- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Debuts are shrouded in mystery. They have a sense of both hope and impending doom.


SEE ALSO: Jay Gruden takes unorthodox path to NFL head coaching job


Sometimes they can be the start of something great.

Other times, they can be an illusion.

Which one will it be for new Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden Sunday in Houston against the Texans?

Steve Spurrier’s debut in 2002 was a 31-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals. It looked like good times were ahead.


SEE ALSO: DeSean Jackson can remake reputation with Redskins — if he wants to


“I remember every game I ever coached — all 220, I think I figured it out,” Spurrier told reporters after the win. “This is one to remember. It’s a big deal that we won.”

No it wasn’t. Good times were not ahead.

Jim Zorn’s 2008 debut was a 17-16 loss to the New York Giants.

That was an illusion as well. The Zorn era would wind up much worse than a one-point loss to the Giants.

Mike Shanahan’s 2010 debut was a glorious one — a 13-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

“You’ve got to find a way to win in this business,” Shanahan told reporters after the game.

He only found a way to win 24 times in 64 Redskins games.

Another illusion.

You sensing a trend here?

Story Continues →