October 9, 2015

Washington Redskins: Week 5 Thursday Press Conference Wrap Up

Besides injury updates, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Joe Barry continued to shed light on Sunday’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

In the theme of conducting a culture change around the franchise, Gruden made one remark that summed up exactly what you will hope can come out of all of it. “The players have done an excellent job of buying in and performing”. Not that the Redskins had not always believed what their coaches are telling them but that they actually have something to show based on their performance is more exciting. In short, Gruden wrapped it up by saying “we’re trying to let the past be the past and we’re trying to make this [something] new”.

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Washington Redskins: Week 5 Wednesday Press Conference Wrap Up

After an exciting comeback performance against the Philadelphia Eagles to bring the Washington Redskins record back to 0.500, the club hopes to continue keeping pace as a co-leader of the NFC East. A small dose of the game plan against the Atlanta Falcons was revealed on Wednesday when head coach Jay Gruden and starting quarterback Kirk Cousins met with the media.

With the injuries to opening day starters Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall, the Redskins will have a tough challenge in defending Julio Jones who Gruden called “a different human being”. If Culliver is unable to go, expect lots of safety help for Bashaud Breeland and the reliance that the pass rush can get home before Matt Ryan has enough time to make a big play. On a quick point dealing with safety Trenton Robinson, the league DID clear him of any wrong doing when penalized twice for a targeting personal foul last week. Robinson has been a lift to the team after the season ending wrist injury to Duke Ihenacho and will be relied on to help contain the explosive Julio Jones on Sunday.

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Washington Redskins: Week 5 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins have had their fair share of injuries to impact players since the beginning of the preseason. Many big time names have been lost for the year, but the team is finally starting to see improvements from their short term injury players. When facing the surprisingly undefeated Atlanta Hawks this week, Washington can use all hands on deck in attempt of another upset.

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Washington Redskins avoid another disappointing blown lead with late comeback over Eagles


In just the fourth game of the regular season, the Washington Redskins were already in a must-win situation if they wished to stay relevant in the weakened NFC East. With their second straight divisional opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington knew the magnitude of the game.

The Redskins got off to another hot start in the first half, before having a let down in the third quarter possibly due to injuries to Chris Culliver and Ryan Kerrigan. Before it was too late, the Redskins did something they rarely have done lately: they came back to win the football game after losing all momentum. Washington is 2-2 and looking for a possibility to be tied for first place in the NFC East after a 23-20 victory over the Eagles.

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Washington Redskins: Week 3 Friday Press Conference Wrap Up

On the last day of media availability from the Washington Redskins, 48 hours removed from their second game of the regular season against the St. Louis Rams, head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay. For a complete recap of all the injuries the Redskins are dealing with this week click here.

Ever since the departure of special teams coach Danny Smith, the Redskins have had a horrible special teams coverage unit. It was evident last week when Jarvis Landry won the game for Dolphins with a back breaking punt return touchdown. Things do not get any easier for the Redskins this week as the electric Tavon Austin has already burned Washington in the past. Gruden said that the team has discussed limiting Tavon Austin’s quality touches on punt returns and punter Tress Way understands this game plan.

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Washington Redskins: When it comes to football, Skins choke against Dolphins

Today marked the first time the Washington Redskins were able to let their work on the field talk for them in an effort to get out from under the past few weeks of constant drama. All the players knew that they had to block out the noise and hope they could put everything behind them with a win. Unfortunately, after cruising early the Redskins were unable to finish off the Miami Dolphins and fell 17-10.

As surprising as it might be, the Redskins actually dominated Miami for the first 28 minutes of this game. Kirk Cousins was helped out early with 35 yards from Alfred Morris on the team’s first drive where they marched down the field on 12 plays to get the early 3-0 lead. After a three-and-out from the defense, Cousins orchestrated another drive double-digit play drive but was rewarded with a missed field goal. The Redskins hoped that missed opportunities would not haunt them later in the game.

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Washington Redskins Game 1 Preview: Miami Dolphins

The Washington Redskins enter their season opener having endured almost a full season’s worth of drama already. The Robert Griffin III-Kirk Cousins-Jay Gruden-front office soap opera was in full gear during training camp, but now it is time to actually play a meaningful game. The Miami Dolphins and Coach Joe Philbin come to FedEx Field to take on the hometown Redskins to kick off the 2015 season.

After 3-13 and 4-12 campaigns, the last couple of seasons have not given the Washington faithful much optimism. However, a new year gives the team a clean slate to work with and a new guy with the keys to the car, Mr. Kirk Cousins. Cousins has been named the official starter, and Robert Griffin III will be relegated to the bench once he returns from a concussion. With the history of this team and its game of musical Quarterbacks, there is no doubt that Kirk knows he must perform in order to keep this job.

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Washington Redskins: Preseason Week 3 vs. Ravens What to Watch For

The soap opera drama with the Washington Redskins has returned unfortunately, things are getting bleak early and tomorrow’s showing against the Baltimore Ravens could be the beginning of the end.

After more participating in the blame game by Robert Griffin III towards the coaching staff starting with Jay Gruden regarding whether the starting quarterback suffered a concussion when sustaining several blows last Thursday against the Lions.

With the third preseason game often being the dress rehearsal for week one of the regular season, there are infinite things to watch for. Here we highlight five big idea areas to watch out for:

  • In limited playing time so far, Griffin has underwhelmed though it has not all been his fault. He had a long touchdown dropped by Pierre Garcon and had next to know blind side protection from Willie Smith. None the less it is time for Griffin to put his money where his mouth is because another underwhelming performance could cause the quarterback controversy to really heat up and lead to Gruden possibly questioning his QB1 status. Though it will take a completely dreaded performance for Griffin to be benched prior to the start of the regular season, his starting role is not set in stone as well as it was as recently as a couple of weeks ago.
  • The offensive line HAS to improve. A quarterback cannot be successful when getting hit on 75% of dropbacks as Griffin was last week. The return of the Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams will be a huge plus over the journeyman tackle Willie Smith who could find himself unemployed by final cuts on September 5th. If the young core on the right side of the line of Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses can rebound after a poorer showing last week, Griffin should have enough time. The only way to start truly evaluating Griffin is when all the pieces around him are in place as they would be in the regular season and that starts with the men that protect him.
  • When Junior Galette went down with a torn Achilles injury before even taking a game snap with the Redskins, it was a huge loss that DeAngelo Hall put it as losing the missing piece to the defense. It is hard to argue with the corner when he loose an elite pass rusher that has 22 sacks over the past two seasons. Now it will be up to the likes of developing edge rushers Trent Murphy and rookie Preston Smith to fill the void left by the ex-Saint. It is not the worst possible injury based on the idea that the team has solid depth at the position, but the young outside linebackers are going to be forced to grow up even quicker as they face three first round left tackles prior to All Pro blind side protector in the Eagles’ Jason Peters. Ryan Kerrigan with is locked into the WOLB position might not play for precautionary reasons after having his knee scoped during the offseason.
  • Can the offense continue to improve with Griffin reacquiring dynamic weapons like Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder? Many of claimed that missing DeSean Jackson, who has a “slim” chance of suiting up tomorrow, has caused some of Griffin’s ineffectiveness so ideally Reed and Crowder will help soften the shoulder injury to the elite deep threat. If healthy, Reed and Crowder have shown that they can create mismatches in one on one coverage which can only help Griffin in his options in the pocket to get rid of the ball more quickly. Crowder reportedly suffered a slight twinge in his hamstring and could be held out further for precautionary reasons.
  • Their are still many position battles going on the fill out the Redskins 53 man roster. Cuts to a 15 man roster will take place nest Tuesday, September 1st so their are individuals who will use the second half of the game to sustain their livelihoods. Backup offensive tackle, wide receivers, and linebackers are positions with spots up for grabs. Look for many decisions to be made based on an individual’s contribution or lack thereof on special teams after losing two aces in Niles Paul and Adam Hayward within the span of a week.

Tomorrow’s dress rehearsal will be the first time all year that predictions based on performance on a larger sample size will not be speculative. None the less do not throw any particular starter under the bus after just over a half of work building up to the start of the regular season.

Check back for a full analysis of the Redskins battling the the Baltimore Ravens after a Saturday night matchup with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 PM.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 17 Observations

After a costly 20-17 win in the preseason opener in Cleveland, the Washington Redskins regrouped to take part in a Saturday afternoon practice on Fan Appreciation Day. Today marks the penultimate practice of training camp as the Week 1 game against the Miami Dolphins approaches in less than a month.

With the loss of two tight ends from the projected 53 man roster in the span of days, head coach Jay Gruden said the team will work out additional options “shortly”. In the meantime, Chase Dixon, Je’Ron Hamm, and Devin Mahina will have to pick up the slack. In limited playing time as a blocking tight end last year, tackle Tom Compton will also be considered as an option in running and max protect situations according to the second year head coach. Compton did lineup at the tight end position during a few plays during practice today. With Gruden not confirming the Redskins will bring in another running back behind Trey Williams and Mack Brown it is possible they can use that opening to bring in another tight end option.

Gruden thought that both Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses did a nice job on the right side of the offensive line. On Moses, Gruden thinks that he is “just becoming more comfortable on the right side” after playing left tackle in college. Gruden also said that even though Scherff is a lot better at right guard, he could play at right tackle but it is simply that Moses has progressed enough to earn a starting role. It comes down to the Redskins rather having Moses in the starting lineup than Spencer Long.

Other news on the offensive line comes from the backup center position where Josh LeRibeus was somewhat underwhelming at in the preseason opener against the Browns. Gruden discussed the idea that both Ty Larson (UDFA) and Spencer Long are both getting acclimated with the position. If the Redskins chose to hold only 9 offensive lineman on the 53 man roster, it is likely that Long will be the primary backup center and LeRibeus will be let go. Seventh round pick Austin Reiter could be the backup center of the future for the Redskins, which could earn him a spot on the Redskins practice squad. According to CSN’s Rich Tandler, Reiter was seen today already calling out audibles at the line of scrimmage, an important part of any center’s game.

On a quick evaluation of Robert Griffin III‘s performance against the Browns, Gruden noted that he had a dropped 61-yard touchdown that Pierre Garcon catches “99%” of the time. Moreover, Gruden liked the third down conversion that Griffin ran for but noted the flaws on the fade route thrown out of bounds, possibly to due “adrenaline”, and the missed third down conversion where Evan Spencer might have ran to short of a route.

Gruden also mentioned that he liked that physical runs and cuts that Matt Jones put on display last Thursday night. The head coach did however critique Jones on his developing pass protection skills, which he complimented third string running back Chris Thompson on. Thompson’s spot may be all but secured, barring injury, as Trey Williams looks to be more practice squad material.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • Willie Smith and UDFA Takoby Cofield took snaps with the first team at left tackle as Trent Williams was held out (for precautionary reasons with a nagging knee injury). It has been assumed that Compton would easily have a roster spot on the team, but the reps that he is getting overlooked for may be concerning. To me I see it as the coaching staff trying to determine if Smith or Cofield deserve a roster or practice squad spot, while the production of Compton is a known.
  • Halfway through practice, the players were allowed to take off their full padded equipment. When asked about the surprise, Gruden said that it was a combination of things like the heat, injuries, and the team already having completed the sets they wanted to complete with pads on. It is also possible that Gruden wanted to give some of the fans who came out for fan appreciation day an opportunity to see some more exciting and better executed sets.
  • The Redskins did a pretty good job of putting on a show for their fans and it started with Griffin. The quarterback showed of his cannon of an arm with bombs to receivers Rashad Ross, Tony Jones, and Pierre Garcon during 7-on-7 drills. Obviously Griffin was not facing any pressure but execution in all sets is a positive.
  • We have seen Kirk Cousins score in key situations, against Baltimore on a crucial two point conversion in 2012 and most recently last Thursday on a read option take for a score. Quite frankly, no one expects for Cousins to run with the ball very much. Griffin on the other hand he is a true running threat. The former Heisman award winner has not done as much running lately but today in practice he scored on a red zone set on a designed quarterback draw.
  • Colt McCoy seems to be solidifying his on destiny as the third string quarterback after a luck luster preseason showing and then throwing two interceptions during practice today.
  • After seemingly getting back on track with a strong showing in practice leading up to another solid output against the Browns, Kai Forbath took as tep back from the consistency. The projected starting place kicker was a miserable 1/4 on kicks today, making a 33 yarder but missing from 35, 40, and 43 yards out. None the less, Forbath is still much better than NT Chris Baker who had a miserable attempt today (see below).

Injury Updates:

  • Gruden confirmed that RB Silas Redd (torn ACL/MCL) and TE Logan Paulsen (turf toe), adding to TE Niles Paul, will be out for the year. Paulsen will have surgery Monday.
  • TE Jordan Reed (hamstring), WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring), MLB Will Compton (head), MLB Perry Riley (wrist), CB Baushad Breeland (MCL), WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), LT Trent Williams (right knee), and DE Frank Kearse (shoulder) all sat out of practice today. Riley, Williams, and Kearse are new to the injury report but are to be considered day-to-day.
  • Gruden said both Crowder and Jackson are close to returning and the hope is that they will be ready to go fully by the Ravens preseason game.
  • Reed told CSN’s Tarik El-Bashir, that he did some running today on his sore hamstring and hopes to return to practice on Monday.
  • OLB Junior Galette (pec) took part in his first full practice with the team today and though he may have a shot at going against the Lions, the third preseason game against the Ravens is more realistic. Galette later confirmed Gruden’s projection of playing against the Ravens.
  • CB David Amerson (shoulder), SS Jeron Johnson (hamstring), and SS Duke Ihenacho (right arm contusion) were back at practice today.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Host the Detroit Lions for the second preseason game in 5 days on 8/20 at 7:30 PM.
  • The final cuts to a 53 man roster will take place over the next 21 days by 9/4.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 30 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Outlook for Offense

We have now gone through and released our outlook on what to expect from the different units of the Washington Redskins offense. The quarterback position will be mostly determined by Robert Griffin III‘s execution of head coach Jay Gruden‘s offense in his second year. The running backs and receivers for the Redskins is talented but have to be given the opportunity to make plays for the team through Griffin. Finally, the offensive line, which was dreadful last year, will likely be improved but will be dependent on how quickly they grasp Bill Callahan‘s new blocking schemes.

Now we go through and project each unit’s grade during the season and predict the Week 1 depth chart that consists of the 53 man roster, of which we will assume 25 will be on offense. [Read more…]

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