February 19, 2020

Washington Redskins: Week 11 Friday Press Conference Wrap Up

Before the Washington Redskins departed for Carolina after completing a week of practice that “was a good one” according to head coach Jay Gruden, he and offensive coordinator Sean McVay addressed the media.

After addressing injuries headed into Sunday, Gruden began to discuss the coaching matchup between himself and Ron Rivera. Rivera had grown a reputation of being a risk taker. Gruden attempted to chalk it up to just playing situational football and saying his team would be “aware” of any tricks up the Panthers sleeves. On a similar note about how Gruden believes he has grown as a coach since last year, the Redskins second year man says that a lot of it has to do with the people around you as you continuously grow to adapt to the game. Gruden said the team is “making strides” in developing, coaching, and getting the best out of the players which is “what it’s all about”.

For the first time in a while, the Redskins had success in the screen game against the Saints. Gruden knows that they are “important” against teams with strong pass rushes because it can make them second guess pinning their ears back later. Gruden expects the team to have more success in the screen game for the rest of the season because they have athletic linemen to utilize. Gruden also likes that the play call has high reward for low risk because he can trust Kirk Cousins to make good decisions and throw the ball in the dirt if covered.

McVay discussed the incredibly talents of the Panthers Luke Kuechly, Shaq Thompson, and Josh Norman on defense. Kuechly was described as “an extension of their [Carolina’s] coaching staff” because of his solid job with communication. With Thompson complementing Kuechly and Thomas Davis, McVay knows they are as good as any team in the league as they can play sideline-to-sideline. The “fluid” Norman excels in keying the quarterback when playing zone, but also physically stopping the run in his man-to-man defense. “He’s kind of a combination of all those traits that you’re looking for in a corner” and will be a great challenge for the Redskins on Sunday.

With Norman possibly taking away the likes of the Redskins outside receivers, Washington might have to rely on the slot production from rookie Jamison Crowder who McVay says has done a “great job”. With his ability to recognize coverages and win in man-to-man isolations, he is a “big part” of the offense and will continue to get better with additional reps.

Contrary to the theme of previous weeks, McVay does not think taking a set number of shots downfield is necessarily needed in order to be successful; although he does see the upside of not having to have a 15-play scoring drive. The Redskins will look to “take what they [the defense] give”. A lot of the Redskins offensive game plan, will be based upon how Carolina decides to defend during the opening minutes of the game.

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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