Gruden spoke to Les Carpenter of The Washington Post on Monday afternoon to explain the moments leading up to his firing at the hands of owner Daniel Snyder and president Bruce Allen and to detail his emotions afterward.
Following Washington's 33-7 home loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon, the 52-year-old now-former Redskins coach received a text at 8 p.m. ET to report to Snyder's office at 5 a.m. the next day, Carpenter reported. Gruden drove to the Redskins' facility around midnight and stayed in his office until the meeting was to occur. In the rendez-vous at dawn, Gruden was fired.
"I'm not bitter," he told Carpenter. "This is a production-based business, and I didn't get it done."
Contributing to Washington's struggles during its 0-5 start were injuries at multiple positions and uncertainty under center. Derrius Guice, Alex Smith and Jordan Reed have all been sidelined this season, and Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and even rookie Dwayne Haskins have all seen time at quarterback so far.
All that commotion led to little continuity on Washington's roster and no chance against opponents with a combined record of 16-9. Gruden said he regrets being unable to coach a fully healthy and capable Redskins team in 2019.
"I just wish I could have had all of our offensive players," Gruden told The Post. "We never got to flex our offensive muscle."
Tasked with flexing Washington's offensive muscle for the remainder of the season is O-line coach Bill Callahan, who was promoted to interim head coach, and offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, who will call plays in Gruden's place.
For the first time since 2013, Washington will be led by someone other than Gruden. For the first time since 2010, Gruden won't have a job in the NFL. Both coach and team are in transition.
Whether their parting was for the best this season remains to be seen, but it appears Gruden, at least, is at peace with the move.