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Sources say Gray interviewed for Redskins' head-coaching job

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache did not interview for the Redskins' head coaching position but secondary coach Jerry Gray did, league sources confirmed today.

A ProFootballTalk.com report stated Blache interviewed for the position currently occupied by Jim Zorn, but it was Gray, who has publicly expressed his desire to become a head coach and was a finalist for the position at the University of Memphis, who recently spent time discussing the position with owner Daniel Snyder, according to sources. Blache and Gray are African American, so Washington complied with the Rooney Rule - which states that minority candidates must be interviewed for head-coaching and senior front-office vacancies - in formally meeting with Gray.

The Redskins have declined comment on their plans to replace Zorn, who is expected to lead the team Monday night against the New York Giants at FedEx Field. The Redskins are reportedly in negotiations to hire former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan as their next coach.

The revelation that Gray interviewed for his boss's job might produce divisions within the coaching staff during the season's final weeks. Although new top football official Bruce Allen says he plans to evaluate Zorn and the assistant coaches over the final three games before making any decisions, Zorn and most of the assistants have realized for at least two months they would not return in 2010, team sources said.

By Jason Reid  |  December 19, 2009; 5:39 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Redskins start to dig out ahead of Monday night game

Comments

"I think Snyder wouldn't allow Zorn to sit CP for instance.... "


I think the difference now is that no matter who is coach, CP is a goner.

His posted comments in the media earlier in the week suggests he knew something about the BA hiring long in advance and who the next HC might be.

That's why he delivered the cryptic lines about '...maybe continuing my career on elsewhere..'.

If you notice, there wasn't any weeping and wailing in these parts at the remark.

Nothing against Clinton Portis, mind you.

He played well and gave his all during some lean times.

But whatever it was that was attractive about him before, it don't look so good now.

I can think of about $7.5 million reason why.

Pro football teams release decent older players all the time, even when it's not advantagous financially.

I think that's where we're headed with Portis.

And I'll be the FIRST to point all of this out.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 19, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

How very Machiavellian, using existing coaches to skirt the Rooney rule. I had hoped that the palace intrigue went out with VC. Perhaps Riggo was right.

Posted by: Keyskonnection | December 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The only concern I have about Shanahan is who will lead the defense, and if that person will be able to continue the success the Skins defense has had over the last few years. Having Shanahan, his son, and his other members of his staff will only help in taking the Skins offense to another level. His staff has so many more years of experience in running the WCO than the current staff. Notice how the offense blossomed under the gameday direction of someone who has years of experience in this offense. I would hope that Chris Meidt and Stump Mitchell will find themselves on the new staff.

Posted by: TWISI | December 19, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I also think the plays being called aren't really better plays, just the players are finally executing them.
Posted by: 1965skinsfan | December 19, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

You're right, the plays are exactly the same, they're just being called in a way that is taking advantage of defenses weaknesses. Both you and Flound are right--execution is vastly improved and Sherm's calling of the plays on hand, especially calling plays to set up other plays depending on the defense, is also a lot better.

These two aspects make a case to keep Zorn, if you buy the "spread too thin" theory along with his inexperience as a play caller. Keep Zorn's offense for a multitude of reasons, just have someone else call it.

Posted by: RomoLongballs | December 19, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

repost

Posted by: RomoLongballs | December 19, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

If you already got your mind set on someone...the Rooney Rule is already a shame, so don't hate the Redskins if no one will want to interview with them because they know who they want to hire already........

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 19, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

If this is true, I will have lost a significant amount of respect for Jerry Gray. I thought he was tight with the Z Man? I THOUGHT the credo was you NEVER interview for a job that is occupied.

Now Zorn is MORE of a sympathetic figure to the outside world!

Maybe this move to "interview" Jerry Gray is to hire Shanny in the next couple of days BEFORE the Cowboys and Jerra begin to duel the Skins and The Snyder for the services of the 2 time SB winner?!?

Maybe Jerry Gray has been promised the DC job in exchange for doing the phoney Rooney Rule interview?!?

J, the universal Law of Reaping and Sowing CANNOT be avoided. Don't sell your soul for the DC role.

I hope this rumor is entirely untrue.

Posted by: gilk | December 19, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Who are "team sources"? Hard to believe Snyder would allow any of his minions to discuss anything with the sports media.

Posted by: Lisa_R | December 19, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

All in all, I'm not feeling nearly as good about the Bruce Allen hire as I thought I would.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 19, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Good thing your feelings are irrelevant.

Posted by: p1funk | December 19, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

These two aspects make a case to keep Zorn, if you buy the "spread too thin" theory along with his inexperience as a play caller. Keep Zorn's offense for a multitude of reasons, just have someone else call it.

Posted by: RomoLongballs | December 19, 2009 6:08 PM

That's why he'll be gone. There is no way JZ will "comply" with not calling plays full time if he's the HC going forward. It's what he thinks is a strength and his ego will not be filled if he's not in charge of this responsibility.

Posted by: TWISI | December 19, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

How very Machiavellian, using existing coaches to skirt the Rooney rule. I had hoped that the palace intrigue went out with VC. Perhaps Riggo was right.

Posted by: Keyskonnection | December 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse


Good point.

Because Jerry Gray is an assistant with the Redskins, he doesn't count as a real African-American person.


Posted by: p1funk | December 19, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

League, not Team, sources.

Does anybody really think that Shanahan is NOT going to be the new Coach?

And what do you expect BA to say? "Yeah, Shanny is the man" next year with 3 games left to go? Shanahan made it clear to Danny he couldn't and wouldn't do anything for him this year in season.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | December 19, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: TWISI | December 19, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Ya, I could live with that scenario. But if Zorn stays, one would think Blache stays too. I doubt he does if Shanny comes on board.

So if someone else calls Zorn's offense with a top 5 defense, continuity at QB, new talent on OL...how are we not winners?

Everything points to this not happening, however...

Posted by: RomoLongballs | December 19, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

It wouldbe nice for us if Gray actually got the job. I think he could be one of the "up and coming" that everyone is looking for.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | December 19, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

You know who's an "up and comer" Kyle Shanahan. With three years of being AHC/OCand being the defunct 2nd in command under is dad, he'll have the requisite experience to run the whole program (after the Skins comply with the Rooney Rule of course).

Posted by: TWISI | December 19, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

beep

Posted by: TWISI | December 19, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

a league source told me wassup

Posted by: Skins2 | December 19, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Whomever talked Dan Snyder into hiring Zorn should be fired!

Yes, he is a nice guy, but dude is way over his head. Any fan who actually watches the game will tell you that the play calling has improved along with the execution. Improvement in execution is partly due to the fact that the players are given plays that have a higher degree of success.

Posted by: samiismoni14 | December 19, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me that now that Zorn leaving is a done deal, people are pining for him to stay. Do you so quickly forget 3 stretch runs time after time? Not going for it on 3rd with 15 secs left? Settling for a FG that missed in the 4th quarter when he could have kept the drive going? Settling for ANOTHER FG that missed? His inability or refusal to get the youngsters on the field until injuries forced his hand? His refusal to sit ARE from both the offense and the PR game? Shutting down the offense when they were kicking ass and yearning to SEIZE VICTORY?

The list goes on and on. Great guy, over matched, not HC of the Washington Redskins material. Sorry it didn't work out, good luck with the Browns or the Banana Slugs or wherever you wind up.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | December 19, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I said...beep

Posted by: TWISI | December 19, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand something. If the Skins have been negotiating with Shanahan for some time, does that mean he's Snyder's choice for coach, not Bruce's? Isn't the GM supposed to pick the coach after evaluating the team and its situation? Is this whole Shanahan thing telling us that, though Vinny's gone, it's business-as-usual: the idiot owner is calling the shots?

Posted by: chris_zz | December 19, 2009 4:10 PM

I am not a fan of Dan Snyder, but your protrayal above is likely incorrect. During the press conference for Allen, it was mentioned that he and Snyder had been talking for a while on alot of matters. I would say Allen already knew about Shanahan and agreed to it beforehand.

If this is true, this means the organization (and Allen) is not being totally truthful about really evaluating Zorn as if he has a chance to continue being head coach.

Posted by: cannontl | December 19, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Zorn may have looked a lot better if the guy providing the bodies could have provided an adequate offensive line with some depth at the beginning of the year (since the Skins offseason meetings identified the o-line as the main problem with the offense - of course then Vinny and Danny spend most of the offseason trying to replace Campbell and upgrading the defense).

As far as not playing they youngster until injuries forced it, many coaches would have done the same thing including the last one Joe Gibbs. You play when you earn it or injuries put you at the top of the depth chart.

Posted by: cannontl | December 19, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing wrong with any assistant/position coach interviewing for the HC job under these circumstances; the team has made it clear Zorn will not retain the job past this season and Zorn did not choose his staff.

The shamocracy is in the 'compliance' of the Rooney Rule.

Posted by: kahlua87 | December 19, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

The Rooney Rule is a sham rule anyway with so many ways to skirt around it. Most owners already know who they will hire and the ones that want to hire minority coaches will do it anyway. Vice versa, the owners that have already made up their minds, like Snyder, will just bend the rule to their advantage. Anyway, this team needs a strong head coach and I am not sure if a first time minority head coach is the type of person this team needs right now.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 19, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

IMHO a position coach should almost never be elevated to the head coaching slot. If the position coach is more qualified to be head coach than a coordinator, the position coach should've been the coordinator in the first place.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 19, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the Rooney Rule was a political CYA -- good for NFL's image and good for owner-player relations. I don't think it had much to do with teams hiring black coaches. Society had already changed enough for black coaches to be hired. IMO, teams hire black coaches today on merit -- based on who will be the best coach, win the most games. The RR thus doesn't mean anything real... it's for show. It changes nothing.

Posted by: chris_zz | December 19, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Gray is a joke! He cannot seem to coach his players on how to wrap thier arms around someone when they try to tackle in a game! He needs to go to coach a college team and get out of the NFL! I wish he would have stayed in Buffalo! We do not need back stabbers on this team! That is the reason that Portis should go also! Get rid of the cancer on this team! Get people and players who will practice and are loyal to the team and not all about themselves!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | December 19, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

My one issue is that, if Zorn is to be fired, why not just do it now--and let it be done with? Why continue to put Zorn through the misery?

It's clear that, with a new GM, Snyder wants to take the team in a new direction. Last Thursday would have been the perfect time to fire him and appoint an interim coach. They could have packaged it all into one big press conference.

With the season all but over, with new management coming in, I don't see why they insist on keeping Zorn. Given that many of the starters are likely to be cut or traded I don't see why they just didn't let Zorn go.

Posted by: jiacinto | December 19, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

We do not need back stabbers on this team! That is the reason that Portis should go also! Get rid of the cancer on this team
--------------------------------------------

I don't see Gray as a backstabber per se. It's not news that Zorn is a goner after the season ends. Your real issue here is with Snyder, who should have just fired Zorn on Thursday and appointed an interim coach. Gray isn't the one that Zorn should be mad at.

As for Portis I agree with you 100%. He is a selfish, arrogant player who was a toxic influence on the team. I hope that Portis does not return.

But with Portis I blame Snyder and Cerrato for allowing it to get out of control. They openly enabled him, allowing him to undermine the coach in public on the radio. They allowed him to skip the preseason and practice. I can only imagine how it must have felt to be one of the other 52 members of the Redskins who didn't wear #26.

Whatever Allen does when he takes over I hope that he instills discipline. And on this point Snyder needs to back him up and not allow a player like Portis to undermine Allen or whomever the next coach.

Posted by: jiacinto | December 19, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

good work skins. I DESPISE the Rooney Rule. if a team is racist and doesnt hire a black coach because of it, they get what they deserve if that coach would have been better than the white guy they hired.

Posted by: TheSuperhoo | December 19, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

"Jerry Gray is a joke! He cannot seem to coach his players on how to wrap thier arms around someone when they try to tackle in a game! He needs to go to coach a college team and get out of the NFL! I wish he would have stayed in Buffalo! We do not need back stabbers on this team! That is the reason that Portis should go also! Get rid of the cancer on this team! Get people and players who will practice and are loyal to the team and not all about themselves!"

Exactly. This is the guy who had Landry playing in the wrong position - and didn't sit him when he let everyone and his brother run past him.

The secret friendships with Snyder are part of the problem. CP is slow and can't even average 4 yards a carry, but he's the owner's "confidante". There's no way Snyder or Cerrato would have let Zorn play Betts or Ganther without the concussion issue.

Allen is Snyder's new stooge. Snyder wants Shanahan and Allen has to be the yes man. The deep issues that infest this team continue...

Posted by: AlohaFan | December 19, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

It's official....

GOD wants the Saints to go undefeated.

Book it!

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 19, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Stay classy, Dan Snyder!

Posted by: burnskj | December 20, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Stinks that the Cowpies got lucky against a flat Saints team tonight. Might slow Jones' move to get Shanahan - and Shanahan going to the Cowpies would be the best thing for the future of the Skins.

...and Gray as a head coach, WHEN THE SECONDARY HAS BEEN THE #2 PROBLEM WITH OUR TEAM?!?!? Yeah, right!

Posted by: fr3dmars | December 20, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe the Skins interviewed Jerry Gray for HC. They should fire all of the coaches and assistants except for Bugel, Danny Smith, Olivadotti, and Palermo. Blache, Gray, Jackson, Hixon all need to be fired. They haven't coached well.

As for Gray, if he had any integrity and respect for Zorn, he could have told Danny that he be happy to interview for the position once it actually becomes available.

Trade Clinton Portis. He is a cancer on the team.

I wonder if Danny regrets not hiring Greg Williams as HC????????

Posted by: neil64 | December 20, 2009 3:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey guys! Let's keep focused. This monday night is "our" Division championship game for this season. And our next game is our Super Bowl! The last one is our Pro Bowl. If we win all three, how can the new FO fire Zorn? He's learning this HC job, and one can see some positive results lately. Give him the benefit of the doubt. I liked to go into next season with a 4 game winning streak. JC and JZ are both doing well. Let's see if they continue to roll. I hope the new BA gives 'em a chance to show everyone that both these guys aren't playing out of position!

Posted by: DeployedFan | December 20, 2009 4:46 AM | Report abuse

Banana Slugs or wherever you wind up.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe |

Banana Slugs...Great reference..

Posted by: jcnjcnj | December 20, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

IMHO a position coach should almost never be elevated to the head coaching slot. If the position coach is more qualified to be head coach than a coordinator, the position coach should've been the coordinator in the first place.

Posted by: randysbailin


Gray has been a coordinator..in Buffalo..as well as Blache..in Chicago...they like others joined Gibbs' staff in lesser roles for more money.

Posted by: jcnjcnj | December 20, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

What kind of a low rent organization interviews head coaches while one is still in place? Zorn may not be a good coach, but he really doesn't need to be humiliated. First they strip him of his duties then they interview his subordinates for his job while he's still in the slot. Zorn would leave a lot of money on the table, but he probably should've walked by now.....

Posted by: randysbailin | December 20, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

FIRST THING: will Allen be a yes man for Snyder..or will Snyder stay out of the way, and let Bruce make the decisions?
SECOND THING: will Zorn be fired? Easy answer is yes. If we look a little deeper,
we see that this team was riddled by key injuries..especially to the O line. Few teams can win with that number of key injuries. Play calling did not seem to work for Zorn. Since most of the plays are being called up in the booth..the offense(with a make shift O line has come alive. ZORN CONTINUES TO HAVE HIS TEAM PLAY HARD. Which is amazing considering how this team has been beaten up..by injuries, and other teams. HE HAS BEEN AS GOOD, IF NOT A BETTER MOTIVATOR, AS GIBBS WAS. WILL BRINGING IN A NEW COACH, NEW ASSISTANTS, AND A NEW SYSTEM..HELP THIS TEAM? Jason is catching on..and making quicker, and better decisions. Do they want to change things on him again. AREN`T THEY BETTER OFF RE-SIGNING HIM THAN DRAFTING A ROOKIE WHO MAY BE GOOD(OR NOT) IN A FEW YEARS. A very good O line will make average QB`s, AND RUNNING BACKS look great. Look at all the backs Denver produced..with their great O line. The Hogs did that for people like Mark Rypien, Doug Williams etc. Spend the draft choices on areas they really need to improve the..O line, and the corner back position.
should have never given Hall a big contract. Rogers, is not only a bad corner..but linemen have better hands than he does. IF THEY START OVER AT QB..IT WILL BE YEARS BEFORE THEY HIT 8-8. This team can be competitive with the other NFC East teams..with some more help in the areas mentioned.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | December 20, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Rooney Smooney - All men are created equal?
Hire whomever you want if you own the team.

BOYCOTT $NYDER UNTIL WE GO TO THE PLAYOFFS ON A REGULAR BASIS-HIRE RUSS GRIMM AS HEAD COACH-PORTIS POCKETS STRAIGHT ALL THE WAY OUT OF HERE!

Posted by: hessone | December 20, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe the Skins interviewed Jerry Gray for HC. They should fire all of the coaches and assistants except for Bugel, Danny Smith, Olivadotti, and Palermo. Blache, Gray, Jackson, Hixon all need to be fired. They haven't coached well.

As for Gray, if he had any integrity and respect for Zorn, he could have told Danny that he be happy to interview for the position once it actually becomes available.

Trade Clinton Portis. He is a cancer on the team.

I wonder if Danny regrets not hiring Greg Williams as HC????????

Posted by: neil64 | December 20, 2009 3:51 AM | Report abuse
===============================

What a joke!!! Blache has the #7 defense in the league and you say he has not coached well, yet you want to keep Danny Smith who I am guessing you feel has done his job!!!!
Special Teams has been a constant joke all year long (and really a problem for several seasons!!)
Special teams alone cost the Skins the NO game!!!
Yeah!!! Keep up the great analysis neil64

Posted by: dkidwell61 | December 20, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Why is $nyder interviewing ANYONE for the head coach's job? Isn't that Allen's job? Does he have the new coach's staff all picked out for him? Hasn't he learned anything??????

Posted by: jburnetti | December 20, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Why is $nyder interviewing ANYONE for the head coach's job? Isn't that Allen's job? Does he have the new coach's staff all picked out for him? Hasn't he learned anything??????

Posted by: jburnetti | December 20, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse
================================

Funny how the Snyder haters try to take exception with every move he makes!!!
FYI, Jack Kent Cooke interviewed Joe Gibbs before hiring him. (Flew to NYC with Beathard in fact)
Did you have a problem with that one!!!???

Posted by: dkidwell61 | December 20, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

First. Snyder owns the team and he and every other owner should be able to interview who they want. The Rooney rule is just another case of caving into the blacks when they whine(something they have perfected) about racism. That term has been so overworked by the blacks that it is meaningless. If I paid the money these owners have paid for their teams I'll be damned if ANYONE would dictate to me about who I hire. If the league wants to foot half of the hirees salary then they can have a say.
Gray is a punk and a sleazebag. Who with a shred of decency would interview for the coach's job while he's still employed. Only a sleazbag like Gray. The rest of the staff should shun him. That includes all of the black coaches. FAT CHANCE THAT WILL HAPPEN

Posted by: jdamb222 | December 20, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Here's the new analysis of the situation. Did Bruce get has job because of his experience in being able to work with Al Davis (The Danny's role model) or is because of his experience as GM?
Shanahan S---. Gray forget about it. Let Allen do his job and do it right.

Posted by: kermiepop | December 20, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Why would you conduct interviews before the season is over and create a divisive force in the locker room? Perhaps, because Snyder is scared that the Skins are turning it around now, and late season wins might compromise his ability to fire Zorn and make a big popular splash with Shanahan. Shocker, Dan Snyder is struggling to handle this with a shred of decency.

Posted by: audacitea | December 20, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

how on earth could one describe interviewing an assistant coach on the team as "Machiavellian?"

maybe an end-run around the Rooney Rule, but still a far cry from anything I would consider Machiavellian...

Posted by: bacaje | December 21, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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