Despite being Washington’s longest-tenured head coach in the Snyder Era, Jay Gruden was recently informed of his termination from the team. With an 0–5 start to the season and an overall record of 35–49–1, it was time for Gruden to go.
Former Offensive Line and Assistant Head Coach Bill Callahan will step into the head coaching position for the remainder of the year until a more permanent solution is found. Snyder has already put out a shortlist of coaches he would like to see takeover, including Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles, and Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Though Tomlin is unlikely to leave the Steelers after this season, Bowles and Bieniemy are likely options this offseason.
Bowles previously coached for the Jets from 2015-2018 but has struggled so far as a defensive coordinator. The Bucs have given up the fourth-most points per game at 29.6 and the seventh most yards per game at 393.
Thus it seems Bieniemy is the best option for the position. Though he doesn’t have any head coaching experience, the Chiefs have had the most yards and points per game as an offense in his two years in the position. His role is not as substantial as other coordinators in the league, but learning under Andy Reid, one of the best offensive coaches of all time, Bieniemy has had a lot of time to get a feel for the ropes. He is also partly responsible for the emergence of last year’s MVP Patrick Mahomes’ success, as he had only started one game before Bieniemy arrived.
Gruden has been the most successful coach for the burgundy and gold since Joe Gibbs’ second stint in 2007. Gruden’s winning percentage was just .418 and he had only one playoff appearance. The last time Washington even won a playoff game was in 2005 — nearly 14 years ago. Gruden was by no means a good coach, but the real problem in the organization is Snyder and Allen.
The next coach hired will likely not be super successful either, as Snyder has consistently set his team up for failure since becoming the owner. Allen has also struggled to make winning moves, including a complete failure to resolve Trent Williams’ contract situation. There has been little roster shakeup over the past free agencies with the most influential signing being Landon Collins this past offseason. The last time Allen drafted a Pro-Bowler was all the way back in 2015 when guard Brandon Scherff made his first appearance a year after he was drafted.
Snyder and Allen are known for keeping a short leash on their coaches, but firing Gruden midseason is quite out of the ordinary — the last time being when Norv Turner lost his job during Week 14 of the 2000 NFL season. Temporary head coach Bill Callahan will be given the chance to start his tenure off with a win against the 0–5 Miami Dolphins. Washington coaches have not been set up for success in the past, so we will see if the new guy can scrape together a few wins after a dreadful start to the year.