Jay Gruden: Dan Snyder watched no film, but dictated who Washington signed and drafted


On Dan Snyder’s last day as Washington’s owner, it’s a time to reflect on the many failures of the franchise. And one of Snyder’s former head coaches says many of those failures stemmed from Snyder doing work he wasn’t qualified to do.

Jay Gruden, who was Washington’s head coach from 2014 to 2019, says that Snyder wouldn’t put in the work necessary to learn how good a player was, but would insist on making decisions in the draft and free agency.

“He wasn’t experienced enough in the business to make those decisions.” Gruden said on Kevin Sheehan’s podcast, via USA Today. “He didn’t put in the work. For him to pick a player in the draft is asinine. He didn’t put the work in. He didn’t watch the players. He didn’t go to the meetings. He didn’t go to the scouts’ meetings.”

Gruden said he doesn’t necessarily object to an owner making those calls, he just wants the owner to know what he’s doing. Before coaching Washington, Gruden spent three seasons as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator, and he credited Bengals owner Mike Brown for participating in scouting and film study before making any decisions.

“Mike Brown, when I was with the Cincinnati Bengals, sat in meetings, watched the film, put in the work,” Gruden said. “When he made a decision, it was based upon what he saw, what he took in from the coaches and from the scouts. So I respected that. I don’t respect the guy that doesn’t watch the film and comes in, makes the pick, and tells you who he is signing in free agency. It makes no sense when we and the scouts are doing all of the film work, and all of a sudden, he comes in and makes the pick. So, I think it is going to be a very beneficial move for all of the fans and for the organization moving forward.”

Few would disagree with that last part: Snyder’s departure should be a good thing for the Commanders.



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