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Gruden: 'We're One Team With One Goal'

Posted Jan 13, 2014

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged the team's dysfunction in 2013 but said the team would be united going into 2014 and beyond.

Now that the Jay Gruden era has begun in Washington, the team can work to fix the dysfunction that plagued the team during the 2013 campaign and prepare for a bright future.

That starts with turning the page on last season and assessing what remains.

"I don’t know what happened last year and I don’t care what happened last year," Gruden said at his introductory press conference.

"All I care about next year is moving forward. I am going to provide the players with every avenue, like I said, for them to succeed and be great.

"Moving forward, we’re going to forget about the past and look forward to the future every day."

Gruden comes from a team in Cincinnati that improved on offense in each of his three years at the helm.

While he was aware of the rumors and reports in Washington, he said he was more preoccupied with his team's AFC North Championship season.

"I don’t know what happened last year. I hear, but I don’t really believe all the reports that you guys report," he told the media, light-heartedly. "I wasn’t in the locker room, so I was worried about my season and my team at the time.

"When I'm with the Washington Redskins I'm not going to read about the Philadelphia Eagles or the Dallas Cowboys.

"I'm going to worry about the Washington Redskins’ locker room and making sure we’re one team with one goal and every intention of winning as many games as we can."

Gruden said that from conversations he had with general manager Bruce Allen and owner Dan Snyder that he and his coaching staff would be given every resources necessary to field a winning roster.

"I know that interviewing with Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen and everybody here that the passion for excellence is there," he said. "All they want do is win and they’re going to provide me with every avenue to win."

That process begins this week with assessing the coaching staff that remained after interviewing with Bruce Allen at the end of the season.

Gruden is expected to bring in a number of his own coaches in addition to retaining several coaches already in place.

"I'm going to look at each coach that’s been retained by Bruce here and interview everybody. I know there’s a lot of coaches here that can coach and there's a lot of good football people that are here that can coach," he explained.

"There's also good football people across the country right now looking to work and looking to work for the Washington Redskins. I've already had about 350 texts of people, great coaches, looking to coach and it’s going to keep coming. 

"I don’t think finding a great coach and coaching staff is going to be difficult. It’s finding the right ones that fit what I want to do and what the players want to do."

Over the coming weeks, Gruden is also expected to immerse himself in the team's roster and contribute to the front office's upcoming offseason personnel decisions.

"We will review all the plays and the players from last year and the year before," he stated. "We will find out the best players that we have that we want to keep moving forward, the free agents that are available that we want to re-sign, the things that we can help each player improve upon in their game – the corners, the safeties, the running backs, the offensive line, defensive line.

"There's a lot of work to do. When you’re 3-13, there’s not one particular player or reason, there's a lot of reasons and there's a lot of things that need to be fixed, no question."

The ultimate goal boils down to fulfilling the expectation for winning for the players and fans.

"We have great expectations here. We expect to win soon," he said. "The culture here – there’s a great history here for the Washington Redskins and there’s a lot of pride here.

"The fans are unbelievable here – I think 40 straight seasons of sellouts. They expect a winner. They want a winner. They don’t expect anything else.

"We have to move forward and all the players, they want to forget about last year and quickly move into this year. We just have to instill that faith that we’re going to get them to do that quickly.

"You can see it in the history of other teams that have had poor seasons. They’ve been able to bounce back if the players believe and they come in and work hard quickly. 

"The history of this organization is something that we can all be proud of and anytime we put on a Redskin jersey, these players have to have a lot of pride and be excited to play. It will be a great atmosphere."

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