June 12, 2021

Washington Redskins: Week 10 Wednesday Press Conference Wrap Up

Coming off of a mistake filled loss to the New England Patriots Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, addressed the media with their attentions now set on the New Orleans Saints. All involved know that a sixth loss this early in the season, will likely end the slimmest of hopes at a run for postseason contention.

After Washington was forced to place starting center Kory Lichtensteiger on injured reserve, they decided to quickly bring in seven-year veteran center Brian de la Puente in to possibly take over for converted guard Josh LeRibeus. LeRibeus has struggled in shotgun snaps and run blocks and Gruden hopes that de la Puente’s primary background as a true center will help with that. Gruden said that the team has not “given up on Josh [LeRibeus]” but they need to see the former third-round pick improve while the Redskins evaluate “how much de la Puente can do”.

Although it is “conceivable” that de la Puente will start on Sunday, it would be a fairly quick turnaround to understand all the scheme and calls of Bill Callahan‘s system. Drew Brees, a former teammate of de la Puente, said he is “great” because “he was a smart football player”. Cousins is already impressed so far, but knows that chemistry is “very, very important, and it takes time”.

The Redskins continue to be distressed by the lack of production in the running game and might now be looking to make an adjustment to jump start the effort. Even with the recent struggles from both Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, Gruden likes Chris Thompson in his current role as a third down, receiving back.

Before today’s practice, even though sidelined by a hamstring injury, veteran safety DaShon Goldson initiated a players-only huddle to get thinks on the right track. According to Gruden, his efforts directly led to a good practice. Cousins said that the huddle was called to simple “remind everyone that it will take a great week of practice to have a chance to be successful on Sunday”. Goldson might not be in the form he was when selected twice as a Pro Bowler, but Scot McCloughan‘s reputation of bringing in good guys to change the culture is well established through this action.

Ever since strong safety Duke Ihenacho dislocated his wrist, thus ending his season, Washington has been searching for an answer at the position. It seems that Trenton Robinson, who was given the job a few weeks ago over free agency pick up Jeron Johnson, is getting his role reduced after having limited playing time during crunch time against the Patriots. Gruden said the team is “looking at changes” by getting Johnson and even rookie Kyshoen Jarrett more involved.

With the possibility of having Chris Culliver, Bashaud Breeland, DeAngelo Hall, and Will Blackmon on the field at the some time, Jarrett, who has been rushed into an emergency nickle corner role, could be moved back to his natural safety position. Either way, the McCloughan might have discovered a solid role player for the team deep in the sixth round of the draft.

Although DeSean Jackson returned from an extended hamstring injury, it is not too surprising that he was not targeted deep down the field on multiple occasions. “DeSean is building his leg strength up” according to Gruden. Cousins says that getting his timing down with Jackson will simply come with work and practice as he continues to return to complete form. The Redskins quarterback would elaborate that “there will be chances [vertically]” which could be aided by a running game that “opens everything up”.

For hopefully one last time this season, although that is extremely wishful thinking, Kirk Cousins had to address the topic of missed opportunities; an understatement considering eight drops. After describing Sunday as coming “up short on some drives”, Cousins tried to put a positive spin on things but saying that those results will help the Redskins stay focused this week.

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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