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The Skins Made Jay Gruden Come To The Office At 5 A.M. To Get Fired

Illustration for article titled The Skins Made Jay Gruden Come To The Office At 5 A.M. To Get Fired
Photo: Scott Taetsch (Getty)

After an embarrassing yet expected 33-7 “home” loss to the Patriots, after which everyone already knew head coach Jay Gruden would be fired ... Washington fired him. This being the Skins, though, they did it in the most disrespectful manner imaginable.


On Sunday, Gruden had morbidly responded to questions about his job by saying, “if the key works Monday I’ll keep working.” That’s not quite how he found out. But it was close!

From the Washington Post:

Gruden was summoned to the team’s facility in Ashburn for a 5 a.m. meeting Monday by owner Daniel Snyder and team president Bruce Allen, who informed him of the decision.

Jeez. Let the man sleep in, maybe? Do the deed Sunday, or perhaps even just give him a phone call?

Gruden was a dead man walking after an 0-5 start, and it always seemed likely the front office was waiting for him to eat shit against New England before doing to the deed, because it’s easier to claim a “fresh start” after that inevitable ass-kicking than right before it. The events of the past week were par for the course for this franchise, with the sides sniping at each other through the media and some embarrassing videos of Gruden coming out with suspicious timing. All of which led to this morning’s firing, and the inevitable recriminations to come in the next days.

The Skins announced the firing in a statement credited only to “the team”:

Through the first five games of the 2019 season, the team has clearly not performed up to expectations, and we all share in that responsibility. Moving forward we are committed to doing all that we can collectively as an organization to turn things around and give our Redskins fans and alumni a team they can be proud of in 2019 and beyond.


In five-plus seasons in Washington—the longest coaching stint under current ownership—Gruden was 35-49-1 with a single playoff appearance. That’s obviously not great; he always looked kind of hapless out there, but at least the players seemed to like him. But, grading on the Dan Snyder curve, it wasn’t really all that bad, or at least not out of the ordinary. Of the six coaches hired by Snyder, not one has finished with a winning record, and the team has finished last in its division eight times and third seven times. See a pattern? What’s wrong with this franchise wasn’t only or even mostly about Gruden.

Offensive line coach Bill Callahan will be the new interim head coach, which is a bummer because Rob Ryan and Jim Tomsula are right there.

Deputy editor | Deadspin