As a Raider fan, one of the worst days in my memory was when Al Davis traded Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At the time, it seemed like a fleecing for the Raiders, but Gruden had changed the direction of the Raiders in 1998 by wresting power from Davis when Gruden got his quarterback in Rich Gannon instead of Jeff George in 1999.
Davis likely looked at the record-setting offense of the 1999 Vikings, and thought, "I should have stood my ground with Jeff George," even if George split time with Randal Cunningham at quarterback. It would also explain why Davis acquired Randy Moss in 2005.
I mention that blurb of Raider history, because I do believe that Jon Gruden is the only coach that makes sense for an owner like Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins.
Aside from the popular analogy that equates Snyder and Davis, Gruden prefers the same type of players that Snyder prefers: veterans. From what I've read in the past, Snyder believes that the formula for success in the NFL is still the same as the "Over the Hill Gang" of the early 1970s Redskins under George Allen.
Gruden has shown a preference for veteran quarterbacks, which the 'Skins have in Todd Collins, unless Jason Campbell can step up as a control freak quarterback like Gruden had with Gannon. Or the 'Skins could sign Chad Pennington or Kyle Orton, each of whom fits the typical Gruden offense.
Gruden also prefers veteran running backs, which the Redskins have in the form of Clinton Portis. Gruden would be the best friend to a runner like Portis, who has been hindered by injuries and nearing the magic age of 30 where running backs often (not always) decline.
Gruden prefers veterans in general, defense and offense, and dislikes working with rookies, which is conducive to Snyder's philosophies of acquiring players. With a potentially chaotic free agency looming in 2010, because of the likely absence of a salary cap, Snyder will likely try to make another big splash and want to trade draft picks for known commodities.
Especially with names like Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Winston Justice, Pierre Thomas (RFA), Willie Parker, LenDale White, Le'Ron McLain, Chris Chambers, Isaac Bruce, Alge Crumpler, Marcus McNeill, Elvis Dumervill, Derrick Burgess, and Julius Peppers all slated to be free agents at the end of the season.
Most coaches prefer rookies and journeymen players and some known stars, while Gruden prefers veterans and works better with them. Thus, it clearly makes the most sense that Dan Snyder should hire Gruden as his next coach because their philosophies on player personnel clearly match.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!