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Five Takeaways From Jay Gruden's Press Conference

January 10, 2014

Introductory press conferences are often the high point of a coach's tenure, especially when the Redskins are involved. The team is undefeated, and the future is bright. That said, here are some things we learned during Jay Gruden's press conference Jan. 9, in addition to the expected sound bites.

1. Robert Griffin III Wasn't Involved In The Redskins' Coaching Search
The Redskins had indicated that quarterback Robert Griffin III would not be involved in the coaching search, and he wasn't, Gruden said.

"I have not talked to Robert," Gruden said Jan. 9. "I look forward to it, though."

But Gruden did praise Griffin.

"I see a ton of talent," Gruden said. "I see a guy that can run. I see a guy that can maneuver in the pocket. I see accuracy; I see long-ball accuracy. I see toughness. I see a guy that wants to win, and I see a strong leader. I see every trait that a quarterback has to have to be successful. I see Robert having all of those, so why wouldn't you want to coach a guy like that?"

Griffin wasn't available to the media Jan. 9, but did post a reaction on Twitter, saying: "Excited about the hiring of Coach Jay Gruden. Can't wait to get to work with him & the guys!"

2. The Offensive And Defensive Coordinators Have Not Been Chosen
By mid-morning Jan. 9, there were reports that Gruden was going to be the next Redskins coach. Soon after that, several media outlets began reporting that current Washington tight ends coach Sean McVay, who has ties to Gruden, would be his offensive coordinator.

Not so fast. 

When asked about the McVay reports and whether he had chosen an offensive coordinator, Gruden said: "Nice, good for Sean [laughter] … I have not. I do like Sean. He's a heck of a guy, a heck of a coach. But we'll go through the process and hopefully -- there's a lot of great coaches, like I said, out there, and he's a great person and a great coach." 

Gruden also talked about the interest he had received regarding openings on his staff.

"This opportunity is a one-in-a-lifetime deal," he said, "and I've already had about 350 texts of people, great coaches, looking to coach, and it's going to keep coming. I don't think finding a great coach and coaching staff is going to be difficult. It's finding the right ones that fit what I want to do and what the players want to do."

3. Gruden Likes The 3-4 Defense
Gruden's predecessor, Mike Shanahan, switched the Redskins from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense four years ago, and the team has struggled since then to put the right pieces in place. But Gruden seemed to put an end to speculation about whether he would switch back to the 4-3.

"Well, this team is built for the 3-4," Gruden said. "They've been a 3-4 for a while, and I love the 3-4. I actually hate the 3-4 as an offensive coordinator, so I think with the players in place here, I would love to stay a 3-4." 

4. Gruden Will Call Plays And Bruce Allen Will Have Final Say About Players
Redskins executive vice president/general manager Bruce Allen stressed that Gruden would have a role in personnel. But, when asked about who would have final say, Allen said that would be his responsibility, not Gruden's.

"What's great about where Jay came from -- Cincinnati -- is the coaches were really involved with the personnel process," Allen said. "We're going to make our selections based on the Redskins' choices. The scouting department will give us the players and the lists, and we're going to work through the coaches and analyze it. At the end of the day, every one of the players will be chosen by the Redskins as a group. Jay and I talked about how we want to do it, and it really is going to be a group effort."

Gruden said he thought the relationship would work smoothly.

"I will call plays, yes, and I will be involved in personnel decisions," he said. "It's going to be a lot about a lot of different people involved in it. We're not all going to agree all the time, but the big thing is to make sure we hear each other out in a calm, cool fashion, and as long as everybody has the team's best interests at heart, like I said, we will come to an agreement on personnel decisions. That won't be an issue."

5. If Gruden Succeeds, Redskins Fans Can Thank The Chargers
"Well, you know, it's really how the playoffs played out," Allen said of Gruden's selection. "I joked about Jay, the Bengals, losing that game [to San Diego Dec. 5]. We had met with several coaches, and we had decided that when we found the right person for this time, we would propose to him. Through the long day of yesterday and the whole interview process, it was clear to everybody here that that Jay was the right man for us right now."


No Hall Call For Joe Jacoby In 2014
Former Redskins offensive lineman Joe Jacoby was not on the list of 2014 Hall of Fame finalists announced Jan. 9.

Jacoby, who spent 13 seasons with the Redskins and was one of the original Hogs, was among 25 semifinalists named in November.

The 15 modern-era finalists included Morten Andersen, Jerome Bettis, Derrick Brooks, Tim Brown, Edward DeBartolo, Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Marvin Harrison, Walter Jones, John Lynch, Andre Reed, Will Shields, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams. 

This was Jacoby's fourth time as a semifinalist, including for the Classes of 2005, 2008 and 2013. Fellow Hog Russ Grimm was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010.

The last former Redskin elected was linebacker Chris Hanburger, a member of the Class of 2011.