I wasn't one of the Mike Shanahan bashers during his time in Washington. But after last season—Shanahan's fourth with the team—the experiment had run its course. It was time for a change.
In comes Jay Gruden, a first-time head coach who has been handed a five-year deal worth a boatload of money and challenged with the task of turning a team that was riddled with drama the year before into a playoff contender.
The most noticeable difference so far between past and present regimes seems to be their respective styles. Sure, coaches have different philosophies, different playbooks, different tendencies and so on. But the major difference standing out so far (after a short time in camp) is the difference in style.
"When you have a coach like that, you've got to love it," receiver Andre Roberts said, according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post. "He's one of those players' coach kind of guys. We respect the heck out of him, especially the offensive guys, him being offensive-minded, what he did in Cincinnati. We just love a coach like that."
Where Shanahan was more of a ruler, Gruden seems more accessible. He's more involved with the players, he prefers a hands-on approach in practice and there's a new energy among the entire coaching staff that seems to translate well with the players.
It's easy, especially as a hometown fan, to get behind a new head coach making a fresh start in a new city. But for what it's worth, the energy, or at least the change, feels good.