Normally in press conferences for major announcements, the press is allowed the opportunity to ask questions, and then have follow up questions based on which direction the responses go. That was not really the case Monday afternoon, when team president Bruce Allen took to the podium to announce the removal of head coach Jay Gruden.
It was a short presser, with several media members getting to ask their one question, but Allen spent the afternoon deflecting blame, and painting a picture of a franchise that is right around the corner from competing. That clearly isn't the case for a franchise that is now on its eighth coach in 20 years and still searching for one to end up with a winning record. Washington has failed to win 40% of their games since Allen took things over, and he was in no mood to admit culpability. Instead, he basically indicated that the issues all stemmed from Gruden himself.
Here are a few highlights of his responses. The full press conference can be watched here (link).
Does Callahan have free reign to go with who he wants to play at QB?
It will be up to coach Callahan who he plays at any position, the same way it was for coach Gruden.
On lack of success while Allen has been in DC
Once again, fair question. We're all involved in this. I don't ever want to hide from our record... from things that didn't go the way we wanted them to. All we can do is work. Doug and Kyle had a great draft... I absolutely want what's best for the Washington Redskins.
When was the decision made (to fire Gruden)?
Around 8 oclock, 7 oclock
Was it for cause (non-football) or football reasons?
It's not for cause
On Redskins horrible record over the last decade
I promise you that I never thought of standing here midseason with a coaching change. We all have hopes and dreams.. all we can do is try to change tomorrow. I'd like to change a result or two, but you can't.
On joint success with Callahan in Oakland and Tampa
He is already implementing a plan. Schedules are going to change, and things of that nature. it is 0-5, we have 11 games left... we can still accomplish some of our goals. No one is going to shy away from extra work. Hopefully we can execute better on game day.
Was everyone on same page in drafting Haskins?
When you take a first round player, it gets a lot of publicity... all the coaches are involved in our draft meetings. they sign off on everything. Jay was excited about Dwayne Haskins.
On Stadium being filled with opposing fans, will you apologize?
I appreciate the fact that the Patriots have a great fan base. They've had tremendous success, bill belichick is probably the best coach in NFL history... all we can do is try to improve our product. These games we weren't close in. We lost five games, decisively, and we need to change that. Our fans deserve that. We're in the nation's capital.
Update on Trent Williams
Really there's been no dialogue with any other team.
Would you consider trading him?
No, not at this time.
Questions about team culture, how would you describe it?
The culture is actually damn good. These people care. We have a good young core of players who are accustomed to winning. In FA we brought in Landon Collins... the effort of the players and the rest of this organization is fantastic. Doug Williams? You want to check his time card? He's working all the time.
So how does that translate to winning?
Through winning football games. We have to win. We didn't win any of these games.
Why is it so hard to set a proper culture that leads to winning culture?
I don't agree with the premise. Last year at this time we were in first place and doing pretty good,then our QB got injured. The pieces are here... there's only one way to win, you have to work.