Redskins fire coach Jay Gruden after 0-5 start
Veteran assistant coach Bill Callahan takes over as interim head coach.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden was fired Monday after an 0-5 start to the season.
In Gruden’s five-plus seasons, the Redskins went 35-49-1, with one playoff berth in 2015.
“Through the first five games of the 2019 season, the team has clearly not performed up to expectations, and we all share in that responsibility," the Redskins said in a statement. “Moving forward we are committed to doing all that we can collectively as an organization to turn things around and give our Redskins fans and alumni a team they can be proud of in 2019 and beyond.”
According to reports, Gruden was called into a 5 a.m. meeting with owner Daniel Snyder and team president Bruce Allen to receive the news. Gruden had been the longest-tenured coach in the Snyder era.
Offensive-line and assistant head coach Bill Callahan is taking over as interim head coach. Callahan, 63, hasn’t been an NFL head coach since 2003, his second season at the helm of the Raiders, but he has been with Gruden since 2015. He was offensive-line coach for the Eagles for three seasons in the mid-1990s.
The Redskins started 6-3 in 2018 before a gruesome leg injury to quarterback Alex Smith derailed any playoff hopes. They lost six of their final seven games and haven’t had stability at quarterback since Smith’s injury.
Washington finished 7-9 the past two seasons, and Gruden’s grip on the job had loosened. Snyder was uncharacteristically patient with Gruden after the 2018 season and decided to retain him.
Frustration started to factor into the early-season struggles as players voiced their concerns with the 0-5 start, and reports started to suggest that Gruden didn’t want rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who was the team’s first-round pick.
“It’ll be up to Coach Callahan who plays at any position. We are excited as hell to have [Haskins] on this football team. We think he has a great future ahead of him," Allen said.
Gruden is the eighth head coach to depart in Snyder’s 20 seasons as owner.