Following the drama surrounding a benched Robert Griffin III towards the tail end of the preseason, who could have possibly seen the Washington Redskins as the team in the driver’s seat of the NFC East heading into December? Not me. Head coach Jay Gruden knows that with five games left, there is nothing that is being taken for granted and preaching consistency during this final stretch.
After Sunday’s first victory of the New York Giants since 2012, it was revealed by players in the locker room that veteran safety DaShon Goldson was responsible for calling a players-only meeting on Saturday night with a theme of “stop losing” according to Pierre Garcon. Monday, Gruden claimed to not have any involvement in or knowledge to such a meeting. “Sounded like it was beneficial” said Gruden about the opportunity to possible air out their issues.
Although Washington certainly has veteran leaders on both sides of the ball from DeAngelo Hall to Trent Williams, Kirk Cousins probably is not in that role as a leader yet though he did draw the compliments of rookie running back Matt Jones yesterday for taking charge. Cousins is “still finding his way” according to Gruden who said the Redskins is “his team.” Gruden believes “the leadership stuff will come” even if being a vocal leader is not his style because he is still looked up to because of “how hard he works.”
On the development of Jordan Reed into an all-around tight end in this league, Gruden started out by stating the obvious that the Redskins “love him in the passing game.” The Gator was given a bit of a pass on his three early penalties yesterday, which Gruden described as “ticky-tack”, but he must “get his hands inside.” Reed is a “huge weapon” on third down and the red zone thanks to his flexibility.
The performance of Washington’s patchwork secondary against one of the best receivers in football, Odell Beckham Jr., and a two time Super Bowl winning quarterback, Eli Manning, was superb. Whether it was veteran journeymen corner Will Blackmon, converted wide receiver Quinton Dunbar, or rookie safety Kyshoen Jarrett, Washington got it done when it counted. Gruden attributes that to the “glue” provided by DaShon Goldson and the “excellent job of just teaching” by Perry Fewell, last years Giants defensive coordinator.
As for a quick injury update, Derek Carrier (high-ankle sprain), Quinton Dunbar (open dislocation on index finger), Andre Roberts (knee inflammation), and Chris Thompson (AC joint sprain) are all listed as day-to-day. Dunbar will probably not require surgery as the Redskins will try a splint as their first option in treatment.