Jay Gruden’s time as the head coach of the Washington Football Team was unsuccessful. His second and third seasons weren’t bad with a 17-14-1 record, but the other 3.5 seasons were atrocious (18-35).
A part of that failure comes down to coaching. Another part of it comes down to draft decisions. According to Gruden, this is one of the areas where team owner Daniel Snyder had a major role in that failure.
In a story from the Washington Post on Friday, Gruden discussed the varying inputs in the franchise’s war room during the NFL draft. While former president of player personnel Kyle Smith was praised for his team-building and decision-making, Gruden took a shot at Snyder.
Check this out from The Washington Post:
“Every year that I was there, we had a pretty good draft class, with a couple exceptions,” former coach Jay 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.”
Smith has since accepted the same job with the Atlanta Falcons, leaving Washington in the rearview mirror.
Gruden is probably right. None of us know definitively what is going on behind the scenes, but it’s certainly believable that Snyder would be assert himself as the final decision-maker. And yes, it was probably frustrating to be let go by the guy who forced the team’s hand in drafting a particular player.
More than likely, it was a former first-round quarterback who is now a backup for the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to another article from The Post back in December, Snyder was the main one pushing for Dwayne Haskins at No. 15 back in the 2019 NFL Draft.
It was the wrong choice, and everyone but Synder seemed to pay for it.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.