Jay Gruden wide open to zone read, or anything really


Let there be no mistake: Jay Gruden loves him some mobile quarterbacks now.

The new Redskins coach, who reportedly preferred Andy Dalton to Colin Kaepernick in the draft when he was the Bengals offensive coordinator, said upon his introduction as Robert Griffin III’s boss that he was all for running zone-read plays.

“I love it. We ran some with Cincinnati with Andy and I think it’s part of football now,” Gruden said, via Mike Jones of the Washington Post. It’s something you have to get your defense prepared for. It’s something that has a place in the National Football League.”

His deeds in Cincinnati didn’t match up with those words, but he advocated drafting Dalton over Kaepernick so he wouldn’t have to stray too far out of the pocket. But adding the multi-talented Griffin (who has been a better thrower of the football than Kaepernick, at least pre-knee injiury) will give Gruden a chance to expand his operation.

“I like them all, man. I’ve never found a play I haven’t liked that works,” Gruden said. “The one thing you really want to do is – during my process here the next few days, I want to really study the offensive personnel that we have in place. They’ve done some good things here offensively in years past. I think they’re in the top 10 the last couple years, so they have a system in place that’s very good.

“They’re an outside zone blocking team that can do inside zone. I like the power plays. I like the gap blocking plays. So there’s a little bit of everything. I don’t think any offense in the NFL anymore is just, ‘We are this.’ I think we have to adhere to what we have offensively, talent-wise. We can do the read option. We can do naked bootlegs. We can run outside zone. We can run bubble screens. We can run deep balls. We can do play-action deep things. I think the whole idea to be a successful offense is to be diverse and be good at a lot of different things and not just one.”

Mostly, what he needs to figure out is how to make Griffin happy. Because whether he had a hand in picking the coach or not, the reality is that Gruden’s first job is making Griffin productive again.

Do that, and all the other things could fall into place.

38 responses to “Jay Gruden wide open to zone read, or anything really

  1. More importantly they have a stud running back who should have been rookie of the year two years ago. Unfortunately everyone’s too busy obsessing over the qb to realize it.

  2. Jay Gruden Washington………. really?
    Seriously Snyder, that’s where this franchise rates today?

  3. i really had high hopes for Jay as a head coach but fear he may not be able to reach them with the skins. Saddled with a staff that isn’t his own and a GM that isn’t a talent evaluator.

  4. “Mostly, what he needs to figure out is how to make Griffin happy.”


    I don’t think Griffin III is going to be too happy when Gruden realizes that Kirk Cousins is a far superior QB. And Griffin II might be even less happy.

  5. Big Griff is the most talented QB in the league and with Gruden calling the plays, he will be unstoppable. All of you haters out there will be eating your words. Its easy to kick someone while they’re down but no one forgets what he did when hes was healthy. Its ok to come back to the band wagon now. Bunch of busta’s!!

  6. Perfect coach for the Washington Redskins. This guy really knows football and he gets it. Redskins and RGIII are lucky to have him. Gruden knew where he was going before the season was over. Why would he stay in a dump like cincy or pick one of these other small market, run of the mill jobs. No one even knows who the coach is in tennessee or minnesota. Washington is a top media market and one of the top 3 franchises of all time. We were winning championships before the super bowl even existed. Get on board fellas, its going to be a sweet ride!!!! HAIL!!!

  7. Translation from Cincinnati: “We don’t need an offensive identity, a core of things we do really well and build off of. We’ll do everything.”

    That only works if you do everything well, which is hard to do. Maybe he has enough physical skill to avoid it, but I am concerned that this approach could downshift Robert Griffin III into Andy Dalton II.

  8. Know what Jay Gruden is good at? Finding what works in a game and then at halftime switching to the exact opposite because he thinks in his mind “there’s no way the other coach will continue to let us run the ball down their throat all game so I better switch the offense before they switch the defense”. Makes sense right? That’s exactly what he said about the playoff game. The run game was working and at halftime they switch to passing because he thought there was no way the other coach would let them keep running. Hahahaha. I thought you do what you’re doing until it doesn’t work anymore. Guess not in his world. He’s innovative! lol He called a 51 pass game for Andy freakin Dalton in a playoff game that was cold, windy and raining. Yeah he’s a great game planner.

  9. “Mostly, what he needs to figure out is how to make Griffin happy”

    Which, of course, is a capsule summary of a major problem with this team.

    Gruden is not a bad OC, might be an OK HC. But everyone saying he could only do so much because Dalton could not make a throw, should watch tape of Griffin’s throws this past year. He was missing badly, and often. Even the home town announcers commented about it. Often. Zone read offenses only get you so far.

  10. Considering the Redskins have had 7 coaches in 15 yrs. under Snyder I would put the over/under at 2 years for Gruden.

  11. This guy’s honesty is pretty refreshing, which is a nice change of pace from the Shanahan mantra of “Well, what you’re going to do is what’s in the best interest for your organization.”

    Also, I doubt this guy will use a media mouthpiece to dole out petty screw jobs on his way out of town after going 24-40 in his total time here.

    He could fail miserably, but at least there’s hope that he’s just a good dude who wants to win without any drama.

  12. He also said that your scheme had to utilize the best talents of your players.

    So people criticized Shanahan for trying to force fit his system on players not suited to it.

    Then people criticize Gruden for trying to think about what schemes match his talent?

    You can be attacked either way.

    I listened to the whole press conference and Gruden’s comments were more nuanced. He basically was saying that many different offensive plays have value…you have to look at your talent and figure out what realistically will work best.

  13. So he needs to figure out how to may RG3 happy? He hasn’t even started this job and he’s already toast if that’s his logic. Wonder if Snyder put a clause in his contract that he must use RG3 exclusively over Cousins? If he uses RG3 with the read option, or anything that consistently exposes him his NFL career is over. RG3 is Glass Joe. He’ll break.

  14. Like it or not Kaep has never sniffed Daltons numbers. Never. Gruden has screwed the pooch during the playoffs and during the season he gets outcoached by savvy DC’s. Dalton will have another career year under Hue.

    And the hire is the worse news for Morris. Real talk. BJGE averaged 5.8 ypc and got 2 carries in the second half in the wind and cold and rain. While Dalton who is good was forced to throw it 51 times. He’s good, but that many attempts is asking for trouble.

    Good luck with Gruden. He just needed a little more experience in the league for playoff football.

  15. Ok all you haters and doubters, yes Jay is not Jon but who is/was Jon? He won one SB with a team constructed by Dungy….

    And i’m guessing some of you same peeps thought the same when Eli came into the league and you probably said he’s no Peyton….yet Eli has more SB wins then big bro.

    Is it a reach? Maybe, but sometimes you have to reach, I mean come on look at some names before Jay Gruden that you probably said who…

    Joe Gibbs
    Sean Payton
    Mike McCarthy
    John Harbaugh
    Tom Flores
    Mike Tomlin

    How much did you know or what type track record did any of these guys have before they got their shot?

    Picking coaches is no different then picking in the draft you hit on some and you miss on some but you don’t know until they’ve had a chance.

  16. I’m figuring this is the best they could do with no first round draft picks, a quarterback controversy, and an owner with a reputation for meddling, right?

    Or do owners look for offensive coaches who have coached their teams to spectacularly bad playoff performances?

  17. Jay gruden was a jeckle and Hyde OC. He has tendencies to stop what’s working and flip the whole thing. Washington goes 7-9 next season. Unless they get some same schedule Denver and KC had this season. # Jay gruden = predictability.

  18. I take you and hunger of old and busted any day
    just in case anyone is curious about facts

    Andy Dalton v Drew Brees and Peyton Manning
    Manning 60% 85 td 58int 26-22 0-2 playoff
    Brees 60% 56td 39int 21-21 0-1 playoff
    Dalton 61% 80td 49int 30-18 0-3 playoff

    Dalton has arguably outplayed the 2 of best QB at the same point in their career. If Gruden can get 80td and 3 playoff appearances out of RG3 I’m happy once you are in the playoff anything can happen.

  19. I don’t understand why all the Hate on Andy Dalton… The guy is 3rd in the NFL in TD’s in 7th in passing… Not to mention 3 straight post season trips all before age 26. Jay Gruden will turn RG into a top 5 QB…

  20. Mostly, what he needs to figure out is how to make Griffin happy.

    Most of the great coaches in history would laugh at that statement. The tough coaches don’t care at all if the players are “happy” or not. The care about winning and if the players aren’t happy with the process that’s not their problem.

  21. gruden needs to make him productive not happy. that’s what those large paychecks are for. so tired of this coddling sissified league and society in general. MAN UP and do what your paid for.

  22. All he needs to do is win, until then none of this banter really matters. He seems like a decent enough guy… he probably needs a bit of a sharp side behind closed doors to get RG3 to get his mind right (if he can).

    If half of the stories are true he’s got his work cut out for him handling him.

  23. So you’re telling me there’s not even a plan? Even a Jim Carey coached team with Bill Murray as the OC can figure out how to dismantle Jay’s team. This isn’t going to be pretty. He’ll get fired after one year.

  24. I kind of actually like this guy. I hope he can conquer ownership and finally get somewhere over there in DC.

  25. Gruden never said that he had to make rg3 happy, this is something profootball talk added. Gruden hasn’t even talked to rg3 but looked froward to talking with him.. gruden is a players guy and I think the team will feed off of him..he’s already said if rg3 does not like a play he calls that they will scratch it and give him a play that he does like.. gruden has a lot to show being a head coach and I think it’s in there family to succeed, skins should be excited for the new season to start.

  26. Make RG3 happy? What! RG3 has to prove he is the starter and if he does he needs to prove he should continue to start. RG3 had an amazing rookie season. 2013 last was not good for him even though he had 2 GWD on a team with 3 wins. He still completes 60% of his passes down from 65% last year. These journalist write stories about sports like gossip columns. I still don’t know why all the hate for RG3. Shanahan had 3 out of 4 seasons with double digit losses. His only winning season was RG3s rookie season. Shanahan got himself fired with that record. Are there any football fans anymore? Washington gave up 29.9 points per game and ranked 30th in points allowed. Their problems are much bigger than QB.

  27. If the problem is defense, then hiring an Arena football style offensive coordinator is not going to improve the team, because he cannot improve the defense.

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