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Jerry Gray Speaks

The guys you really feel for in this situation are the assistant coaches, who have been left in the lurch at this point, with no idea of where they stand or what will go on with the next regime.

Jerry Gray, cornerback coach, is a definite Gregg Williams guy, serving as his defensive coordinator in Buffalo when Gregg was head coach there, then remaining there for a few years before joining this staff in 2006. Gray said basically all the coaches can do for now is review their individual performance, break down as much film as possible and try to be as prepared as possible whenever the new coach takes over. If Williams gets the gig then Gray is looking at a promotion; if the job goes to an outside candidate he could very well be looking for a job.

That's the nature of the business, folks. Gray is reviewing all aspects of the secondary play - how they did against screens, fades, in the two-minute drill, etc. - and putting together reports to provide to the next coach. Many of these guys would likely get at least courtesy interviews with a new coach and there will be questions to ask and things to explain. But it's foolish to spend too much time on personnel and staff right now, because everything is up in the air. Right now, they don't even know what scheme they will be running or what the roster will look like.

"You really don't know what's going to happen," Gray said. "You've just got to play it by ear and to me if you're going to start panicking right now you should have been panicking when we lost those four games in a row. And to me I think because we didn't do that you've got to have some staying power, and if you've got that, and if the owners like what you did then they're going to keep you. And if they don't then they're going to let you go anyway."

Gray said Gibbs's decision came as a surprise. "I don't think you ever have an inkling a guy is going to do that," he said.

Gray was a big part of Williams's staff in Buffalo and, when asked about the job they did there, he voiced strong support. The regime inherited a fading team that had a tight-fisted owner, $19 million in dead cap and were $22 million over the cap. "You know you're going to have to cut a lot of Pro Bowl players," Gray said. They went 3-13 the first season but were installing the makings of an elite defense. In 2002 they improved to 8-8 and they went 6-10 in 2003.

Gray, who obviously had a vested stake in this, said: "Most teams will keep a head coach like that, and they decided not to, and to me I think they're still looking for another head coach to get them over the hump." (Dick Jauron might disagree, but we digress). The knock against Williams is that he's seen by some as an elite coordinator but maybe not a head coach. Some say his message does not always get through to both sides of the ball.

Williams was pretty up front with the media about that when he got here, talking about the way getting fired Buffalo changed him and some of the "self scouting" he did on himself then. No doubt this group of players wants him to be their leader, but this is a process with billion dollar ramifications that goes well beyond just football, so we'll see what Snyder does.

Also, Gray was straight up when asked about veteran corner Shawn Springs, who has an $8 million cap figure and who Snyder tried to get to take a pay cut to stay in Washington last year. When asked his opinion about whether the Redskins should retain Springs, Gray said: "I think Shawn Springs should be back." So if Williams is the guy, it gives you the idea the staff would at least ask Snyder for a renegotiation for Springs rather than just cut him. But it all could be moot, too.

By Jason La Canfora  |  January 9, 2008; 11:22 AM ET
 
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Comments

Bucket of cold water time.

The coach question is secondary.

Gibbs' much more important job title was "president." He wasn't able to transform the Redskins dysfunctional organizational culture, but he was able to ride herd on Danny.

No one else will be able to do that.

So it's going to be back to the Danny and Vinny show. The coach, whoever he is, will operate within--more precisely, under--that structure.

Thus no Cowher unless he pulls a Spurrier and sells his soul for clams. And we know how that worked.

If anything, Danny now has more confidence that he has matured, that he's gained insight, that his basic approach was right. Gibbs, masterful manager of people that he is, certainly never actually got in Danny's face and said "STFU, rich boy." Instead, he flattered and flattered and flattered (amid much giggling) to get his way.

That is not a knock on Joe--you've got to work with the people you have, especially if they are your boss!

Now Danny is left with gauzy memories of what might have been, and a sense of his own essential grasp of football operations. Joe validated him as well as taught him, he believes. Besides, he cares so much!

This is gonna suck for us fans all over again.

Where's that frigging blog table? 1-A and 2-A again and again and again.

Posted by: farstriker | January 9, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Stumped

Posted by: dchandl3 | January 9, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

First! Woo hoo!!

What? No? Dag, I feel just like those teams on the "Amazing Race" who thought they were the first ones to the mat, only to have Phil arch his eyebrow and say "You're team number 2."

Posted by: nojunk4me | January 9, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

With Carlos' status up in the air, I think the Skins have to keep Springs.

Posted by: chris_skins_balt | January 9, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I hope that Danny boy looks at what the players are saying and hires Williams. He already has the players respect and that is half the battle. I think it is also a good situation for Greg to be successful. Mainly because this time around, Greg can let Al Saunders open the playbook and he has that offensive guru to run the show there. I think it would work...mainly because Greg doesn't have to do it all himself.

Posted by: andrewtimbie | January 9, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

sams3, I hope I'm not being mean. I haven't met Barno, but I have enjoyed many of his posts as both thoughtful and funny.

But, for some reason (I have no idea whether it really is to do with the whole "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" fiasco or not, and don't actually care) he is stuck on "calling out" Jasno on his journalistic credentials. Apart from his fractured grammar and breathtakingly bad spelling at times, I have never seen anything from Jasno that justified Barno's accusations.

If I'd got myself stuck on something the way that Barno has, I would hope that someone would call me out on it too. It's pretty hard to see when you've lost your objectivity, one often needs a nudge from outside to get it back, that's all.

And cL, I was messing with you; it was Russell Simmons you quoted, but I couldn't resist twisting it a bit.

Posted by: Redcoat | January 9, 2008 11:55 AM

Now off for a call with my boss where I explain why I'm late on that presentation... :)

Posted by: Redcoat | January 9, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Please, KEEP SAUNDERS!! -- Whatever you have to do.

We want our offense to continue to improve, not take a step back.

Posted by: SonnyFan | January 9, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Let Double GG have his shot the players are behind him. If he cant at least finish 8-8 call Cowher/Grimm

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 9, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

well if they dont keep springs, asaunte samual is on the market come free agency..

Posted by: peters82 | January 9, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

well if they dont keep springs, asaunte samual is on the market come free agency..

Posted by: peters82 | January 9, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

If I'd got myself stuck on something the way that Barno has, I would hope that someone would call me out on it too.
Posted by: Redcoat | January 9, 2008 12:01 PM

What do you need me to tell you about this whole Dolphins thing? I can set up an Intervention if needed...

Posted by: daggar | January 9, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

There is a part of all of this i think many people are not considering -

Signing Greg Williams as head coach likely means losing Campbell as our Qb in 2008 and possibly beyond.

If Greg is HC, it is a foregone conclusion that he will stick to the defense and let Saunders do his thing on offense. Saunders loves Collins and will no doubt start Collins over Campbell.

If another HC comes in, one that is NOT in love with Collins, Campbell will get to stay as QB, but our defense will most likely undergo a complete change - as williams will be miffed and probably leave and take most of the defensive coaching staff with him.

So in the end, we have a choice:

Greg and our defense + Todd Collins

or Jason Campbell as our franchise QB.


Not saying I endorse one option over the other, i just think Greg as coach spells doom for campbell.

Posted by: SETH.LEMASTER | January 9, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse


Bucket of cold water time.

The coach question is secondary.

Gibbs' much more important job title was "president." He wasn't able to transform the Redskins dysfunctional organizational culture, but he was able to ride herd on Danny.

No one else will be able to do that.....

Very well said.

Danny and Vinny are now co-GM's once again.
Snyder is imminently unqualified for the job and Cerrato is, well.... a complete moron.

No team in the league WOULD EVER hire Cerrato to pick any personnel.

Snyder showed his hand yesterday. Dark clouds are indeed gathering.

Posted by: gdennie | January 9, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Redcoat,

I wasn't saying you are too mean to Barno, in fact, I wish that almost every post was about making fun of him and his parking lot DVD.

I just meant you aren't as happy as you seemed to be when you were riffing about the Todd.

Posted by: sams3 | January 9, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

daggar,

You're hot today, man.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | January 9, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Just havin' fun at lunch.

Posted by: daggar | January 9, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Redcoat,

Oh now I get it russell/richard simmons...

I had honestly thought I inadvertently used a Richard Simmons line....

Posted by: chrislarry | January 9, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

al saunders staying as a coach spells disaster for campbell's career. JC was hand picked by gibbs. and boys and girls HE IS GONE!

Posted by: dealer | January 9, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gibbs is on the air right now on the Larry & bramweinstein show. (I assume that there is no space in his name, cause that's how he says it.)

Posted by: daggar | January 9, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

he=gibbs.

Posted by: dealer | January 9, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

SETH.LEMASTER, your analysis is interesting, but I disagree to the extent that I think G Williams will be highly interesting in what the offense does.

I think one of Gibbs greatest tricks over the past few years was holding this team together when the offense was constantly going 3 and out and putting up 13 points per game. I suspect Williams will more hands on with the offense than you give him credit for, and I don't think he'll let them get away with starting a 37 year old QB when they have a 26 year old QB who's been in the system for a couple of years.

Oh, and Redcoat, I agree with you about the Barno thing. He's got to let the JLC (or "beat reporter", as he likes to say) obsession go, it's bad for his health! If anyone sees me getting hung up on something like that, please call me out!

Posted by: Alan4 | January 9, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

When I listen to Joe Gibbs speak it's always inspiring. I have heard him say the same things over and over but everytime I hear him it's like the first time again.

Posted by: sams3 | January 9, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It's William's job I believe.

His stock plunged last year, but he corrected his schemes and returned his defense to respectability and at times sheer dominance.
Talk about getting to the playoffs 2 out of 4 years... What part of the team was most important during those end of the year surges? The D. Shutting down the Vikings and Cowboys this year and in 2005 it was all defense.

I think it'd be a big mistake to not go with Williams. Only one guy I'd take over him is Marty - but that won't happen because The Dan screwed that up (come on he went 8-6 with Tony Banks starting at QB and Stephen Davis getting 4.0 ypc).

Posted by: showell81 | January 9, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The one thing I dont know if a lot of us are considering is...What if Williams is already spoken for?

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 9, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me for not knowing but do Williams and Parcells have any history?

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 9, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

ALAN4, to your point, Greg could solve any possible "controversies" there by ensuring that collins is not on the roster next year - then there is no problem.

Posted by: SETH.LEMASTER | January 9, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

i think if williams land the job, saunders will leave. especially if he sees a better opportunity out there for him to eventually become a head coach. detroit, i think, just fired their o-coordinator.

so i think regardless of what happens, we won't have the exact same offense next year.

i still push for russ grimm. but i'd take williams over cowher.

i do NOT want dallas' oc. it's hard to tell how good he is when really his offense did squat without T.O.

grimm has been on the short list of candidates for jobs over the last few years. he's lost out to bigger name candidates or guys with closer ties to the organization. i think he's got just the attitude we need on offense.

if we could land him AND keep williams, that would be a coup.

Posted by: segastyle | January 9, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

One thing to read into is Joe was just very open on the local radio show in saying "Dan and I work well together and I will let him know what I think, and work with him, but in the end it is Dans decision." Plain and simple if Williams is not the head coach here Joe (who has worked very closely with him) did not endorse him. No way Dans idol does not have the biggest say in his decisions

Posted by: csquaredskins | January 9, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

What do you need me to tell you about this whole Dolphins thing? I can set up an Intervention if needed...

Posted by: daggar | January 9, 2008 12:05 PM

That's just me being stubborn Cload. If I've accepted the trials an tribulations of fin-fandom over the last 23 years I have no good reason to quit now. Although as I've been calling out Barno, I should probably say something erudite-sounding about "motes and beams" at this point too.

sams3, sorry if I've sounded grumpier, I'm really not; I'll try to buff my generally free-form and light-hearted demeanour back to a higher sheen. I'm right on it!

cL, I'd like to see Richard Simmons do one of those "Def Comedy Jam" shows, particularly if they armed the audience with rotten fruit beforehand!

Posted by: Redcoat | January 9, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

If the new coach is anyone other than Gregg Williams, we are looking at several years of upheaval and yearly coach firings! The players and the fans want Williams, which should be enough to convince Snyder. I cannot stomach another multi year rebuilding process!!!!

Posted by: jimwell | January 9, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I must say, I find it endlessly amusing when you guys continue to believe I'm "hung up on the DVD" thing. Do you folks realize how easy it would be for me to A) buy that dvd; B) get a Cooley autograph?

My criticisms of the beat reporter have nothing to do with any of that stuff. I'm just calling it as I see it. I don't see other beat reporters in this town publicly claiming that the owner of the team they are assigned to cover cares more about selling "club level seats" than he does about fielding a winning team. That's just plain irresponsible.

Dan Snyder is a smart businessman. He knows that the surest way to make this franchise as valuable as it can be is to win Super Bowls. To claim that Snyder's main objective is to find a "sexy coach" who will help sell tickets is just plain lunacy, and I'm going to continue pointing this out in addition to pointing out his other nonsensical claims until A) he's starts reporting the facts instead of his asinine opinions, OR... B) he is no longer the beat reporter at the Post.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 9, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

If Greg Williams gets the head job, Al Saunders is gone - and vice versa. Defense wins championships, so stick with Williams and find an up-and-coming offensive guy similar to Jason Garrett in Dallas.

As for front office structure - just let them run it how they like. As long as the scouts are football savvy and the coach is a decent personnel judge, they should be alright. Snyder can certainly handle the money aspect of it all! The man's a billionaire at 40.

just my 2 cents.

Posted by: DSilk01 | January 9, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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