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Gruden A Sponge In His First Annual Meetings

Posted Mar 25, 2014

Jay Gruden said he’s absorbing a lot of information in his first round as a head coach at the NFL’s Annual Meetings


Three days of going in and out of long meetings certainly doesn’t sound ideal, but going through that process this week has been important to Redskins head coach Jay Gruden.

Gruden – hired in January to turn the franchise back in the right direction after a 3-13 season in 2013 – is participating this week in his first-ever NFL Annual Meetings experience as a head coach.

The meetings began Monday and continue through today in Orlando.

“It’s going great,” Gruden told Redskins.com TV’s Larry Michael. “It’s a lot thrown at you, but I’m doing well.”

The NFL holds its Annual Meetings to gather together the league’s owners, general managers and coaches in one place to discuss a flurry of topics, including potential rules and bylaw changes, season schedules, and possible Super Bowl sites.

Gruden said with all the meetings stuffed into a three-day period, “You’re just trying to absorb all this information to utilize later on.”

Also discussing the free agency period thus far for the Redskins, Gruden said he thought his roster, “on paper,” had “gotten a lot better.”

“Unfortunately, we don’t play on paper,” Gruden said with a laugh. “I can’t wait to get these guys in here, meet them all, get them on the field, get them working out, get them in football shape, teach them our system and go from there.”

That feeling is mutual among the Redskins players, many of whom had expressed their excitement – or an increased “anticipation,” outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said – to get started on the right foot with Gruden for the 2014 season.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Gruden said. “We’re trying to move past (the 2013 season) and start a new, fresh year – get these guys going and have a lot of fun and get some energy in the building. Hopefully it will pay off.”

Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who spoke to the media Monday during a break at the Annual Meetings, said he’s been impressed thus far with Gruden’s work ethic.

"He's a terrific workaholic and a pleasure to be with and very focused on making all the great football decisions," Snyder said, according to ESPN.com’s John Keim. "It's going to be exciting for us."

Gruden talks with the media

Gruden on Wednesday morning also spent about an hour addressing reporters at the NFC coaches breakfast, discussing a multitude of topics about the upcoming season, his first as a head coach in the NFL.

According to reports from CSNWashington.com's Rich Tandler, ESPN.com's John Keim and the Washington Post's Mike Jones:

  • The Redskins are, for now, moving Kory Lichtensteiger to center and recently-acquired Shawn Lauvao to left guard. Remaining in their spots are left tackle Trent Williams, right guard Chris Chester and right tackle Tyler Polumbus.
  • Gruden addressed the read-option offense and how it caters to quarterback Robert Griffin III, saying the team probably won't run it as much going forward, but that he wants to strike a balance and keep Griffin III comfortable on the field.
  • Gruden would like third-year running back Alfred Morris to become more of a factor in the passing game. According to Keim, Gruden said he'd like Morris to catch 20 to 25 passes a season.
  • Gruden said he'd rather have "two great quarterbacks" in Griffin III and Kirk Cousins than lose Cousins to another team.
  • Gruden's anxious to see what running back Chris Thompson can do, as well as what tight end Jordan Reed can do with a full season under his belt.

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