August 20, 2019

Washington Redskins: What do Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins, and Trent Williams think of Kory Lichtensteiger’s return?

(Photo by: Brad Mills/ USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo by: Brad Mills/ USA TODAY Sports)

Despite the highly anticipated rushing attack of offensive line coach Bill Callahan, the Washington Redskins have gotten away from their legacy of a run first franchise. Much of that has to do with losing left guard Shaun Lauvao in the third week of the season as well as center Kory Lichtensteiger after just five games. While Spencer Long has done a decent job when getting rushed into action, after losing his starting right guard spot in the off-season, converted guard Josh LeRibeus has struggled. Now as the Skins get ready to go roaring into the playoffs, they will get the anchor of the offense back as the Bowling Green product is expected to retake his starting role.

Although Jay Gruden did not make it explicitly clear that Lichtensteiger will return to the starting lineup, he feels “good” about his return when asked about his confidence level. Gruden assures that Lichtensteiger has still been fully involved “from a mental standpoint.” Kirk Cousins reiterated the same idea by mentioning that “he’s never left. He stayed in meetings. He’s always at practice.”

[Read more…]

Washington Redskins: With hope of relevance in weakened division, Skins fall flat against Giants

Going into this season, there was probably less hope for the Washington Redskins than ever before in recent history. Robert Griffin III did not look the greatest, suffered a concussion, and was subsequently benched. Two weeks into the season, the Eagles and Giants were both 0-2 and the Cowboys were without their three best offensive players from last season (Romo, Bryant, and Murray). The Redskins had a chance to build momentum after an impressive 24-10 win over the St. Louis Rams, but instead came out slow and never recovered on their way to a 32-21 loss to the New York Giants.

After getting off to solid starts the first two weeks of the season with 10-0 leads, the Redskins decided to flip the script early. On the first drive of the game, Jordan Reed was penalized for pass interference, which Jay Gruden did not agree with, that not only negated a big play but stalled the drive into a punt attempt. I say attempt because the Redskins poor special teams reared its ugly head again as practice squad addition Terrance Plummer got blown up by running back Rashad Jennings leading to a block and safety.

[Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Monday Wrap Up After 24-10 Victory over Rams

The big news from Jay Gruden today had nothing to do with the Washington Redskins impressive 24-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams yesterday. Instead, it had to do with the Redskins waiving former second round pick David Amerson just over two years removed from being the team’s top draft selection in 2013. Although this seems like a big deal because it is the highest drafted player the Redskins have ever released, his ineffectiveness has been clear throughout his rookie and sophomore season before finally being given the boot with the position more than stable than when he arrived.

On a more pleasant note, Gruden also talked to the media about the positives of yesterday and also gave an injury update for Thursday’s game against the Giants, which is fast approaching.

[Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Week 3 Injury Report

With the Washington Redskins on a short work week by playing the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football this week all injuries no matter how relatively minor could play huge in who is and is not available for Washington. To better understand the matchup against the division rival Giants, we list all of the Redskins injuries below:

[Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Quick start and strong finish help Skins top rival Rams

The Washington Redskins looked to show everyone that they were not just going to go quietly throughout the season like they have the past two years. Today was a step in the right direction as they faced off against the St. Louis Rams who upset the NFC East Champion Seahawks last week. Behind strong play from all three phases, yes I know it has been a long time since that has happened, the Redskins were victorious 24-10.

Things were a defensive struggle early on has on the first three possessions the teams combined for a single first down before a punt. Then the Redskins running game woke up in a big way. After a 35-yard run by Alfred Morris in a three tight end set, Matt Jones took it 39-yards to the house two plays later for his first of hopefully many touchdowns as a Redskin.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 8 Observations- Texans are in Richmond

The Redskins started their first of three joint practices with the Houston Texans, this years featured team on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”. Today will be the only day that the teams will participate in an afternoon walkthrough together as tomorrow’s was canceled due to the possibility of precipitation. Stay tuned for additional possible changes to the schedule with rain forecasted for much of the next 24 hours.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien gave us his impressions on Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. Although O’Brien may not be speaking candidly, the former Penn State head man said “he’s a good guy, a really good football coach” about Gruden. O’Brien also commented that rookie WR Jamison Crowder is quick, can accelerate, and has good instincts after the Duke product made his corner back Kareem Jackson look bad on several occasions. He can see just exactly what we are talking about below.

https://twitter.com/Redskins/status/629282083916091392

Starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, started his press conference by exuberantly stating that “I felt overall it was a great day for us. Great competition.” Griffin was at times harassed by arguably the best defender in the game in J.J. Watt, but you have to face the best in order to improve, which Griffin said he wants to “improve every single day”. Griffin kidded that he hopes he never sees Watt when quarterbacks are no longer protected under practice rules but understands it was “good for the offensive line”. The quarterback also commented that he trusts the coaches will put the best five individuals in front of him to protect him when asked about Morgan Moses at right tackle and Brandon Scherff moved inside to guard. It might just be talk but so far Redskins fans have to at least like what they are hearing when Griffin made it clear that “my job is not to pick the five up front — it’s to pick apart the defense. And I plan on doing that”.

Griffin also made a surprising, but realistic claim that joint practices are more useful than preseason games where you have to “get in and get out” without being able to establish a rhythm.

Gruden’s description of Griffin’s performance against the Texans was “ok” but positively announced that “he’s coming along…seeing things more clearly”. Gruden also discussed the offensive line situation by noting that for Moses “having a year under his belt has helped him” and as a result, Scherff getting kicked inside for Moses to start at tackle is “a definite possibility”. Unlike what some may think about spending the 5th overall pick on just a solid guard, Gruden said it is not too high of a price if he’s “really, really good”. You might remember that the Redskins passed on DT Leonard Williams out of USC who was surprisingly still on the board.

Gruden also addressed the HBO “Hard Knocks” cameras, a possible reason why the Saints backed out of joint practices with the Texans, by saying his players were not distracted because “they have bigger things” to worry about.

Practice Notes and Evaluations:

  • For the second straight practice we saw that Bill Callahan’s starting offensive line consisted of (from left to right): Trent Williams, Shaun Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses. Most would end up saying Scherff will not have been worth the 5th overall pick if all he is in the NFL is a good right guard, but nothing is etched in stone with this lineups.
  • Even though the Redskins tried running to the left side, away from the presence of Watt, the elite defender showed he has the quicks to move down the line and make an impact on the play regardless. Watt also made is presence felt in the passing game by pressuring Griffin while also swatting other pass attempts. Brandon Scherff was the primary blocker against Watt and though beaten a handful of times, the Iowa product also held his own.
  • With DeSean Jackson being sidelined with a shoulder injury (see more information below), Jamison Crowder got a lot of reps with the first team offense and made the most of it. Crowder was continuing either beating his defender or drawing an interference penalty. Crowder was the highlight of the day for the Redskins when he broke CB Kareem Jackson’s ankles (see video above).
  • In today’s field goal drills, Kai Forbath was three of four with makes from 38, 40, and 45 while missing from 50 and Ty Long was 3/5 with makes from 33, 36, and 43 while missing from both 45 and 50 yards out. Forbath will likely keep his roster spot as a specialist bringing back some consistency in the unit that includes big leg punter Tress Way and long snapper Nick Sundberg.
  • In a lighter moment from practice, the Redskins attempted a fake field goal pass from K Kai Forbath to RT Morgan Moses. It is clear that Moses wants to show Watt he can play tight end too. The play was ruled an interception although Moses might have wrestled the ball away before both players hit the ground.

Injury Updates:

  • CB David Amerson (shoulder AC joint sprain), S Jeron Johnson (tweaked hamstring), and OLB Junior Galette (pectoral) will all NOT practice today against the Houston Texans. Gruden said Johnson will be out a week with the hamstring injury which will put him further in the hole behind Duke Ihenacho as they fight for the strong safety position.
  • RB Matt Jones (knee) and NT Terrance Knighton (flu) have returned to participating in practice.
  • OT Willie Smith (Achilles) looks to return to practice after sitting out a few days. The 28 year old will likely see few reps, even with the second team, as he is likely behind the likes of backup tackles Tom Compton and rookie Takoby Cofield in the pecking order.
  • As if the Redskins could use any more injuries to corners, DeAngelo Hall was helped off the field as he looked to be dealing with a left leg injury. The hope is nothing serious as Hall was seen later with his helmet back on, possibly because he wanted to get back in. Hall, however, watched the rest of practice from the sidelines standing without pads on. Hall said after practice that he tweaked his knee and groin while his twice torn Achilles’ tendon is fine. The veteran corner said he was feeling tight in his leg even prior to practice but wanted to give it a go regardless because of the already depleted secondary. The optimism wore off when it was reported Hall will miss at least a week with the injury possibly ending his 2015 training camp. Gruden said Hall will be day to day with the injury.

  • DeSean Jackson was looked at by multiple trainers while he laid on his back. Head coach Jay Gruden was standing near by but did not seem too concerned with the matter as he was looking elsewhere. Jackson would later walk off under some support from a trainer. UPDATE: Jackson returned to the sidelines without pads after hurting his shoulder when extending laterally to make the catch in the corner of the end zone and practice field. You can see the full play that caused the injury below. The shoulder was wrapped, but it is hoped that the area is simply bruised or mildly sprained. Similarly to Hall, the injury to Jackson was worse than expected as it is reported that the deep threat will be out a few weeks with a Grade 2 separated shoulder. Gruden confirmed Jackson will be out 1-2 weeks with what he called an AC sprain, but left hope for an earlier return depending on pain tolerance. Although Jackson did admit the injury is currently putting him in pain (no sling), he said there is less damage than the shoulder injury he suffered last year that did NOT keep him out of any regular season games.

 

 

  • To make things worse, Gruden said CB Chris Culliver is also dealing with a groin injury and is listed as day to day. Although Amerson, Culliver, and Hall are all dealing with minor injuries, for the next few practices the Redskins may be without their top four corners (Breeland- MCL sprain) leading to others like Justin Rodgers and Kyshoen Jarrett having to step up.
  • S Akeem Davis had surgery on his broken thumb today but could still practice tomorrow in a cast. LB Trevardo Williams, who is fighting for his life to get a roster spot after the acquisition of Junior Galette will be out 2 weeks with a hamstring injury.
  • In other injury news after the Redskins waived 2015 6th round pick CB Tevin Mitchel because of his torn labrum that will end his rookie season before it even began, the Colts, somewhat coldly, claimed Mitchel meaning the Redskins could not move him to the IR and secure his contract. It was a bad luck move for the Redskins who did not, and should not, have expected another franchise to side swipe an injured player in such a manner.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

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. The schedule has been updated to reflect the changes of the canceled afternoon walkthrough tomorrow due to weather forecasts.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 7 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 38 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 4 Observations

On the fourth day of training camp it was much of the same for the team as they went through a relaxed morning walk through before another full padded practice in sweltering 90 degree heat though cloud cover helped. The Redskins are fast approaching there three day joint practice with the Houston Texans on Friday, August 7th that will prepare them for their first preseason action on Thursday, August 13th against the Cleveland Browns.

Free agent pickup Chris Culliver spoke to the media about his evolving role as a Washington Redskin and the new defensive culture the team is trying to create. Culliver optimistically stated that “overall the defense is coming along good”. The ex-49er also mentioned that DeAngelo Hall is looking good on the field and they are building chemistry together by giving one another pointers. When asked point-blank why Scot McCloughan decided to give him a chance with his own off the field issues, Culliver mentioned that the Redskins GM trusted him. That same might be said for the case of Junior Galette. A big grin grew on Culliver’s face when the possibility of a dominant pass rush was brought up, he clearly feels the same way when sincerely stating that “the talent here is special”. In a secondary that could see three new faces getting significant playing time, it is good to see Culliver already reiterating that they are all here to get better together.

When GM McCloughan came to talked to the media, he was bombarded by questions about the Redskins group decision to sign Junior Galette. McCloughan, President Bruce Allen, and head coach Jay Gruden all met with Galette for “hours” as they did “thorough, thorough research…talked to over 20 people” that began as soon as they heard the OLB may be released. McCloughan made sure he knew Galette as a person and saw that he was honestly sincere. The head personnel man also went into that the Redskins figured out the truth and that what the media has reported is not always that. McCloughan did acknowledge the chance that Galette will be suspended by the league offense but put his foot down by saying “I will not bring a bad guy in here”. The latter events of Galette’s stay in Richmond culminated with emotions being let out through tears, which McCloughan described as how badly he wanted to be a Redskin.

McCloughan said he would not address Bashaud Breeland’s suspension incident because it was something that he was not on staff for, but did talk positively of the second year corner as well. “He has a chance to be a really good player” which McCloughan seemed to insinuate as all-pro if not better caliber.

After answering “non-football” related questions that irritated McCloughan, the general manager was able to shed some light on the current season at hand. First, McCloughan vehemently explained that they hope Alfred Morris is a career Redskin despite all of the hype of using a third round pick on rookie RB Matt Jones. Gruden also spoke highly of starting running back Alfred Morris who he says has improved his receiving out of the backfield and is one of the few in the league who does not complain about getting the ball. That and his previous three year track record with the Redskins compelled Gruden to agree with what McCloughan stated just minutes before that they want Alfred to be here “for a while”.

When asked about how many wins would define a successful season in his mind, McCloughan smartly avoided setting a standard quantitatively. However, McCloughan did optimistically imply that the Redskins will no longer be the laughing stock of the NFC East because “when you play the Redskins this year you are going to feel it”. Gruden also ended his press conference by saying, we are “building a team such that they [opponents] have to worry about us more than we have to worry about them”.

As expected, McCloughan stated that although he has final say on all transactions including the cuts to get the team to the needed 53 man roster, everyone is involved from the coaching staff to his own personnel team.

Gruden brought up a few surprises went asked if any rookies will not get playing time because of their lack of experience, which he instantly refuted. As expected first round pick Brandon Scherff will receive any and all playing time as the 5th overall pick. However, Gruden also brought up fourth round pick Arie Kouandjio as possibly pushing veteran Shaun Lauvao for playing time at left guard. Gruden also discussed fellow fourth rounder WR Jamison Crowder and sixth rounder S Kyshoen Jarrett as possibly earning additional practice/playing time with the first team.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • Tevin Mitchel (right shoulder) will receive further tests, Jeron Johnson (tweaked hamstring) is going to try and give it a go, and Willie Smith (achilles) will be out 2-3 days.
  • Like DeAngelo Hall yesterday, veteran left tackle Trent Williams, center Kory Lichtensteiger, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, defensive end Jason Hatcher, and safety DaShon Goldson received scheduled days off.
  • RB Matt Jones was sidelined for part of practice to ice his leg while standing and watching. He later walked with trainers back to the facilities with a wrap on his right knee.
  • WR DeSean Jackson did not practice today because of an injured finger that is believed to be dislocated though still being evaluated.
  • Newly signed OLB Junior Galette continues to work on a side field to enhance his own personal craft (hand placement) before joining the team practices. We could see Galette practice with the team as early as Wednesday.
  • With Williams and Lichtensteiger sitting out, Morgan Moses and Josh LeRibeus both got the nod to work with the starting unit today.
  • Colt McCoy saw opportunities with the second team unit today and looked better than previous lesser outings.
  • Preston Smith struggled against both Moses as well as third string tackle Takoby Cofield in one-on-one passing drills.
  • Robert Griffin III continues to be fairly sharp during training camp and had looked to improve his deep ball, which was a let down last year for the team whether it be under or overthrown balls. In one particular play today he hit Ryan Grant 40 yards down the field in stride does the sidelines.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

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.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 11 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 42 days.

Washington Redskins Select Brandon Scherff at No. 5 Overall in NFL Draft

“Coach [Jay] Gruden, he said, ‘We want you to be a Redskin. How do you feel about that? ‘I said absolutely and just talked about that. I talked to Coach [Bill] Callahan and then went on stage.” — newest Redskins lineman Brandon Scherff

With much speculation over the past three months of whom the Washington Redskins would select with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft — from Marcus Mariota to Dante Fowler to nobody at all in a trade down scenario — we now know that individual is Brandon Scherff. This is a statement pick that tells the rest of the league that Scot McCloughan is in charge and wants to create a dominant force on the line on both sides of the ball that can impose their will.

Scherff is a 6’ 5’’ 315 pound offensive lineman out of the University of Iowa and was rated as the No. 1 offensive linemen available in the draft ahead of names like Ereck Flowers and Andrus Peat. Scherff is a big, tough, nasty, and strong individual on the line to protect Robert Griffin III and block for Alfred Morris. Scherff spent all four years in college and played behind and at times replaced, when injured, Riley Reiff, who was a first round pick of the Lions in 2012.

“Then when it came to our pick, we thought that he was the best person for what we wanted, the best player available,” said head coach Jay Gruden. “If you’re talking about offensive linemen, you’re talking about a big, physical guy, and we want to bring that mentality back to this football team and it starts up front. We addressed the defensive front a little bit in free agency, and I think we had to address the offensive linemen, the offensive line room, and we did that tonight.”

Moreover, the acquisition of Bill Callahan as the Redskins offensive line coach most definitely had an impact in the decision as McCloughan somewhat hinted at in his press conference on Monday. It is now believed that Scherff will transition into Washington’s starting right tackle which was a much maligned position for the club last season. As a result, the Redskins offensive line could read Trent Williams, Shaun Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Morgan Moses (possibly replacing Chris Chester, and Brandon Scherff.

Gruden went out of his way to praise Scherff’s toughness. “When you have a guy that’s this tough on film and it just echoes every time you watch him play, every play that he plays, you see the toughness and you’re like, ‘Man, we could use a little bit more toughness.’ Not to say we weren’t tough last year. We had some guys that competed and played very, very hard, no doubt about it, but when you add another guy of his caliber, his size, his strength, his tenacity, that only makes your football team better. It’s going to help our defensive line, it’s going to help our offensive line, it’s going to help our running game, obviously, and it’s going to help our passing game.”

In what might be a shocker to some with defensive lineman Leonard Williams still on the board — Mel Kiper’s No. 1 rated prospect — McCloughan pulled the first major shocker of the draft by drafting an offensive tackle. What makes this move even more shocking is that there were highly reported rumors that if Williams was available, the Redskins said to him that they would draft him.

When talking on ESPN980 Radio, Scherff said he did not talk to the Washington Redskins much except at the NFL Combine. Scherff says that his best trait is his foot work, while he needs to work on his pass protection the most. The Iowa big man also shared his confidence in playing all five positions on the offensive line because of his versatility which Jay Gruden talked about in his first round press conference. However, Gruden has stated he will be plugged in day one at right tackle.

“Either way wherever they want me to play, I’ll do my best and I’ll jump right in and try to get that spot,” Scherff said in his post-draft media call.

Gruden shed light that they might have looked more for a non-defensive lineman because of their free agency acquisitions, which would explain why they passed on Leonard Williams. The head coach also said that they had the phone ringing a little but said when your guy is there you have to take him. It is possible that Scherff was the second player on the Redskins board behind Dante Fowler.

As a chain reaction of moves, the New York Giants, who desperately needed a left tackle, had their hand forced and drafted Ereck Flowers out of the University of Miami. This is definitely a stretch pick because of questions of what position Flowers will finally settle into, as well as if he has enough time to be polished into a NFL offensive line from his current state of raw talent.

McCloughan started to build up the San Francisco 49ers at the offensive line position leading to the building of an eventual playoff contender. He is starting to follow the same blue print with the Washington Redskins. It will be interesting to see who will fall to the Redskins at the 38th overall pick tomorrow. Redskins fans who may be hesitant on this move should still have faith in McCloughan going into the later rounds because of his excellent track record of finding that diamond in the rough.

Five takeaways from the Washington Redskins Game 14 loss to the New York Giants

Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 24-13 loss to the New York Giants, dropping the Skins to 3-11:

1. Colt McCoy gets injured after not looking 100% to start.

In the beginning of the week it looked as if Colt McCoy would be unable to be ready for this game, but he recovered enough and was named the starter. After nicely marching the team down the field on the opening offensive possession, McCoy aggravated his neck injury when getting pushed forward by the offensive line after being wrapped up by Jason Pierre-Paul.

After settling for a field goal on the drive, McCoy headed to the locker room with the same neck injury. Although he returned to the sidelines before the next offensive possession, he did not return to the game. [Read more…]

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