The NFL Legend Who Wasn’t Getting Legendary Treatment
During the 2018-19 NFL Season, the high point of the Washington Redskins’ season occurred during week 1 when the team was holding a 17-0 lead over the Philidelphia Eagles. They would go on to lose the game.
During the game, fans would learn that head coach Jay Gruden decided to name Derius Guice the team’s starting running back. While this may not have seemed like an awful decision given the expectations that the league had of Guice coming out of college, the decision would turn out to be an awful one as the running back would get injured in the opening week of the season.
To make matters worse, during the second week of the season FOX Sports Pam Oliver stated “Jay Gruden, to be perfectly clear, he is still not in favor of Peterson’s strength, which is a north-south running style. He feels like it limits the offense and gives the defense way too many opportunities.”
When asked about the situation, Peterson stated that he felt confused about his role within the organization.
What makes this scenario so strange is that Peterson was coming off a season in which he rushed for over 1,000 yards. Add this to the fact that he currently ranks fifth in all-time rushing yards and you’ve got a strange scenario building within the organization.
A Moment of Heartbreak for Redskins Fans
Another important player within the organization was an offensive tackle named Trent Williams. Williams is widely considered to be one of the best tackles in the NFL.
This can be noted by the fact that he’s been a participant in the Pro Bowl each year from 2012-2018.
However, he wasn’t invited to participate in the Pro Bowl during the 2019 NFL season.
This was because he didn’t play during the 2019 NFL season. This was due to the Washington Redskins’ medical staff misdiagnosing cancer, which resulted in him refusing to return to play for the organization.
The Truth as to why Trent Williams Didn’t Return to Action
However, there was a point in the 2019 NFL season to which Williams was ready to play following the October trade deadline.
Williams failed his physical due to discomfort while wearing his helmet. He stated to NFL Network Insider Ian Rappaport that he was waiting for a new helmet to arrive last November when the Redskins unexpectedly placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list, only to fail his physical because of discomfort with his helmet.
Then the Redskins would go on to trade Williams to the San Fransisco 49ers.
In return, the team received a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft along with a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
What makes the trade baffling is that the organization would’ve been able to get a lot more out of the deal if they had chosen to trade Williams before the trade deadline had passed during the 2019 NFL season.
The Quarterback who Wasn’t Allowed to Lead the Organization
Another factor that led to the Redskins woeful 3-13 record was Jay Gruden’s lack of belief in quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Gruden preferred veteran quarterback Case Keenum as the team’s starting option.
What makes this particularly weird is that the organization chose Haskins with the 15th pick in the 2018-2019 NFL Draft.
Throughout training camp, Gruden had Haskins working with third and fourth string players on the depth chart. This means that Gruden valued the presence of the teams back up quarterback (Colt Mccoy) more than he valued the presence of the team’s first-round draft pick in Dwayne Haskins.
Les Carpenter of the Washington Post even reported that Gruden “did not want” the former Ohio State quarterback in Dwayne Haskins. Les Carpenter also stated that Haskins “had sensed” that Gruden didn’t want him on the team.
When Haskins finally was allowed to play, he was thrown into the fire of a game in which the team’s best receiver Terry Mclaurin was injured and his head coach was on the verge of getting fired.
The Consequences of Jay Gruden’s Actions
During his first five games in the NFL, Haskins would throw for only two touchdowns to go along with six interceptions. However one should believe that a large part of this had to do with the lack of belief that Gruden had in him.
One piece of evidence that widely supports this claim is Haskin’s stat line during his final four performances during the 2019-2020 NFL season. During that period Haskins threw for five touchdowns and only one interception.
One can assume that once Gruden was fired and the season had become a lost cause, the organization chose to give Haskins the reps necessary to help him gain confidence/rhythm to build upon for future seasons.
During this past offseason, the team brought in a veteran head coach, Ron Rivera, who has delivered praise to the young quarterback and the quarterback has lost 11 pounds this time span.
Haskins also spent time working out with the league’s former MVP Antonio Brown and the organization brought in a once in a generation defensive talent named Chase Young while managing to fire the man who butchered the Trent Williams trade in Bruce Allen. For these reasons the Redskins should be far more competitive during the 2020-21 NFL season and are looking to trend in the right direction for the first time in a long while.
“From Our Haus to Yours“