During his introductory press conference on Thursday, new Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said that no decisions have been made about who will be his first defensive coordinator in Washington.
That response came after questions about reports that indicated the team would be holding onto defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and/or defensive backs coach Raheem Morris in the head coaching transition from Mike Shanahan to Gruden. Gruden also said that existing relationships with those coaches — he worked with Haslett in the UFL and with Morris in Tampa — were part of the appeal of the Redskins job, however, and that his preferred defensive scheme is one they’ve been running in Washington the last few years.
“This team is built for the 3-4. They’ve been a 3-4 for a while and I love the 3-4,” Gruden said, via the Washington Post. “I actually hate the 3-4 as an offensive coordinator. So I think with the players in place here, I would love to stay a 3-4. That’ll be evaluated. I just got the job here. But I know that when we played against the Washington Redskins, I know it’s very difficult to run against them. There were some issues in the back end here and there. But there is a core foundation in place. They’re well coached on defense and I’m excited to have a chance to talk to all of the candidates to still instill a 3-4 defense.”
The Redskins have just three of their defensive starters under contract for next season, which would present the opportunity to switch gears if the team was so inclined. Given that they aren’t and that Gruden feels they’re “well coached,” it seems like there’s a good chance those early reports about the defensive coaches will prove to be correct.