September 21, 2019

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.

After the game on Sunday, Jay Gruden discussed the blueprint for the Redskins to play winning football mainly in the two parts of running the football and playing defense. Recently Washington has been a fairly successful team in running the football, just look at how Alfred Morris has ran for nearly 4,000 yards in the past three seasons. It was the defense part that just now seems to be coming full circle from the Greg Williams days. And how fitting that the Redskins unveil this new stout defense against Williams who is the defensive coordinator for the Rams.

On Monday, Gruden reiterated that the Redskins “are on the right track” after playing “very sound defense”. It starts up front with a healthy Jason Hatcher, run stopping Terrance Knighton, and a rotation mainly between Stephen PaeaRicky Jean-Francois, and Chris Baker. According to defensive coordinator Joe Barry last Thursday, the defensive line would always rather not blitzing to try and help the secondary and force themselves to fight even harder to get pressure on the quarterback. Last season, the problem was that the Redskins could not ever get pressure on the quarterback without sending extra men and forcing the secondary to play cover zero. This year, as exemplified by Nick Foles’ constant harassment from “Capital Punishment”, it is different. If this trend continues for the rest of the season, the defense is poised to be the most improved unit in the NFL for sure.

Speaking on rookie running back Matt Jones, 100+ yard performance, Gruden was ecstatic as was General Manager Scot McCloughan when embracing the Florida product immediately as he got off the field. Some may think that Jones has already surpassed Alfred Morris, but I think it just shows the potential for a two headed monster at running back for the Redskins who are the first team since the 2006 San Diego Chargers to have two different running backs go past the century mark to open the season. Gruden would lovingly kid that Jones is far from perfect because he had “a couple little fubar’s” on special teams.

With all of the attention Jones is getting with great statistical performance, Gruden is quick to note the job of his blockers ahead of him as I am sure all runners would. First, on a surprising contributor that the Redskins coaching staff has been talking up is Jordan Reed. Originally thought of as just an electric receiver, Gruden said that he had his best game as a “tight end, as a blocker”. Another player that caught a lot of heat last year for poor performance was left guard Shaun Lauvao who Gruden praised for his increased athleticism in getting out and making blocks. When evaluating the left side of the line, Gruden said “him [Lauvao] and Trent [Williams] are two powerful men” and certainly a force to be reckoned with. Many have thought that the right side of the offensive line has improved with the insertion of rookie Brandon Scherff and second year tackle Morgan Moses into the power run scheme of coach Bill Callahan, but two weeks in and it looks like the line as a unit has improved in unison.

When discussing the New York Giants, Gruden discussed how the entire team will be picking “Perry [Fewell]‘s head quite a bit” as the Redskins new secondary coach spent last season as a member of the division rival. Gruden did note however that with the new defensive system as a whole, that Fewell would only be able to provide general player tendencies instead of more specifics like coverage sets.

Gruden also briefly discussed how Odell Beckham Jr. is “in a league of his own”. The rookie sensation does not seem to be hitting any kind of a sophomore slump having already totaled 190 yards and a touchdown just two weeks into the season. Beckham definitely made his presence felt to the Redskins in their second meeting last year, going off for 12 catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Culliver will probably draw the first assignment of Beckham with the likes of DeAngelo Hall and Bashaud Breeland also getting opportunities.

The Redskins plan on leaving for MetLife Stadium Wednesday night, so there will not be too many more days for practice nor to get more information from the coaches and players.

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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