Update: Oct. 2, 2017 (2:25 p.m.) – Jay Gruden’s son, Jack, responds to Chris Russell.
Chris Russell legitimately believes he knows more about winning football games than Redskins head coach Jay Gruden.
Russell made this bizarre admission during a Wednesday appearance with Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan.
(Full disclosure: I sat in for this segment and personally contributed to some of the questioning.)
“Can we just drop the act here,” I asked Russell. “Deep down, in your heart of hearts, do you think you know more than NFL head coach Jay Gruden?”
“Ummm,” replied Russell, followed by a long pause. “No. No.”
“Is it close?” Dukes asked.
“He knows more about play design,” Russell conceded.
“What do you know more about?” Dukes asked.
“I think I know more about fundamentally what gets you from Point A to Point B, what wins football games,” Russell said. “Period.”
“You know more about what wins football games than Jay Gruden?” Dukes asked.
“I believe I do, yes,” said Russell.
Related: Chris Russell Is A Liar
Asked earlier in the segment why he thinks he knows more than Gruden, one of 32 head coaches in the league, the highest level of football in the world, Russell said, “Well, actually, I didn’t say that. I was responding to your ridiculous comment that it was Sean McVay’s fault all along as to why they were not running the football.”
“So I just basically piggybacked off of your comment,” he said. “Just saying, ‘Hey, Jay was the head coach and obviously very involved in the game plan all along.'”
To clarify, I never made the suggestion that McVay was to blame for Washington’s pass-happy philosophy during his time as Redskins offensive coordinator. That observation was made by 106.7 The Fan columnist Rick Snider, who, on Tuesday, wrote the following:
How about Gruden’s return to play-calling seeing more runs than passes in two of three games, despite mediocre per-carry results? Maybe it was offensive coordinator Sean McVay who was pass-happy the last two years rather than Gruden?
Russell should know better than to falsely attribute this claim, however. He only needed to survey his own Twitter account.
Had Russell done that, he also would have found this:
Russell echoed this arrogance on the air Wednesday.
Me: Can you just address this quote directly: ‘He just realized what I’ve been screaming about’? And do you understand the arrogance that that implies on your part?
Russell: Of course. I mean, I’m right. Just like I’m right about a lot of things that I get made fun of and criticized about, just like I was right about not giving Kirk Cousins the stupid franchise tag, which has turned out to be a debacle of epic proportions; just like I was right about Greg Manusky being hired, and all these dopey Redskins fans and a lot of people in the media are saying, ‘Ah, you can’t stay in-house, you can’t stay in-house. You can’t do that. It’s the same.’ I’m right about everything.”
To Russell’s credit, he was indeed very much out in front of Manusky’s promotion to defensive coordinator.
“Do you believe that Jay Gruden is now taking cues from you?” Dukes asked.
“Uh, no. I don’t necessarily feel that way,” Russell said. “But here’s the thing. While everyone else was screaming about pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, and first down you can’t run the ball, and you have to throw 45 times a game in order to have any chance of succeeding — which was completely, and utterly, and totally preposterously wrong — all along, all I’ve been saying was if you run the ball more, if you’re more committed to it, if you’re more balanced, and Jay Gruden has, oh by the way, all this offseason, all throughout training camp, finally been preaching the same message.”
“So, no. Do I think he got it from me? Of course not,” he said. “That was me being over the top as I normally am. But, my point is, in the media, we all know this: if you say something enough, eventually the message gets to the people and the intended target. If you say something enough. Maybe that happened here. Who knows?”
“You’re supposed to let the other people say the good things about you,” Dukes told Russell. “Not say them yourself.”
“Well, Dukes. I’m struggling,” Russell said. “My life, my career is on life support, so I’m just trying to pat myself on the back Barry Horowitz-style.”