WASHINGTON — With the Redskins entering their second season under coach Jay Gruden, a former Redskins beat reporter and Redskins employee has shed some light on the relationship between coach and quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Chris Russell, who covered the team for six years, tells 106.7 The Fan that, according to a source, Gruden had given up on Griffin as early as last preseason.
The source told Russell, three days after the Redskins’ first preseason game against New England, “Jay was completely at his wits’ end and wanted nothing to do with Robert.”
To build context, remember Griffin had dislocated his ankle in the second week of the season against Jacksonville, after which he would miss the next six games.
After a narrow loss to Minnesota in his return, and then the bye week, Griffin threw for 207 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in a blowout loss to Tampa Bay, dropping the Redskins to 3-7.
In his post-game press conference, Griffin said each of his teammates needed to “look himself in the mirror,” which sparked a social media fire from receiver DeSean Jackson, and provoked Gruden to speak up to say Griffin needed to “worry about himself.”
Gruden also critiqued Griffin’s play, saying he had “some fundamental flaws” which included poor footwork. “He took three-step drops when he should have taken five,” he said. “He took a one-step drop when he should have taken three, on a couple occasions, and that can’t happen.”
One loss to San Francisco later, Griffin was benched, prompting former Washington Post columnist Jason Reid to declare “Winter is here” on Twitter, where he unloaded a revealing screed about the coach and quarterback’s fractured relationship, from which he concluded Gruden was “done” with Griffin.
This sets the backdrop for a rumor Russell had heard around this same time, which he says he “never was able to get confirmed.”
Russell tells 106.7 The Fan that, according to his source, Dan Snyder had called Gruden’s agent, Bob LaMonte, to tell him his client was ‘stealing money.’
At the time, Gruden was in the first year of a five-year, reported $20 million contract that’s fully guaranteed.
Several weeks later Reid alluded to a possible showdown forthcoming between Gruden and Snyder, and several more weeks later the Redskins hired general manager Scot McCloughan.
Listen below for the full report.