Five games into a winless season, the Washington Redskins on Monday fired their coach, Jay Gruden. The change came one day after Washington lost, 33-7, to the New England Patriots to go to 0-5.
In the season opener at Philadelphia, Washington blew a 17-point lead. In week 3, fans booed as the team fell behind by 28-0 to Chicago and quarterback Case Keenum committed five turnovers. Week 4 brought a 24-3 defeat to the division rival Giants. On Sunday, the stands in Washington were full of Patriots fans, in another indignity.
Washington seems to specialize in tumultuous seasons. Beyond enduring injuries to running back Derrius Guice (knee) and tight end Jordan Reed (concussion), it has failed to cope without star left tackle Trent Williams, who is holding out, and amid the mediocrity and malaise that has plagued the franchise during Daniel Snyder’s ownership.
Washington will be searching for its ninth coach since 1999, when Snyder purchased the team. Washington has made the playoffs just five times in those 20 full seasons and has not won a postseason game since the 2005 season.
“Through the first five games of the 2019 season, the team has clearly not performed up to expectations, and we all share in that responsibility,” the team said in a statement. “Moving forward we are committed to doing all that we can collectively as an organization to turn things around and give our Redskins fans and alumni a team they can be proud of in 2019 and beyond.”
Gruden, hired in January 2014 after three seasons as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator, went 35-49-1 as Washington’s coach, never faring better than 9-7. He reached the playoffs once, in his second season, 2015, when the Redskins lost to Green Bay in the wild-card round.