August 18, 2019

Washington Redskins: Week 1 Friday Press Conference Wrap Up

For the last time before the Washington Redskins host the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field, Jay Gruden spoke to the media and for the first time since early on in training camp second year offensive coordinator Sean McVay discussed expectations for the offense.

The breaking news came from team president Bruce Allen prior to Gruden’s media availability when he told WTOP radio that Robert Griffin III received written clearance from the league neurologist last night, three weeks removed from the concussion he suffered at the hands of the Detroit Lions pass rush. Gruden reiterated this news by telling the media that “Robert finally got cleared” and saying he will be listed as probable for Sunday’s game because he was still able to participate in non-contact practice, although not with the second unit. When asked about Colt McCoy‘s previous status as the backup quarterback, Gruden said that decision will be made when the team has to submit their 46-man active roster shortly before the game.

Although being demoted might bring on the worst feeling for a professional football player, Gruden has reiterated the feelings of others when saying Griffin has responded well to the situation and has not shown any frustration he may be feeling inside. McVay put it that Griffin “handled himself very maturely”, a credit to his character when faced with a “tough situation”. A full hour after practice concluded, Griffin was still putting in the work by running through drills with a team staffer.

Sean McVay was very frank about the likelihood, based on preseason film, of the Dolphins doubling up Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake on the right side of the Redskins’ offensive line. McVay said that formation is “probably why I haven’t slept a lot this week”. The unit of Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses had their shaky moments in the preseason and are far from a finished product. Although McVay conveyed Scherff is excited for the challenge of a all-pro caliber player in Suh, it will be a big mismatch for the Redskins who will have to rely on help from C Kory Lichtensteiger and chips from backs or tight ends on Wake.

Although Gruden has not described exactly how carries will be split between three year work horse Alfred Morris and rookie bruiser Matt Jones, McVay shed a lot of light on the situation. Alfred Morris will “get the bulk of the carries”, but McVay did admit that what Matt Jones has shown is “encouraging and exciting” and will result in the team wanting “to find a way to get him some touches”. The young offensive coordinator said the plan is to run the football to start the game and hope that can lead to successful play action calls to take advantage of the return of deep threat DeSean Jackson.

Tom Compton is questionable for Week 1 because a pulled calf injury that was aggravated after initially sustaining the injury when kicked in the fourth preseason game. Ty Nsekhe would be the primary backup tackle for the Redskins if Compton were to be inactive with Brandon Scherff also having the potential to be kicked back out to the tackle position.

For Compton’s contribution as a blocking tight end after the loss of Logan Paulsen, Gruden noted that Anthony McCoy has made progress since arriving just about a week ago once released by the Seattle Seahawks. McCoy is the most skilled blocker out of the Redskins tight end corp that includes Jordan Reed, who Gruden said is “blocking extremely well”, and Derek Carrier.  McVay, the Redskins former tight ends coach, said the team is confident in the position despite the injuries to expected contributors.

OLB Jackson Jeffcoat was added to the injury report as questionable for the season opener with a thigh injury. With the loss of Junior Galette and not making a spot for fellow pass rusher Houston Bates on the 53 man roster, the Redskins are thin at the outside linebacker position. Washington would be down to Trent Murphy and Preston Smith at outside linebacker full time while Ryan Kerrigan could be on a snap count in order to ease him back into the game after getting his knee scoped earlier in the offseason.

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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