Redskins, Jay Gruden
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Jets, Redskins and Buccaneers retaining coaches

Every losing team in the National Football League has questions moving forward. Depending on what franchise we are talking about, some more than others.

Certainly, the head coach comes up for all of them as we approach Black Monday, but three organizations are apparently staying status quo at the top. The New York Jets gave both general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles extensions reaching into 2018, while reports have the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers keeping Jay Gruden and Dirk Koetter, respectively.

For the Jets, this is the right move. A good case could be made that Maccagnan had to go considering how he has whiffed on the quarterback position — see Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty — but he has also done well to start a rebuild by moving on from Sheldon Richardson, Brandon Marshall and others.

As for Bowles, he absolutely deserved another year after taking one of the worst rosters in football to a 5-10 mark. New York was largely expected to win maybe one or two games in 2017, and yet the Jets were in the playoff picture into Thanksgiving. Bowles has been the head coach for three years without a playoff berth, but he seems to be capable if given a respectable roster.

In Washington, the Redskins also made the correct move. Jay Gruden only needs a Week 17 victory over the listless New York Giants to ensure three consecutive non-losing seasons, something never done in the Dan Snyder era. Gruden also guided Washington to the playoffs as the NFC East champion in 2015, showcasing his ability to get the job done. He hasn’t been beyond reproach, but he has earned another chance.

The question for Gruden is who will be his quarterback in 2018? Will the team find a way to keep Kirk Cousins in house with a lucrative deal, or will the team be looking to replace him via free agency or the draft?

Finally, Tampa Bay is giving Koetter the benefit of the doubt after a step backwards. Koetter appeared to have the Buccaneers on the fast track to competitive football after going 9-7 in 2016, but things have gone south. Tampa Bay is 4-11 going into its final game and could have justified firing Koetter, but instead is giving him a third year is likely the right thing to do. Koetter has been Jameis Winston’s offensive coordinator three years running and while Winston should be better, changing course now could force him to regress further.

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