Jay Gruden Pleased With Redskins' Free-agency Moves

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Harvey Valentine

Redskins coach Jay Gruden told members of the media March 26 that he liked what the team had accomplished so far during free agency.

Gruden, who also confirmed the team would move Kory Lichtensteiger from left guard to center, discussed the state of the team during a breakfast meeting with reporters at the NFL owners meeting in Orlando, Fla., footage of which was posted on redskins.com.

NFL 2013: Jay Gruden (Bengals)

"I think we made a lot of progress as far as our team's concerned with free agency," Gruden said. "We needed some players to help with our depth. We had a lot of guys on our team from the year before that were free agents that we didn't sign back unfortunately, so we had some holes to fill and some positions that we desperately needed help.

"We did that. Now we're in a position to maybe add a few more and really look at the draft very hard, and study, and try to add seven or eight more very good players in the draft."

The Redskins haven't come away with some of the bigger names during free agency, as they have for some past offseasons.

"Some of the marquee guys got a lot of money," Gruden said. "Good for them. We needed more quantity as opposed to maybe one guy at a huge price. I think we went about it the right way. Bruce Allen, Morocco Brown and our coaching staff, we had grades for every player in the league, and obviously we wanted to get everybody, but you have to have a plan of attack.

"I had circled certain guys and positions that you really have to go after and attack, and come out of free agency with something because there's no guarantee that you can even get the guy you have as a top priority. I think we did a great job. I'm happy where we're at."

In terms of the offensive line, Gruden said Lichtensteiger would move to center in place of Will Montgomery, whom the team released earlier this month. Free-agent signee Shawn Lauvao will get a chance at left guard with Chris Chester remaining at right guard.

Gruden said returning offensive line coach Chris Foerster had suggested the Lichtensteiger move.

"I have faith in his assessment there," Gruden said. "I've never seen Korey play center, so we're hoping that he can make that transition. He's a great athlete, and I think he'll be a natural center with the type of movement skills he has. It's just a matter of seeing him snap and making sure that those shotgun snaps are consistent every time."

ROGER GOODELL DEFENDS REDSKINS NICKNAME

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the continued use of the nickname "Redskins" during his March 26 press conference at the NFL owners meeting, and he defended Washington owner Dan Snyder.

"This is something to your point that has been discussed for decades now," Goodell said in response to a question. "It comes up every once in a while, but people have strong views of it. I think Dan is being very responsible here in listening.

"It's also very clear when you look at public opinion, when you look at the polls, 90 percent of Redskins fans support the name. They believe it's something that demonstrates pride. And the general population also supports it overwhelmingly. He's trying to be responsible in listening and recognizing that people have different views."

Snyder announced March 24 he had created the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation to provide aid to tribal communities. The foundation will be led Gary Edwards, a Cherokee and a founder and chief executive officer of the National Native American Law Enforcement Association.

Snyder briefed Goodell and his fellow owners on the concept during the meetings.

"We have been listening, but so has Dan," Goodell said. "That was the point of his presentation. He's visited I think 26 different tribes. He has been working very closely with them. And he's not only listened, he's learned, and now he's taking action and he is trying to address some of the very important needs that they have identified when he has been having those meetings."

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