The Washington Redskins fired head coach Jay Gruden on Monday morning after the team fell to 0-5 on the season following a 33-7 loss to the Patriots. It was Washington’s seventh consecutive loss dating back to last season.
Bill Callahan, the Redskins assistant head coach and offensive line coach, has been named interim head coach.
Gruden was very aware of his position following the most recent loss: “If the key works Monday, I’ll keep working,” he said.
Gruden, 52, had been with the franchise for a little more than five full seasons and possessed a 35-49-1 record. The lone playoff appearance ended with a wild-card loss to the Packers in 2015. He served in just two other roles in the NFL before taking the helm in Washington: offensive coordinator of the Bengals from 2011 to 2013 and offensive assistant with the Buccaneers from 2002 to 2008. It was recentlyand that fans should not be surprised if he resurfaces as the offensive coordinator under his brother, Jon Gruden, with the Las Vegas Raiders next season.
Washington had been struggling with some uncertainty at the quarterback position. Veteran Alex Smith was lost last season after suffering a compound fracture in his leg, and it’s unclear when or if he’ll return to the field. Case Keenum was the team’s Week 1 starter, but he has struggled. Ownership seemed to push the agenda to play rookie first-round selection Dwayne Haskins, but Haskins did not look prepared in a game where he threw three interceptions against the Giants. Gruden made the decision to start Colt McCoy against the Patriots this week, but the results were the same.
In Callahan, the Redskins have an experienced coach. He has been the head coach of the Raiders (2002-03) as well as in the collegiate ranks with Nebraska (2004-07). The 63-year-old won an AFC Championship during his first season as head coach of the Raiders after replacing Jon Gruden, and coached them in Super Bowl XXXVII, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Oakland went 17-18 during his time as head coach. The Cornhuskers went 28-23 under Callahan. Before joining the Raiders, he was the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line coach from 1995-97. Callahan was the Jets’ assistant head coach/offensive line coach from 2008-11, and was the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach with the Cowboys from 2012-14, before joining the Redskins in 2015.
Washington travels to play the Dolphins next weekend. Each team is looking for its first win of the season.