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Former Washington Football Team head coach Jay Gruden took a dig at owner Dan Synder, suggesting in an interview he had sometimes undermined the draft process leading to the franchise’s longstanding quarterback issue.
Gruden, who spent five years in charge before becoming the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars last season, spoke to The Washington Post on Friday about the team’s latest departure, former vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith who accepted the same role with the Atlanta Falcons this week.
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While praising Smith for being an integral part of Washington’s draft process, Gruden took the opportunity to take a dig at Snyder.
“Every year that I was there, we had a pretty good draft class, with a couple exceptions,” Gruden said. “[Smith] was really good about listening to the coaches because the coaches also did evaluations. … When it came our time to pick, we’d always talk about the picks, where we’d like to go, what happens if [the player] is gone, and did all our scenarios. And then [owner Daniel Snyder] would come in off his yacht and make the pick.”
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According to the report, one of the picks where Snyder pushed for his own choice over the work that the scouting team had done was Dwayne Haskins in 2019.
Haskins, the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, finished with a 3-10 record as the starting quarterback for Washington. He had 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions over that span.
He was released by the team in December after being fined $40,000 and stripped of his title of team captain after violating the league’s COVID-19 safety protocols.
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Gruden took Washington to the playoffs just once during his time as head coach. The team went 35-49-1 under his leadership before he was fired in 2019. Gruden will now be apart of another important draft selection as the Jaguars are set to take the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.
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