Joe Gibbs knows what it’s like to be head coach of the Washington Redskins. That was his job from 1981 to 1992, during which he won three Super Bowl championships, and again from 2004 to 2007.
It’s not an easy gig – and Jay Gruden, who is closing in on one playoff appearance in four years, is finding that out.
“Well, I think first of all those are some of the hardest jobs in the world,” Gibbs said on Tiki and Tierney. “The NFL is one of the greatest thrills, and it’s also got right along with it some real agony and you can have some of the biggest disappointments. So anybody that gets that job kind of knows that.”
Gruden replaced Mike Shanahan prior to the 2014 season. Washington went 4-12 that year, snuck into the playoffs in 2015 at 9-7, just missed the playoffs in 2016 at 8-7-1, and is currently 4-6 this season.
The road to the playoffs this year? Steep.
“I think in Jay’s case, I think the fact that you got Dan (Snyder), Jay and Bruce (Allen) all working together there, I think they get along very well,” Gibbs said. “I think they’re headed in the right direction. If you kind of stack up the number of injuries they’ve got this year, it’s unbelievable. I think (defensive coordinator Greg Manusky) has got the defense playing hard. The problem is, they got so many people hurt. I think the only guy that hasn’t been hurt is (Kirk) Cousins.”
Washington had 22 players on its injury report Monday, including wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (ankle) and running back Chris Thompson (fibula), both of whom are on IR. The Redskins, who squandered a 15-point with less than three minutes to play against New Orleans on Sunday, have lost four of five following their 4-2 start.
Cousins, to his credit, is having another solid season for Washington. He’s completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 2,796 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s also rushed for three scores.
Gibbs, 76, believes Cousins could be Washington’s quarterback beyond this season.
“We all know the focus on quarterbacks, but if you kind of look at what they’ve done, they haven’t drafted other quarterbacks,” Gibbs said. “I think they’re kind of wanting Kirk to be able to do this and get it done. But I’m on the outside. I don’t know any inside scoop on the Redskins or anything. I can tell you this: Cousins is just a fantastic person, I think, and I think everybody there is pulling for him.”
Washington hosts the Giants (2-8) in the Thanksgiving nightcap. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.