March 19, 2019

Washington Redskins: Gruden and Cousins talk improvement, while DeSean Jackson says all the right things

(Photo by: @Redskins)

(Photo by: @Redskins)

Everyone knows what is on the line Saturday. Win and the Washington Redskins are hosting a playoff game, probably against Seattle again, for the second time in four years. DaShon Goldson knows how important it is to maintain control of one’s own destiny, so he organized a pre-practice team huddle to get things off on the right foot. Following one of only two practices in the shortened week, head coach Jay Gruden, quarterback Kirk Cousins, and ex-Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson addressed the media.

The theme of Gruden’s presser was all about improvement. On the defense, Mason Foster and Will Compton have “played well together” and Preston Smith has gotten off the ball better with speed and aggression. On offense, Gruden called the connection between Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed a thing of beauty because the latter is playing “with a lot of confidence” while Kirk has a “great feel for him [Reed].”

On a lighter note, the second year head coach kidded that the area he has improved in the most are these interviews; “I’m killing them [laughs].”

Gruden even believes that Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford has shown “major improvement” because he is getting more comfortable in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo system.

All members of the coaching staff are preaching to their players that “we have made great improvement, and great strides but we still have a long way to go.” Gruden says that it is fun coming to work everyday when you have a great group of guys are you that are eager to improve. Saturday will be Washington’s biggest litmus test during their improvement process.

Continuing with the idea of improving, Kirk Cousins believes that outsiders are starting to see the results of their early efforts. Now that the players are learning and commanding the system Jay Gruden is implementing, you start to see the improvements on the field. For Cousins, that all starts with his consistent playing time because “the accumulation of knowledge is a powerful thing” according to the Michigan State product.

Everyone probably thinks that this game is personal for DeSean Jackson, it probably is, but so far the speedy wide receiver is saying all the right things:

“Part of history. Something that just happened [in Philadelphia] … happy to be here in Washington.”

“I’m not going to let it be bigger than what it is, we need to win the game. I really don’t like to lose.”

“Hopefully we can talk about another big play after this week.”

As an aside, the Redskins have signed TE Marcel Jensen (6′ 6”, 270 pounds), off of the Buffalo Bills practice squad, to the 53-man roster that had an opening after Andre Roberts was placed on IR. Jensen is the team’s fourth tight end while an injured Ryan Grant is serving as the club’s fifth wide receiver. His prowess in the running game at Fresno State is something the Redskins could use immediately although Gruden mentioned the possibility of Jensen sticking with the team during the offseason as well.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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