ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins team president Bruce Allen said the organization reached a conclusion Sunday night: Jay Gruden needed to be fired. Gruden entered the season with questions about his job security, and with an 0-5 record, team officials felt they needed to make a move.
“We had much different expectations,” Allen said.
The decision was made around 8 p.m. Sunday, Allen said, after he and owner Dan Snyder met following a 33-7 loss to the New England Patriots. They informed Gruden of the news around 5:30 a.m. Monday. Allen called it a brief conversation.
Bill Callahan was named the interim coach. Callahan would be in charge of making any other staff changes. Allen said it’ll be up to Callahan to decide who starts at quarterback, whether it’s Colt McCoy, Case Keenum or rookie 15th overall pick Dwayne Haskins.
Callahan told reporters on Monday that he’s not ready to start Haskins, saying he wants him to continue building his game.
“We’re going to continue to develop him and heighten his maturation process,” Callahan said. “Try to get him on schedule so he is prepared.”
There have been multiple reports since the night of the draft about a split within the Redskins over Haskins’ selection. One source said the quarterback’s name did not come up when they informed Gruden of the decision.
“As far as Dwayne, we’re excited as hell to have him on this football team,” Allen said. “We think he has a great future. He’s working very hard. He’s learning the system. When Coach Callahan decides to put him in, he’ll make that decision. But Jay was excited about Dwayne Haskins. I think he talked to several of you from OTAs to training camp about how well he was doing.”
But a big part of Allen’s 13-minute news conference involved questions on his own record in nearly 10 years with the Redskins, as well as Snyder’s overall mark. In Allen’s nine seasons, the Redskins are 59-89-1. The Redskins are 139-185-1 under Snyder with two playoff wins.
“We’re all involved in this,” Allen said. “I don’t ever want to hide from our record. I don’t want to hide from things that didn’t go the way we wanted them to go. All we can do is work. And do I believe in the group that’s here? Yes.”
The Redskins were hit hard by injuries the past two seasons with a combined 52 players having gone on injured reserve. They have 10 players on injured reserve this season, including quarterback Alex Smith. Also, Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams remains a holdout and Allen said they have no plans at this time to trade him. Tight end Jordan Reed has missed all five games with a concussion.
Sunday, Patriots fans seemed to outnumber Washington’s fans at the Redskins’ home stadium.
“All we can do is try to improve our product,” Allen said. “These games, we weren’t close in. We’ve lost five games, and we didn’t lose them in the last second. We lost these games decisively. And we have to change that. And our fans deserve that. And this market deserves that. We’re in the nation’s capital, and it deserves better than that, and we have to get it done.”
Allen defended the Redskins’ culture, which has come under fire over the years. Allen pointed to a 6-3 record a year ago, before Smith suffered a leg injury that left his career in jeopardy.
“You know the culture is actually damn good,” Allen said. “Last year at this time we’re in first place and we’re doing well, so it was working pretty damn good. Unfortunately our quarterback got injured. The pieces are here for a winning team. We have to put them in the right place.”