NFL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Redskins coach Gruden's an night owl - like Gibbs - but he won't be spending the night

  • Print

ASHBURN, Va. - Jay Gruden is more of a night owl than an early bird, which puts him in the Joe Gibbs category among Washington Redskins head coaches.

Well, not quite. Gibbs would meet with his assistants until the wee hours and then catch a few hours of sleep in the office, sometimes spending days without leaving Redskins Park. Asked if he plans to spend to the night at the facility, Gruden didn't hesitate.

"No. Maybe I'm new to it. (But) I need my sleep. I need at least about six hours or otherwise ... ," he said with a shrug.

Norv Turner and Mike Shanahan liked to arrive absurdly early to satisfy the workaholic lifestyle that has become synonymous among NFL coaches. Steve Spurrier famously ridiculed the long hours but lasted only two years with a 12-20 record — although Shanahan, it must be said, had the same winning percentage over four years.

The transition from Shanahan to Gruden, therefore, would seem to call for a change in body clocks for the assistants who bridge both regimes.

Interestingly, that's not the case. A major difference between Shanahan and Gruden is the autonomy Gruden gives his coaching staff, and that applies to working hours as well.

"Jay lets the coaches coach," said Chris Foerster, who was retained as offensive line coach. "We all have a set assignment within a week. If we have a game-plan week, I'm in charge of the base runs, or whatever the situations are. Every coach has a responsibility, and they know when that job has to be finished by.

"I'm an early riser, so I'm in very early, and I'll stay here until whenever the job is done. I'm not going to be burning it much in the late evening."

Foerster said he could envision coming in early to find notes left on his deck from Gruden's late film study the night before.

"Everybody's here for 14, 16, 18 hours a day anyway," Foerster said, "so we're going to overlap a good portion of the day. So if I'm finished with my work at 9 and somebody else stays until 11 at night, I might have been in 2 hours earlier in the morning."

Of course, it's still very early in the Gruden era. He hasn't coached a regular season game yet, and this week — leading into the third preseason game — is the first in which he's running the practice and meeting schedule that will more or less be in place through December. No doubt circumstances will arise over the weeks ahead that call for a late-night serious powwow among the entire staff, but that's not part of the planned routine.

"I believe in letting them get their work done at their own pace," Gruden said. "If they want to come in at 4 or 3 (in the morning) and get it done and get out of here at 6 (in the evening), that's fine with me. We're all on the same page and we're speaking the same language, and I feel good in that regard."

No one gets into coaching expecting to have leisure time in abundance, but Gruden, like most of his peers, has his way of escaping the game when necessary. He likes movies, with "Cinderella Man" and the "Rocky" films among his favourites.

As long as it's not something to do with football.

"I don't even like to watch 'Sunday Night Football' after games," he said. "When I'm away from football, I don't like to watch any of it. When I come home at night sometimes on Fridays, when I get home early, the kids are watching 'First Take' on ESPN. (I say) 'Turn the channel.' I'd rather watch 'Days of our Lives' or something."

Notes: DT Barry Cofield returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a sore groin and is expected to play Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens. ... Gruden said CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) will likely miss the game, and that RB Chris Thompson (sprained ankle) is "50-50" to play. ... RB Lache Seastrunk was absent for personal reasons.

___

AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman talks "job number one" in News Café interview

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......
  • Two Canadian geese perch themselves for a perfect view looking at the surroundings from the top of a railway bridge near Lombard Ave and Waterfront Drive in downtown Winnipeg- Standup photo- May 01, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google