Report: Jay Gruden fires Washington’s entire defensive staff

After missing the playoffs, Jay Gruden is making big changes in Washington.

Gruden is firing his entire defensive coaching staff, Jason LaCanfora of CBS reports.

The firing of defensive coordinator Joe Barry comes as no surprise, given Washington’s defensive struggles this season both against the pass and against the run. Barry spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator in Washington and did not see improvement in the unit.

Firing all of the other assistants, including some whom Gruden hired before hiring Barry, is a surprise. But Gruden may want his new defensive coordinator to start with a clean slate, and the easiest way to do that is to let the new coordinator bring in his own staff of defensive assistants.

Gruden needs to be sure he chooses wisely in finding replacements for the defensive staff. Although Gruden has always been an offensive coach, the whole team is his responsibility. And if the defense doesn’t improve next year, it could be Gruden whose job is on the line.