During a recent and insightful hour-long chat on the Kevin Sheehan Show podcast, Gruden highlighted one of the most ridiculous moments of his tenure, a piece Romo couldn’t have predicted in 100 tries.
Remember, at the end of the first half of a must-win game in Week 16 of the 2015 season, quarterback Kirk Cousins inexplicably had a knee at the Eagles’ 6-yard line and cost Washington a chance to make his 16-10 – expand leadership? The decision left Joe Theismann speechless and ridiculed Cousins, even though Washington would win the game and take the NFC East title, which made the strange sequence a footnote.
“Yes, there was a lot of confusion about what the game call was,” Cousins told reporters afterwards. “For lack of a better word, I just made a mistake in my decision and knelt down when I should have thrown the ball to stop the clock. We were lucky that it didn’t hurt us. “
“It wasn’t [Cousins’s] Guilt, ”Gruden said to Sheehan.
“That was Pierre [Garcon] and DeSean [Jackson’s] Guilt, ”continued Gruden. “It took Kirk a lot of heat to do it, but that was all – I can finally tell – that was Pierre and DeSean. There were now two peas in a pod. That’s for a completely different podcast. “
Sheehan asked Gruden to elaborate, and he was obliged.
“We had six seconds left in the half, so we had time for a full or partial cross-fade of the back shoulder to score the field goal,” said Gruden. “… I want to let this go [clock] down and shoot a touchdown, what the hell? Pierre hated back and shoulder fades, he hated them. He said, “If you name a dissolve, the ball should be 42 yards above my outer shoulder. So Peyton Manning threw him [when the two were teammates in Indianapolis], that’s how I want it. ‘”
A fade to the back shoulder thrown towards Garcon at the beginning of the game resulted in an incompleteness. According to Gruden, Garcon responded to his displeasure by having the play called a second time.
“So he stood there, as if three meters away from a device, in a posture as if he was not doing it,” said Gruden. “DeSean stands there and says, ‘Just kick the field gate. ‘Kirk panicked, he had nothing to do so he knelt and that was the end of the half. I’ve never seen a receiver turn down an opportunity to score a touchdown, which happened on that game. Incredible.”
A frustrated Garcon walked off the field, hands on hips. CBS side reporter Evan Washburn asked Gruden for an explanation.
“I don’t know why Kirk took a knee,” Gruden said before going into the tunnel. “I have to find out at halftime.”
Gruden then took on the role of peacemaker.
“We had a fun time in the locker room,” joked Gruden. “I’ve always told people that I made my entire salary for the Washington Football team in one half to get everyone to calm down and prepare everyone for the second half.”
Cousins threw a couple of touchdown passes after halftime, including a 13-yard hit against Garcon, and Washington scored a 38:24 win. Gruden thinks it is his favorite game with Washington.
Despite that one-play Philadelphia debacle, Gruden said he “loved” training Jackson and Garcon, who would both dwarf 1,000 yards the following year before going free.
“There were some issues with jealousy I think a little between the two,” he said. “… When they were in the group, I don’t know what happened, if they gave Kirk a hard time, it made Kirk uncomfortable. “Throw me the ball”, “Throw me the ball”, it could have been like that. But in my opinion the three of them didn’t really have true camaraderie. “
Regarding a possible broadcasting career, Gruden said he spoke to some outlets about studio work or color commentary.
“We’ll see what happens there,” said Gruden, whose older brother Jon left the Monday Night Football booth in 2018 to return to coaching. “I know it takes a lot of work and it’s easier on the couch to say, ‘I could do this.'”