done yesterday, but that should not affect his ability to get an interview or a job.”

Follow Redskins reporter Brian McNally on Twitter.

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