One of the first laws of coaching searches is that if the last guy was fat, the next guy will be skinny.
So it’s no surprise after a seemingly contentious co-existence with quarterback Robert Griffin III helped torpedo the Mike Shanahan era in Washington, that his replacement would stress the relationship.
“Um, just try to be honest and open with him and not do things behind his back,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said on the NFL Network, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “I don’t know what happened last year with Coach Shanahan and him, and where the relationship went south, or if it did, or maybe the media blew it up.
“But he’s [Shanahan] obviously not here anymore. Now it’s my job to get the most out of Robert. And I honestly believe that there has to be an open relationship between quarterback and coach-slash-playcaller, to have the comfort level where he can come in and say hey, I honestly don’t like this play, I don’t feel good about it. Or can we run more of this. Or whatever it is. There has to be an open communication for the quarterback to be the most successful. And I welcome that type of atmosphere. Hopefully it will work out.”
Gruden said the benefit of an offseason will help Griffin develop as a pocket passer, something he hopes to build on to as he goes.
But at the moment, being not-Shanahan is probably the biggest thing he has going for him.