Redskins fire Gruden after starting season 0-5
ASHBURN, Va. — Owner Dan Snyder and President Bruce Allen summoned coach Jay Gruden to the Washington Redskins’ facility before dawn Monday to tell him he was being fired.
“It was a brief conversation,” Allen said.
Now comes a longer conversation about the status of the floundering franchise that has won just two playoff games in Snyder’s two decades of ownership and zero during Allen’s tenure. Gruden is out after an 0-5 start to his sixth season and is the latest in a long line of Redskins coaches to take the fall for significant organizational shortcomings.
“To make a decision like this is difficult, but it was necessary,” Allen said during a 13-minute news conference. “Our 0-5 start is not just disappointing. We had much different expectations for the beginning of the season. We owe it to our fans, … the organization, the players, the coaches and their families to do everything we can to win.”
There were reports Monday that the Redskins could be interested in Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
The Redskins haven’t won much lately, going 35-49-1 overall under Gruden with one playoff appearance in the 2015 season. A popular coach among players and a smart offensive mind, Gruden struggled in preparing his teams: Washington went 1-5 in season openers and lost a win-and-get-in game in Week 17 in 2016 against the New York Giants, who had nothing to play for.
Despite never before being a head coach in the NFL, and despite never winning more than nine games in a season, Gruden managed to stick around longer than anyone else who’s held that job during Snyder’s unsuccessful stint as owner.
Asked why Snyder wasn’t addressing fans, Allen said, “Because I am.” Snyder was not made available to reporters Monday.
None of the six coaches hired since Snyder bought the team has a winning record, including Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs and two-time Super Bowl champion Mike Shanahan. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan becomes the seventh after he was selected to replace Gruden on an interim basis.
Callahan has coached the Raiders in the NFL and Nebraska in college football.
n Los Angeles Rams linebacker Clay Matthews is expected to be out for four to six weeks with a broken jaw.
Coach Sean McVay said Monday that Matthews won’t return until after the Rams’ bye in early November.
Matthews was hurt when Seattle running back Chris Carson inadvertently kicked him in the face during the fourth quarter of the Rams’ 30-29 loss to the Seahawks last Thursday. Matthews’ jaw has been wired shut, McVay says.
n Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Jordan Phillips found another opening to beat Taylor Lewan — this time on social media.
The Titans’ three-time Pro Bowl left tackle gave a shout-out Monday on Twitter to Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson for his production as a first-round pick with a screen shot of Lawson’s stats through Sunday’s 14-7 win by Buffalo. Lawson had no tackles or sacks in the game.
Phillips, who had a career-high three sacks by halftime, took over.
The defensive tackle wrote that Lewan should get drug tested again and called him a “soft cry baby.” Phillips then shared a couple of videos of Lawson tying up Lewan so he could get his second sack followed by a tweet with a screen grab of a story for Lewan failing a drug test earlier this year with “People don’t forget @taylorlewan77.”
Then the Bills lineman, who played the Titans and Lewan twice last season first with the Dolphins and then Buffalo, tweeted out a screen grab of the Titans left tackle unconscious in the 2018 season opener at Miami with the hashtag “NSFW” to Lewan. The Titans tackle missed the next game with a concussion.
n The Tennessee Titans have released kicker Cairo Santos a day after he missed three field goals and had a fourth blocked.
Santos missed field goals from 50, 36 and 53 yards with a 36-yarder blocked by Darryl Johnson in a 14-7 loss to Buffalo on Sunday. Santos apologized at his locker after the game with the native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, saying he’d never had a day like that anywhere.