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Gray stays focused on job as secondary coach

If owner Daniel Snyder decided to make a coaching change during the season, he likely would fire Coach Jim Zorn after Monday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles because the Redskins would then begin their bye week.

An interim coach and the holdovers from Zorn's coaching staff would have two weeks to prepare for the team's next game on Nov. 8 against the Atlanta Falcons. And it is widely believed that, if Zorn were ousted during the season, secondary coach Jerry Gray would be promoted to interim head coach. Gray discussed the situation with reporters today at Redskins Park.

"You just got to let it go and you got to do what you do," Gray said. "I know what my job is here, and that's [to] make sure that they [opponents] don't score touchdowns. That's what I got to keep doing.

"That's what we got to make sure that we stay focused [on] and not worry about what everything else is doing. I tell my guys all the time, if we start looking over our shoulder and we get hit, we're going to be in big trouble."

In one respect, Gray has been in training to become the interim head coach for the last couple of weeks, having become the spokesman for the defense. In the shakeup that occurred after Snyder hired Sherman Lewis, the team's new play-caller, as a consultant, defensive coordinator Greg Blache passed his media duties to Gray.

A former defensive coordinator for five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Gray acknowledges that he aspires to become an NFL head coach. It appears he may get the chance soon, even if only on an interim basis.

"This is not really new. This kind of happened in Buffalo a little bit," Gray said. "The thing that you've got to do is you've got to take from that experience. And trust me, I'm a lot better coach this time around because I got experience in that. I understand that things do happen, but the thing you have to do, you have to make sure you stay focused. And that's one thing I didn't do in Buffalo that I'll do this time. "

Regardless of his personal goals in coaching, Gray must remain focused on his current position, he said.

"If you get a chance to do that [become a head coach] you want to do that," Gray said. "You want to make sure that you're not just an assistant all your career, and if it happens in happens.

"But the thing you got to do, I'm kind of old fashioned, what you put up is what you get. And if you put up great numbers, then you should get rewarded. And if you don't, who cares?"

Gray said that he and Zorn are close and that he prays for Zorn.

"We talk all the time," Gray said. "You want to go on and make sure he's doing what he does. To me, he has to make sure he keeps this team together, 'cause he's still the head coach here. That's what head coaches do.

"There's a lot of times head coaches don't call [their own plays]. And you know what? He may have to accept that role and say, 'Okay, I'm not calling the plays. But I still got to get these guys motivated to play on Monday night."

By Jason Reid  |  October 22, 2009; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Beathard says Gibbs has right management skills

Comments

Sounds like he's kissing up to ownership.

Posted by: Gweez | October 22, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

this is a cesspool, Gray. You're better off going back to Buffalo.

Posted by: pgugino | October 22, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Could Gray be another Josh McDaniels ala Denver?

Posted by: CheyenneWY | October 22, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Gray is this years Terry Robiskie.

Posted by: Predator48 | October 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

You didn't last year, but got away with it. What makes you think you'll get away with it again?

Better pass rush, Haynesworth, and Orakpo are new this year, for starters....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | October 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Haynesworth makes a huge difference in the centre no doubt, but the Iggles never rush there.

If you guys can find a way to have Orakpo and Carter in the backfield for the whole game you win, if you can't, you don't.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you guys. I even benched McNobb in fantasy hoping it works out for you!!

Posted by: Redcoat | October 22, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

That's the only way to handle this situation. Do your job and what happens will be. That's what's expected from the players, it should be expected from the coaches more so.

Posted by: TWISI | October 22, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like he already knows whats going to happen.

Posted by: shutterbugjames | October 22, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Us old rock and rollers, especially those of us who’ve read Leiber and Stoller's book, know that “Poison Ivy” was a metaphor for the Clap.

“Late at night while you’re sleepin’
poison Ivy comes a creepin’ around."

Posted by: TheCork | October 22, 2009 2:27 PM

Ah HA ... this is consistent with the update to the old adage that "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". As per that bachelor party movie, the update is "except herpes ... herpes follows you back home."

I think Jerry Gray is a good coach. I don't care what you guys say. I don't think Skins should let him go. He seems like one of the guys Grilliams brought in who gets it. Btwn what he brought out from Tyron, Horton, and Doughty, I think he develops players pretty well.

Posted by: dcsween | October 22, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The problem starts at the top. It won't get fixed until you start at the top. At this point HC is way too low on the food chain.

Posted by: periculum | October 22, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like he already knows whats going to happen.

Posted by: shutterbugjames | October 22, 2009 2:59 PM |

The players know what's going to happen. This is from the times...

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/redskins/2009/oct/22/gray-addresses-rumors/

It was a bizarre situation in the locker room because we're asking defensive players about Gray's coaching style and they were playing along. Everybody in the building is aware of the situation should Zorn get fired.

-- Ryan O'Halloran

Posted by: TWISI | October 22, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

THe Eagles have no running game and lost to the Oakland Raiders...aka Washington West

So...Why can't we beat them? This game is nothing like the prior games. This will be NFC East football. I see tis as a very close game.

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

le beep

Posted by: sfskin | October 22, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

we will need an offense that is capable of 20+ per week from here on out to stay in games....(raiders game maybe the exception)...you guys are much better at the details i'm more of big picture guy....winning formula in the nfl score 20+ give up around 20 ... play deep into january, once in awhile you'll win it all...thats really what we all want a team thats in the hunt.....

Posted by: OriginalOldschool | October 22, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

They really should let Zorn go now.
How can this be good for the team.
Get rid of cerato at the same time.
What the hell good is he.

Posted by: jmy999 | October 22, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

They scored 6 points last week, against an awful team, what makes you think ZORN knows which personnel package would work?? How can they do worse?? 3 points?? I mean, weren't they trending that way anyway??

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | October 22, 2009 2:01 PM |

And the reason they scored 6 points was because of Zorn's playcalling? It didn't have anything to do with the quality of the personnel or their execution of the plays? So now that we've got a real playcaller like Lewis this team is going to light it up? I hope that's right.

Posted by: League-Source | October 22, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Gray is this years Terry Robiskie.
Posted by: Predator48

I don't think so..He seems more prepared to take over..maybe if his does he'll pull a Singletary and turn things around...

I think Jerry Gray is a good coach. I don't care what you guys say. I don't think Skins should let him go. He seems like one of the guys Grilliams brought in who gets it. Btwn what he brought out from Tyron, Horton, and Doughty, I think he develops players pretty well.
Posted by: dcsween

I agree...he should be considered and then we just have to settle on an offense coordinator and a GM....

Posted by: jcnjcnj | October 22, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@predator 48 - Don't you mean this year's Terry Robinskie?

Posted by: VeloStrummer | October 22, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

If Jerry Gray is such a good coach, why isn't he COACHING DeAngelo Hall and teaching him how to tackle, and throwing pass after pass to Carlos Rogers until he starts catching the ball? Just a little coaching and demanding results might help.

Posted by: VegasJim | October 22, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

REDSKINS ANNOUNCE SPECIAL PROMOTIONS, BYE WEEK PRACTICE SCHEDULE

With several thousand tickets left to sale and facing up to the prospect of several thousand more no shows for Monday night's football game, the Washington Redskins are pulling out all of the stops to attract more fans for the visiting team through a special “Philadelphia Freedom” promotional event.

Everyone attending will be encouraged to wear either the Philadelphia team colors or basic black -- in commemoration of the recent death of Michael Jackson.

Bruce Springsteen will launch a special halftime show with his Academy Award winning “Streets of Philadelphia,” the theme song from the movie about a homosexual lawyer who fights on despite suffering from AIDS. Next up, gay music icon Elton John will sing “Philadelphia Freedom,” a song he dedicated to tennis icon Billie Jean King. Finally, in a special promotional crossover with Paramount Pictures, Hollywood actor and team toadie Tom Cruise will introduce a five-minute film clip from the soon to be released “This Is It,” the much anticipated film about the final days of the musically gifted but sexually ambiguous Michael Jackson.

In other team news, current Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn has decided to alternate quarterback play during Monday night’s game -- and start Todd Collins for the first half, and wait until the second half to give Jason Campbell the football.

Zorn explained, “I think we’ve established beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jason’s play in the first half of our games has been downright atrocious, while it’s only marginally better in the second half. So we’ll try to make it easier for him and ask him to just focus on being ready for the second half.”

He continued, “We’re also hoping that with all of this music we’re piping into the locker room from the halftime show, Jason might find it easier to get into his rhythm too.”

There was no immediate announcement of Zorn's plans for future following Monday evening’s expected loss to their division rivals. However, presumed incoming coach and heir apparent Jerry Gray has unveiled plans for the bye-week period that will follow Monday’s game.

Recognizing that the team wasted nearly all its pre-season training time simply trying to decide whether to cut marginal third string quarterback prospects Colt Brennan or Chase Daniel (both of whom have since left the team) –- while also resting all of the starters and primary backups, Gray has decided his team needs to “go back to basics” and “focus on fundamentals.”

Therefore Gray has scheduled two-a-day practice sessions for the next two weeks to focus on the fundamentals of blocking, tackling, running, passing and personal physical conditioning.

However, team prima donnas Clinton Portis and Albert Haynesworth have already declined to participate, explaining that as overpriced veterans who enjoy a “special relationship” with team owner Dan Snyder, they “don nede no eff-in practis.”

Posted by: Vic1 | October 22, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Three of 40 questions John Corcoran would ask of Dan Snyder in his latest Redskin column on NFLDraftdog.

"Do you know what those guys on offense who don’t catch passes or play in the backfield are called?"

"Until this week, did you think “Levi Jones” was an inordinate longing for denim?"

"Have you tried Craig’s List to find a new racquetball partner?"

Read 'em all at:

http://www.nfldraftdog.com/nfl-team-columns/washington-redskins.html

Posted by: TheCork | October 22, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

To even compare Jerry Gray to the Denver coach is an insult to the Denver coach. Jerry Gray can't even coach his own cornerbacks on how to tackle because he doesn't apparently think tackling is important for that position as he himself stated. Is that really the guy you want to put in charge of this team ? Another idiot who gives his flashy players a free pass? F Jerry Gray. Hope he ends up bagging groceries when all is said and done. Greg Blache can join him as well. And Bugel as much as I appreciate his contributions over the years, has no balls. He should either be more vocal about wanting to revamp his o-line or he needs to cut and run and retire or something. He shoudl never be in charge of such a crappy o-line without making some sorta stink about it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Gray is a Yes man. Which means, he'll probably get the interim job. Snyder doesn't want a strong personality as head coach or at GM.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Gray coaches. Shermingo calls the plays. Blache breaks up foes' plays and decides to answer questions, but in sign language. Playoffs!!!!!!!!!

Vinny gets a new title. Lil' Dan gets new elevator shoes.

Playoffs!!!!!!

Posted by: jnsbear | October 22, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Gray is a Yes man. Which means, he'll probably get the interim job. Snyder doesn't want a strong personality as head coach or at GM.

Posted by: cstanton1


Top Hating......

Posted by: jcnjcnj | October 22, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I mean Stop hating

Posted by: jcnjcnj | October 22, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

WHAT? are you saying that the secondary coach would be promoted to HEAD coach??? are you telling us that the guy who can't force (or teach) our defensive backs how to properly tackle, when to wrap up and when not to is going to be PROMOTED? not only do several of these guys not tackle competently, they also appear to be afraid TO tackle head on when the situation calls for it. and the $8m dollar man leads the pack in inept coverage and inept tackling. this coach is unable to teach or find personnel able to STICK with their man long enough to at least force their man to have to make a hard catch. nobody's gonna cover 100%, but gee. our even check receivers that are no better than those WE have, which is why they have to give up 10 yards at the line of scrimmage. surely noone is going to promote THAT guy??? help me, lawd!

Posted by: dcjazzman | October 22, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Everyone talking about JGray TEACHING tackling needs to stop..They TEACH tackling in Boys Club, Pop Warner leagues...The guys are Pros and know how to tackle..DHall and whoever else that don't tackle don't have HEART..That's what you need...and you can't TEACH HEART..either you have it or you don't..Someone said before that DHall had the Dieon Sanders method of tackling.."only in extreme conditions"...preserve yourself at all cost...

Posted by: jcnjcnj | October 22, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that Snyder surprises everybody and names Sherm Lewis as interim HC. It actually makes a little bit of sense. Of course, that's an argument for why Snyder wouldn't do it.

Posted by: acoberst1 | October 22, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg Blache for head coach! Joe Bugel for head coach! Anybody but Gray!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | October 22, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Blache stepped away from the mike for one of a couple reasons:

1) He does not want the interim HC job. This would explain him at first stepping up to the mike in accepting blame for the Lios loss, then disappearing.

2) Blache is playing nice to remain as Def Coord and Jerry Gray is to be made interim HC. By Blache stepping away from the mike, it allowed Gray a forum to build his cred with the fans.

In either case, I'm surprised Snyder didn't finish the scapegoat job he has performed on Zorn, his hand picked successor to Joe Gibbs, adn fire Zorn BEFORE the MNF game. The press coverage would not be any worse at any rate, and Snyder could use the MNF forum to launch his latest shell game on MNF viewers with a national audience. Could still happen, canning Zorn on Saturday or Sunday night, the news would get buried somewhat by the NFL games.

Posted by: bfjam | October 22, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I just figured it out-Snyder is gay and in love with Vinny. Secret trysts? No divorce here!

Posted by: KurtShanaman | October 23, 2009 5:41 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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