Redskins head coach Jay Gruden this week joined The SiriusXM Blitz, where he talked about lessons learned from 2014 and his hopes for 2015 and beyond.
Jay Gruden is ready to get going.
With training camp just three weeks away, the second-year Redskins head coach is excited to see the results of a multitude of changes made by the team this offseason.
This week he joined The SiriusXM Blitz, where he was asked how the team will look different in his second year in charge – and what he learned after a challenging first season in 2014.
"I think the first thing you've got to do is learn about the people around you – the players, the staff, the scouting staff, but mainly get to know the players because [those are] the ones that are out there doing the battle for you and you've got to figure out what motivates them, who fits into what you're trying to do and how you can fit into what they are good at," Gruden said. "It takes some time."
Take a look at the entire 2016 Washington Redskins coaching staff in headshot form.
To get a better grip on that process, Gruden and the Redskins this offseason reinforced their coaching staff, bringing in many new faces with a wealth of NFL experience.
Gruden said he'll lean on each and every one of his coaches to get his team back to where it wants to be in 2015 and beyond.
"Well we're excited about our coaching staff changes and the weight room. We've got a great weight coach, Mike Clark, so it starts there. The players spend a lot of time in the weight room. We feel like we've got as good of a strength coach as there is," Gruden said. "Then you add [defensive backs coach] Perry Fewell, [defensive line coach] Robb Akey, and of course [defensive coordinator] Joe Barry on the defensive side of the ball and offensively [quarterbacks coach] Matt Cavanaugh and [offensive line coach] Bill Callahan."
Gruden believes those additions will serve the Redskins well, especially with player development. The team selected 10 players in the 2015 NFL Draft and will need younger players to progress in order to improve in the win column.
"The big thing you want to surround yourself around great people and obviously great teachers who are passionate about the game and can develop players because that's what it's all about," Gruden said. "We're not going to be granted 22 Pro Bowlers so we have to be able to develop some young talent that we draft and we feel like we have the coaches to do that."
Although change has been a theme for the Redskins this offseason, the team is keeping things the same at the quarterback position, where Robert Griffin III has been named the starter heading into his fourth season.
Due to multiple injuries suffered before and during the season, Griffin III missed important opportunities to learn and master his system, Gruden said, which the Baylor product has made up for this offseason. As a result, the head coach expects better results in 2015.
"We just expect him to continue to improve, and it's hard for him to improve when you're on a sideline," Gruden said. "He missed time before I got to him, he missed a lot of training camp and OTAs, and then he missed six games with me and those reps are crucial for a young quarterback."
According to Gruden, Griffin III has been constantly improving his skillset and looks to keep his improvement going as the Redskins approach training camp, which begins July 30 at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
"Robert especially has taken over the leadership role and done some good things. He's just got to continue to improve and we've got to be patient with him," Gruden added. "There's going to be some bumps and bruises along the way but everything is going to be OK as long as we stay patient."