How much is at stake in these final three Redskins games?
Well, the difference between going 8-8 and 7-9 — one win — could be the difference between the organization maintaining relative structural stability and Redskins owner Dan Snyder deciding to blow the whole thing up.
According to Mike Jones of USA TODAY, head coach Jay Gruden is very much on the hot seat through the end of the regular season.
“After the first four games, it seemed like they were starting to get on track,” Jones described to 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. “And then the injuries happened and you thought, okay, can they scrap this thing out? And they pulled off some wins that you didn’t expect, and then, now, it’s just like the wheels have come off.”
“From what I’ve been told, the morale is pretty low, motivation’s pretty low and I think that D.J. Swearinger kind of characterized it as such when he said it was ‘blah,'” he said. “I had thought that Jay Gruden was not on the hot seat, and that ownership and management understood what he was dealing with here, but after seeing a game like that on Sunday, where it looked like guys were looking for excuses not to play…”
“I think that Jay really needs a strong finish,” Jones said. “I’ve talked to a couple people who feel like he does, that he better try to scrap this thing out and finish 8-8 for things to be okay for him. We’ll find out.”
What if they only go 2-1 down the stretch for a 7-9 overall record? Wouldn’t that be enough to save Gruden, who has three years left on his contract and is coming off consecutive winning seasons?
“You would think so,” said Jones, “but the problem is this, is that when things go poorly in the Redskins organization, there always has to be a scapegoat. And so, who’s going to be the sacrificial lamb?”
“It probably should not be Jay Gruden,” he noted. “It should be the guy who is his boss, who oversaw the Scot McCloughan debacle, who oversaw the Kirk Cousins botching of that. You know, Bruce Allen is the one who has pushed the button and called the shots, and things have not gone well.
“Yeah, you can’t help injuries and things like that, but a lot of teams have injuries and this just is pretty much a disaster right now. I don’t think you can look at this thing and, from what I was told, if this continues to go south, even further south, then everything’s on the table. Snyder could wind up just blowing the whole thing up.”