Peterson and Gruden were already at loggerheads after the coach didn’t even have him active in the team’s 32-27 comeback loss to the Phialdelphia Eagles in week one. After that game, the 34-year-old future Hall of Famer, who played all 16 games in 2018, said, “It’s my first time ever being inactive, a healthy scratch. It was tough, of course.”
Gruden claimed he didn’t hav Peterson active because he is too similar to Derrius Guice and making a snarky comment, “…if we have a game where we think we can run the ball 55 times in a game in an I-formation, then sure, I’ll get him up.”
Guice, of course, immediately got hurt and was placed on injured reserve after undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus, leaving Gruden with no choice but to play Peterson.
On Sunday, after Washington’s 33-7 loss to the New England Patriots, which made the Redskins the league only team without a win in 2019, Peterson threw some major shade at the team’s offensive game plan.
“They showed a lot of exotic stuff on film. But against us, they didn’t really. You know? It was like, hey, we’ll sit back here and see what you guys do, allow you guys to mess up,” Peterson said when asked about New England’s defense.
The Redskins did average 7.3 yards per rush on Sunday gaining 145 yards on the ground, no thanks to Peterson, but with Colt McCoy passing for just 119 yards and taking six sacks, Washington struggled throughout the game.
Peterson ran the ball only seven times for 18 yards on Sunday, upping his season totals to 108 yards on 40 carries – a 2.7 yards-per-carry average.
One Redskins player, speaking anonymously to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, said about Gruden’s dismissal, “It was time. Too much laziness & stubborn *%#@ going on around here. Folks not taking #@$! serious. Looking at snap chat during practice, come on now. You know who I’m talking about. Guys were talking about it. We’ll see how it goes.”
Whether anything really changes, be it Peterson’s usage or the revolving door at quarterback, with the firing of Gruden will be interesting to see. Especially since the Matt Cavanaugh, who replaced Sean McVay when he left to coach the Los Angeles Rams, is, at least for now, still in charge of the team’s offense.