Jay Gruden fired as Redskins coach after brutal start to his sixth season

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s patience ran out with Jay Gruden.

Gruden got more time than any other coach under Snyder, but it didn’t pay off. Gruden was fired hours after losing to New England, in the middle of his sixth season after a terrible start to the year. Washington fell to 0-5 after a 33-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday. Washington had been outscored by 78 points in its first five games. Gruden was 35-49-1 as Washington’s coach.

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The merry-go-round in Washington starts again. It might be hard to attract a good candidate, given how badly the franchise has eroded under Snyder’s ownership. Assistant Bill Callahan takes over as interim coach.

Shortly after 7 a.m., Washington released a statement on Gruden’s dismissal:

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Washington Redskins name controversy
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Washington Redskins name controversy
LANDOVER MD, NOVEMBER 16: Ian Washburn, a thrid-generation Redskins fan and season ticket holder wears his altered football wear. He repalced the Redskins name with the word Washington or the 'DC' for the logo. Shown before the Washington Redskins lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedEx Field in Landover MD, November 16, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 28: Tara Houska, right, joins other Native Americans and supporters to protest the name and logo of the Washington Football team before the game on Sunday, December 28, 2014. Houska is co-founder of the organization notyourmascots.org (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 28: Washington Redskins fans walk past as Native Americans and supporters protest the name and logo of the Washington Football team before the game on Sunday, December 28, 2014. The protesters could not get on to the grounds at FedEx Field so Jericho City of Praise is offered them space. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 28: 'We are people, not your mascot,' shouts Adrianne Plenty Holes as she points to her baby Yamni Plenty Holes, 11 months, while participating in a protest of the name and logo of the Washington Football team before the game on Sunday, December 28, 2014. The protesters could not get on to the grounds at FedEx Field so Jericho City of Praise is offered them space. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 2: People march to TCF Bank Stadium to protest against the mascot for the Washington Redskins before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on November 2, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Opponents of the Redskins name believe it's a slur that mocks Native American culture and they want the team to change it. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS MN, NOVEMBER 2: Native Americans and other citizens taking part in the protest against the Redskins team name, walk outside the stadium that the Washington Redskins will play the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis MN, November 2, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS MN, NOVEMBER 2: Native Americans taking part in the protest against the Redskins team name, march outside the stadium that the Washington Redskins will play the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis MN, November 2, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS MN, NOVEMBER 2: Native Americans taking part in the protest against the Redskins team name, carry tribal banners outside the stadium that the Washington Redskins will play the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis MN, November 2, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 2: People march to TCF Bank Stadium to protest against the mascot for the Washington Redskins before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on November 2, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Opponents of the Redskins name believe it's a slur that mocks Native American culture and they want the team to change it. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Daniel Snyder stuck by Jay Gruden

Not only was the typically impulsive Snyder suddenly patient with Gruden, it could be argued Gruden got the most unwarranted patience among any NFL head coach heading into the season.

Gruden was one of 11 NFL head coaches who had been with their teams at least five years entering this season. He was the only one with a losing record. He was also the only one without a playoff win.

Gruden might have gotten fired after last season, but it seemed Snyder gave him a pass for season-ending injuries to Alex Smith and Colt McCoy. Still, there wasn’t much optimism regarding the Redskins coming into the season. And they didn’t exactly exceed expectations.

Washington was embarrassed in Week 3 by the Chicago Bears, falling behind 28-0 at home on “Monday Night Football.” Then they came out flat against the New York Giants, losing as rookie quarterback Daniel Jones made his first home start for New York. In Week 5 Washington started with a 7-0 lead against New England, then the Patriots scored the game’s final 33 points. Gruden made the curious decision to start McCoy over rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. McCoy had 119 yards passing.

Nothing was going right for Washington this season.

What will Washington do next?

There’s not much to sell candidates when it comes to the Redskins job. The front office is perhaps the most dysfunctional in the NFL. Fans are abandoning the team at a shocking rate. The roster isn’t great. Haskins is the franchise’s best hope, and for some reason he barely played in the first five games. Washington does have a strong history, but most of that positive history happened decades ago.

Firing Gruden during this season doesn’t fix the myriad of problems. Snyder probably needs to take a long look at the things that have gone wrong under his ownership and make significant changes to his approach, but that hasn’t happened yet. Many in Washington’s disgruntled fan base will contend that the real problem isn’t the coach, but the owner.

Nevertheless, Washington couldn’t stick it out with Gruden any more. The Redskins already was in the middle of a bad season. Now an interim coach gets to play out the string.

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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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