Jay Gruden compliments Kyle Smith, takes shot at Dan Snyder

NFL-Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons
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Kyle Smith became Atlanta’s vice president of player personnel yesterday after previously having that title in Washington, where he spent the last 11 years. Washington’s player personnel hasn’t been great over the last 11 years, but former head coach Jay Gruden said that wasn’t Smith’s fault — and then said it was Dan Snyder’s fault.

Gruden told Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post that Smith did an excellent job working with the scouting and coaching staffs and putting Washington in good shape to have a good draft. The only problem came when, according to Gruden, Snyder would disregard that hard work and pick whoever he wanted.

“Every year that I was there, we had a pretty good draft class, with a couple exceptions,” Gruden said. “[Smith] was really good about listening to the coaches because the coaches also did evaluations. . . . When it came our time to pick, we’d always talk about the picks, where we’d like to go, what happens if [the player] is gone, and did all our scenarios. And then [owner Daniel Snyder] would come in off his yacht and make the pick.”

Snyder has been excoriated for the failures of 2020 first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins, whom Snyder reportedly liked a lot better than his football people did. Gruden’s comments would seem to suggest that he saw Snyder’s interference as a consistent problem in Washington, and a problem that Smith is escaping by going to Atlanta.

31 responses to “Jay Gruden compliments Kyle Smith, takes shot at Dan Snyder

  1. WFT is an ongoing experiment to see how far a team can go or not go with an impulsive, incompetent owner.

  2. Rich owners who think they know football, but don’t, can take a storied franchise like Washington’s into the dumper as has Snyder. HOPEFULLY he’ll let Rivera run things, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Little Danny is a disaster as an owner. Hard to believe he won’t continue ruining the team as he has in the past (while he’s not molesting its cheerleaders or dancers or whatever they’re called these days)….

  3. Same issue was a problem for Browns until they finally started letting football people in the front office make football decisions – instead of the owner, his wife and their friends.

  4. RGIII all over again. The competent football people like HC Shanahan tried to derail the deal that wasted 3yrs, and 3 1st and a 2nd round picks, but Snyder had the final say. Haskins was just another. Maybe the owners of the WFT, Jets, Texans and Lions should have a Senility Bowl to win the Lamebrain Trophy.

  5. I hope this doesn’t ruin Rivera’s tenure there. He’s too good of a coach to be undermined by an incompetent owner. Snyder would be wise to FINALLY stop meddling at least just this once and see what happens.

  6. While that’s all true, it was all stuff that was very well known before Gruden took that job. For several years, Jay Gruden was one of the hottest coordinators in the NFL. He passed up several opportunities for a head coaching job. When he finally accepted a head coaching offer, it was for Dan Snyder. To this day, that’s one of the biggest mysteries in all of pro football. I still think Jay Gruden is one of the best head coaches in the NFL. We’re currently seeing two retread coaches, Bruce Arians and Andy Reid, getting ready to square off for the super bowl, so it’s not like Gruden won’t get another opportunity. But live and learn. Next time be more realistic about which obstacles you can overcome. Dan Snyder is not one of them.

  7. Sounds like what we’ve got brewing in Philly these days. Rich guys playing fantasy football. And who’s going to tell them they can’t? That’ll get you fired right quick.

  8. In Chicago, a CPA is President of the Bears with the GM and coach reporting to him. As a CPA myself I know guys like me shouldn’t be in charge of an NFL team.

  9. homer717 says:
    January 30, 2021 at 4:18 pm
    In Chicago, a CPA is President of the Bears with the GM and coach reporting to him. As a CPA myself I know guys like me shouldn’t be in charge of an NFL team.
    Whoever holds the title of President won’t matter unless that guy starts making football decisions. I don’t think that’s the case with the Bears. A lot of team Presidents are CPA’s or lawyers, but they’re not running the draft. That’s the most important thing. Who’s running your personnel operation. Even more important is who’s making the QB evaluations and decisions for the team. There are also plenty of teams with football people in top positions, and they have no clue. I mean, it’s not like anyone was looking at Tampa Bay as a model franchise prior to the day Brady got them into the playoffs. Bruce Arians was brought in to resurrect Jameis Winston’s career. We saw how that worked out. Lol. And New England got Tom Brady in the 6th round. They obviously had no idea how good he was. But for years everyone thought the people running the Patriots were smarter. Look how many got top jobs with other teams. Then Brady left and they’re all losers again. Sometimes it pays to be lucky.

  10. Before everyone bashes Snyder (no matter how deserving), please first post a link to a major sports site 2019 mock draft that had Haskins not being picked in the first round.

    Heck, find one where he fell below 15th.

    I’m not a fan of Haskins, OSU, WFT, or revisionist history.

  11. So the owner was making the picks? All this time I though they were just drawing a name out of a hat.

  12. PatriotsTim says:
    January 30, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Before everyone bashes Snyder (no matter how deserving), please first post a link to a major sports site 2019 mock draft that had Haskins not being picked in the first round.


    Tim, mock drafts don’t mean anything. They are not made by NFL scouting organization. What matters is what the WFT scouts and coaching staff were saying. The didn’t want Haskins and thought he wouldn’t be successful. Snyder, as in many other instances, overruled them and forced the pick. The rest is history and certainly not revisionism.

  13. What people have ever created lees competent, more bombastic head coaches than Jay and Jon’s

  14. Jay wasn’t a very good head coach. His defensive coordinator choices were probable the worst in the history of the NFL as a group. But, he is correct about Kyle Smith and Dan Snyder.

  15. The best thing that can happen to this team is the NFL make Snyder sell the team. It’s not completely Pollyanna to think that and you never know what the investigation will find. There’s a lot of people that works or have worked for him that want him gone.

  16. Hopefully Snyder never loses control of the franchise. I want him to remain the principal owner for the next 30 years

  17. Jay has done soooooo much better since leaving. Got mad interviews lined up. Wait he has a job? What he is gonna ruin Lawrence?!?!? Brilliant.

  18. Firstly, no Jay Gruden isn’t going to ruin Lawrence since he’s no longer employed there….Second, I agree with Jay that Snyder does interfere. Hopefully he lets Ron do his thing….third, Even though Dan was bad, Jay wasn’t ANY better. He got the job telling Dan he could “fix” RG3 and instead benched him. Jay also hired the WORST defensive coordinators he could find it seemed.

    Jay Gruden is a fine offensive coordinator/coach, but he’s a lousy head coach because he either keeps or hires guys on defense that lack good play calling abilities.

  19. So Dan Snyder is a meddling owner who thinks he knows more about football than his professionals.

    “I’m shocked, shocked to discover there is gambling going on in here.”

  20. Gruden hired defensive coordinators that weren’t threats to replace him if he got fired mid season. Snyder forced Bill Callahan into the coaching staff as future interim head coach.

  21. Wait until Ron Rivera runs them back into the ground the way he did Carolina. When did he become a great coach all of a sudden

  22. Nice of Jon Gruden to send his brother Jay to go work for Snyder especially knowing what he was sending him into.

  23. wow! Jay taking shots? this guy surrounded himself with inferior coaches because he was scared of being fired mid-season. unreal. hey Jay, there’s a guy named Jon on line 1,in need a quality control assistant.

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