Jay Gruden, strictly by the numbers, has not been successful in Washington. He is 27-34-1 in almost four seasons with the Redskins and has one playoff appearance on his resume.
But perhaps those numbers don’t tell the whole story. Mark Rypien doesn’t think so, anyway.
“I think Jay Gruden’s done a heck of a job,” the former Super Bowl-winning quarterback said on Tiki and Tierney. “He’s dealt with a lot of injuries this year, and even at the quarterback position, the running back position – you’re only as good as the guys upfront on both sides of the football. The defensive and offensive lines are a big key. If you look at the times that the Giants have gone to Super Bowls or Tampa went to Super Bowls or the Redskins went to Super Bowls, it’s usually because guys stay healthy. That’s a big part of it.”
Washington (6-8) has battled injuries throughout the season. Only one player, Samaje Perine, has more than 300 rushing yards, and only one player, Jamison Crowder, has more than 600 receiving yards for the Redskins. Kirk Cousins has still produced – he has 27 touchdowns (24 pass, three rush) to just nine interceptions – but Washington will miss the postseason for the second straight year.
“For Kirk Cousins, it’s a situation where he’s got to win,” Rypien said. “I love the way he plays. I love the things that he’s been doing. But the ultimate goal is to win and to get to the playoffs. It’s something that’s eluded him and it’s going to be an asterisk behind him saying, ‘Hey, he did a lot of great things. His quarterback rating, his touchdown passes (are) good.’ But the one thing you look at – the Tom Bradys of the league, the Peyton Mannings – I just think it’s guys like that that find a way each and every year. It’s all about winning. Those guys have been able to do it.”
Rypien, 55, believes Cousins has what it takes to lead a franchise. He just hopes that franchise is Washington.
“Once Kirk gets there, I’m hoping it’s in Washington,” Rypien said. “I don’t see anyone out there that fits this mold. I hope Jay stays there. I just think there’s a few pieces missing that inevitably will get the Redskins back to the playoffs again and hopefully hoisting that Lombardi Trophy.”
Washington hosts Denver (5-9) this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.