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Redskins coach Jay Gruden's support in locker room hasn't eroded

ASHBURN, Va. -- It's that time of the season: Time when we get questions about the head coach of the Washington Redskins. So, with a 3-5 record, it's not surprising that there would be questions about Jay Gruden, his future and what people think in the locker room. Enjoy.

John Keim: Not from what I’ve seen or heard. I have to say, it hasn’t been a big issue at all this season -- though it will be if they continue to lose. You can take that to the bank. When you see DeSean Jackson do the “purple nurple” on Gruden in practice, it’s a sign of what you see somewhat often. Not that particular, um, action but you will see people jumping on him out of excitement during practice (Matt Jones did that Friday after the horn sounded ending individual work). I’ve seen that in other practices, too. That’s not a sign of disrespect, but rather it seems players genuinely like Gruden. That wouldn’t happen with Bill Belichick, but it probably does with Pete Carroll. I’ll also say that his stock was helped when they started making decisions on lineups based on who deserved to be on the field -- and, as one player said, not for “political” reasons. Gruden would have lost the locker room earlier this season had certain changes not been made. That’s not just one position, either, though the quarterback spot is the most glaring.

Also, it helps to have veteran leaders such as Ricky Jean Francois, Dashon Goldson and Terrance Knighton. They seem to have players fixed on what matters: the next game. For now the Redskins remain in the hunt -- whether we believe they do is irrelevant; their record suggests they are and that’s how they should think. As long as that’s the case, then there are no issues with Gruden in the locker room (or at least nothing that’s come out yet). With previous coaches who were short-termers, you heard grumblings from players by this point in their tenure (Steve Spurrier, Jim Zorn). And you knew they would be gone after their second season. The question with Gruden is more this, however: Do the players want to run through the so-called wall for him? I haven’t gotten that sense, either. I haven't heard passionate takes supporting him. I think there are aspects players definitely appreciate about him, but ultimately they want to win. If they don’t win, more questions will be asked of players -- and by players. Tough questions. Not to mention by the general manager and the owner.