It was a simple question that had to be asked and answered each day like some game. What was Redskins tight end Jordan Reed’s playing status after suffering a concussion on Aug. 22?
“I’ve explained this 3,000 times,” he said. “OK, they’re never really totally out of the protocol, they just continue to get more work in practice. He did a lot of work in team today, which is good. He’s just gotta continue to get more reps and we’ll continue to monitor how he’s feeling afterward.”
And just like that, another crack was revealed of the mounting pressure Gruden now faces after an 0-1 start in a win-or-get-fired year.
Now no one cares that a coach gives a reporter a terse answer. I’ve seen much worse for much less. But that’s not Gruden’s style. After watching his pressers for six years, you draw a baseline on his emotions. Coaches don’t realize it, but reporters look for subtle tell signs just like poker players and Gruden showed one there.
If Washington opens 1-4 as many expect, then Gruden may have to endure the same dead-man walking that predecessor Jim Zorn painfully exited in 2009.
Gruden is well-liked by the media. He’s a good guy and a respected coach no matter the lackluster record. Gruden won’t be given a bum’s rush out. But behind the seemingly calm demeanor is obviously a sense of urgency.
Sunday is now or never for this team to show they can work for an easy-going coach.
If the Redskins look dazed and confused, it’s going to be a slow roll to a quick ending.