Jay Gruden's Hot Seat Not That Hot

Jay Gruden has players that want to play for him. Half of the coaches in the NFL can't say the same, Chris Cooley said

Zach Gelb
August 20, 2018 - 12:43 pm

USA Today Images


Jay Gruden has missed the playoffs in three of his four seasons in Washington, including two straight. He enters 2018 on the hot seat, right?

Eh. Maybe, maybe not.

“Everyone seems to think it’s a hot seat for Jay Gruden; I don’t think it’s that hot,” former Redskins tight end and current radio analyst Chris Cooley said on The Zach Gelb Show. “Now it is if he doesn’t win seven or eight games. Then it becomes very hot. But I think that’s the expectation. Anybody that can’t win seven or eight games or can’t make the playoffs a couple years in a row, your seat is going to be hot. That’s just the nature of the business. 

“But I do know this,” Cooley continued. “I know that ownership likes him, I know the organization loves Jay, I know the players love to play for Jay. He’s a good coach, and he knows ball, and he gets guys ready to play for him. He gets guys that really want to play for him. That’s something you don’t get from half the coaches in the league every single year – and Jay will always have that.”

Of course, if Gruden has flown under the radar in recent months, that’s because his brother, Jon, has been the talk of the NFL offseason. 

“I’m wondering right now if they’re even friends – because (Jay) never talks about his brother,” Cooley said, laughing. “No, I think everyone is excited about Jon. I think that’ll be good for Oakland. He’s had a lot of time to think about it. It’s actually a really interesting position to be in if you think about Jon Gruden, who’s spent the last 10 years on ESPN. Week in and week out, you’re interviewing quarterbacks, coordinators, head coaches – they’ll tell you in those production meetings exactly what they’re doing, how they’re planning it, why they’re doing it, all their schemes.

“Jon Gruden’s got the notebook of all notebooks based on what he’s done or what he had done for ESPN for the last 10 years. He really does. He’s got the ultimate ‘I know what everyone’s game-plan is,’ so I think there’s a little of an advantage to that. You still got to get your guys going, but Jon’s a good guy, he’s a good coach. I’m a big fan of Jon Gruden – both of the Grudens.”