Jay Gruden made the interview rounds after being fired as Washington’s head coach on Monday and hit on a couple of consistent themes from conversation to conversation.
One was a lack of bitterness about being fired because the team didn’t do well enough to justify continuing down the same path. Gruden also lamented the injuries that were a constant during his time with the team and the difficulty that comes with trying to win games shorthanded.
While injuries changed the makeup of the roster, there were points during Gruden’s tenure when there were reports of dissatisfaction with the way the roster was being put together. The decision to draft quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the first round this year fell into that category, although Gruden didn’t mention any specific moves while discussing the team’s personnel decisions in recent years.
“I have mixed emotions about it,” Gruden said to John Keim of ESPN.com. “At the end of the day, if you’re not the G.M., you have to accept the fact that you don’t get everything you want. You accept the players given to you. I had input in some areas, but there are some major issues there. It’s that way with most coaches. You don’t have that total say. It’s something you have to overcome and work with the guys you have.”
Gruden couldn’t overcome any of the obstacles in his way well enough to lead the team to the kind of success that would have allowed him to see out the remainder of his contract. Without better results throughout the organization, his successor may not fare much better.