Jay Gruden: I would love to stay a 3-4 defense

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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.

16 responses to “Jay Gruden: I would love to stay a 3-4 defense

  1. naaaa man,, you want to switch to a 4-3 & not sign Orakpo .. that’s what you’re really thinking.

    They aren’t any teams in the NFC east that could use a beast OLB ,, naaaa

  2. I don’t think we should have gone to a 3-4 in the first place, four years ago. But now that we’ve spent four years going in that direction, there’s no point in changing it now. Let’s just get the personnel and coaching in place to be a GOOD 3-4 defense.

  3. NOBODY runs a 3-4 like a certain Mr. Wade Philips, who incidentally just hit the job market.

    You’d be a FOOL if you haven’t already gotten him on the phone and given him an offer.

  4. translation: I know absolutely nothing about defense and will have nothing to do with that side of the ball.

  5. DC’s “D” was almost as horrific as the Cowboys. If Jay can’t elevate the Defense then he won’t succeed. Hasslett and Morris both need to go, or switch back to a 4-3

  6. He is also afraid of the 3-4 according to his press conference, so that’s one way to undermine him as a coach if you are another team. Maybe he’ll give more hints how to beat him before they even play! I just don’t think he’s going to be very successful with this team personally, but maybe I’m wrong.

  7. Bottom line is that the Redskins D was awful. Cornerbacks giving recievers too much cushion and giving up critical 3rd down conversions, safeties thinking they can tackle by just lowering their shoulders and not wrapping up. No pressure on the QB…. this all falls on Morris and Haslett. It was extremely painful to watch us not being able to make a team punt, and giving up big play after big play. Both of these fools have to go. It’s bad enough to hire a coach with no NFL head coaching experience but an offensive coach? 2 mistakes right there. If they don’t hire a well respected D coordinator, I will have to wear a bag over my head all season, because we wont win any games.

    Oh and lets not even talk about Special teams

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