Listen, far be it for me to cry foul over an outlet lifting its leg and spraying our brand new coach with a little Valentine's Day golden shower. The fact is that our new guy is not just a new guy, but he is a new guy in Washington. That seems to be enough to keep him at or near the bottom of rankings like this latest one from RotoWorld.
Being Dan Snyder's latest hire is not exactly the way Hall of Fame coaching careers have traditionally started. It is actually the way ruined (again..."ru-eeeeeened") coaching careers begin. So I can't find a great deal of fault when Jay Gruden is not listed in the same neighborhood as Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll.
I am perfectly fine with the world taking a wait-and-see approach on Jay Gruden. That is what I am doing, and what many of you are doing as well. Hell, for the first few weeks of his career here, I couldn't look at pictures of Jay in his suit at the announcement press conference and not see that Tennessee frat boy who was charged in the "butt chugging" scandal in 2012. (Seriously...alcohol enemas? Do yourselves a favor and pull up the video of the elderly lawyer standing in front of the fraternity defending his client(s) from butt chugging allegations. The most amazing part of it all is that Judd Apatow didn't write that script.)
I will continue to throw out these kinds of rankings for our debate. This one is a bit easier to swallow because it not like anyone is saying Jay Gruden is a terrible NFL head coach. To be fair, they are saying it would be "no surprise" if he ends up on the scrap heap full of Snyder's ex-coaches. Subtle difference.
Let me be the first to comment: I think Jay Gruden will enjoy more success than his predecessors because of the environment that Bruce Allen--not Dan Snyder--has worked to put in place. Snyder gets some credit of course, and by no means am I suggesting that Bruce Allen is a wunderkind general manager. I do think Gruden will have a bit more cred with the players than a Mike Shanahan kind of coach. He is not just closer in age, but much less stuck in his ways. Adaptability seemed to be a problem for not just Mike Shanahan, but other previous coaches here (one of them stands out like a sore thumb--not Joe Gibbs).
In short, Jay Gruden has a real chance to make a spot for himself much higher on this list in the next two or three years. He has the pieces on offense to be successful, and it seems inconceivable that we could get worse from a talent standpoint on defense. (Am I right, is inconceivable the right word there?)