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DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 23: Head coach Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins looks on while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 23, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden Fires Entire Defensive Staff

Now that the Washington Redskins have officially missed this year’s playoffs, head coach Jay Gruden has made a bold move by deciding to fire all four members of his defensive staff.

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden Fires Entire Defensive Staff

The Redskins finished the 2016 regular season 8-7-1, with a 19-10 home loss to the New York Giants. Washington didn’t score in the first quarter in four of their last six games, and trailed at halftime in five of them. Gruden often spent most of his post-game press conferences apologizing for what had just happened.

“I don’t like the way we came out,” he said after the loss in Arizona. “I don’t like the way they had a 16-play drive right down our throat to start the game. I don’t like the way our offense answered with two penalties on the first drive and having to punt.”

“First off, we were out-coached today, there’s no question about that,” he said after the Carolina loss. “It’s my responsibility to get these guys ready to play, and we weren’t as ready as we’d liked to have been.”

The firing of defensive coordinator Joe Barry comes as no surprise, given the Redskins’ defensive struggles this season both against passing and running. Barry spent two seasons as defensive coordinator in Washington and saw no real improvement in his unit.

The termination of the other three assistants, however, does seem shocking. Gruden may possibly want his new defensive coordinator to start fresh, and one simple way to do that is to let the new coordinator bring in his own staff of defensive assistants.

This is the second time Gruden has demonstrated he is capable of making a tough decision. The first time was when he benched quarterback Robert Griffin III two years ago.

Early in the season, Barry said the Redskins didn’t want to move corner Josh Norman around and have hims shadow one receiver. Three games in, that’s exactly what they began doing.

Many players stated privately they didn’t have a problem with Barry and liked his upbeat demeanor and felt they were prepared. Fans, however, thought otherwise, as dozens immediately took to social media after Barry was hired to call Gruden’s choice “abhorrent” and “revolting,” among other things. Gruden praised Barry’s energy and his “commitment to being great.”

In Barry’s two years with the Redskins, the team’s defense finished No. 28 in the NFL in yards allowed.

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 23: Head coach Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins looks on while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 23, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Writer and assistant editor for usports.org. NY Giants and Rangers fan. Film and TV enthusiast (especially Harry Potter and The Office) and lover of foreign languages and cultures.

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