By Joseph White
ASHBURN, Va. ó Washington Redskins dysfunction hit a new level Wednesday when an assistant coach told reporters they should “go to the source” for a “yes or no” when reporting a story.
In the same interview, he proceeded to utter an ambiguous “no” that failed to clear up anything.
Secondary coach Jerry Gray was asked: “Have you interviewed for the head coaching job with Washington?”
His answer was clear: “No.”But Gray wouldn’t repeat the denial, even shooing away reporters seeking clarification as he stood outside the trainers’ room. A few minutes later, team spokesman Zack Bolno said that Gray’s “no” actually meant “no comment.”
The scene was the latest distraction in a Redskins season that can’t end soon enough. There’s been a retired bingo caller hired as a consultant, a head coach stripped of play-calling duties, a front office chief fired and a general manager hired. Now there’s a question as to whether one of Jim Zorn’s assistants has interviewed for Zorn’s job ó even though the position is not yet vacant.
Gray is a minority candidate who would satisfy the Rooney Rule, assuming Zorn is fired at the end of the season. Interviewing him now would allow the Redskins to hire any candidate of their choosing ó Mike Shanahan is the favorite ó quickly after the final game.
After uttering his “no,” Gray appeared to back it up by cautioning reporters who might “jump the gun.” He referenced an erroneous report from earlier this season that he would be hired as the head coach at the University of Memphis.
“I never talked to the AD at the time,” Gray said. “Go to the source. If the source says ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and then you go on.”
Gray listed Detroit, Houston and Buffalo as places where he has interviewed for the head coaching job in past years.