September 20, 2020

Washington Redskins: Week 2 Thursday Press Conference Wrap Up

In preparation for a Week 2 hosting of the St. Louis Rams, Jay Gruden took a few questions from the media while defense coordinator Joe Barry was available for extensive question on both Week 1 evaluations and looking ahead. For all injury updates click here.

Head coach Gruden explained that moving the mandatory off day for players to Monday was implemented and has so far been a success because it allows all involved to digest events further. Moreover, it allows the film to have already been broken down by Tuesday’s practice.

When assessing the Rams defense led by former Redskins coordinator Greg Williams, Gruden said that “protection is the priority”. In order to keep Cousins up right, Gruden said the Redskins will be running the ball often even if against eight man fronts. On the other side of the ball, Gruden said that Rams first round pick Todd Gurley is a special player, “big, strong, and fast”. He went so far as to say he is the top of back you would build when playing XBox.

For the second week since Robert Griffin III has cleared the concussion protocol, Gruden is staying tight lipped about who the backup quarterback will be behind Kirk Cousins. Gruden put it that the 46 man roster will be decided on at the 11:30 AM deadline on Sunday. If Griffin is inactive again, the concussion aspect is no longer why and the Redskins will likely never see him play for DC ever again barring multiple injuries.

Joe Barry reiterated the sentiments of Gruden about the unlucky nature of not ever having had the secondary together. “That’s the NFL…next man up, lets roll” as Barry put it. The Redskins missed Bashaud Breeland since the second day of training camp, will be without Chris Culliver this week due to suspension, and even Justin Rodgers, a corner further back on the depth chart who has seen action, is dealing with a foot injury. Barry had high praise for Breeland, calling him “one of the best competitors I have ever been around”. If Breeland has indeed knocked off all the rust it will be a big asset for the Redskins throughout the season.

Barry further discussed other members of the defense:

  • DaShon Goldson, who was voted team captain by his peers, has again been termed by Barry as the “leader” of their defense.
  • Jason Hatcher who had a solid game against the Dolphins, worked a lot from the inside of the line rather than the end. Barry called that a “system fit” for Hatcher similarly to how he worked inside in 2013 during his career year as a Cowboy.
  • On David Amerson, who was targeted on seven straight plays by the Dolphins’ Tannehill at the end of the first half, Barry termed it as “he got spun around a little bit”. Without Culliver, Amerson will again see time in the game against the Rams but the Redskins will be continue to be lacking in trust in their 2013 second round pick.
  • It was brought up that Preston Smith only lined up for 12 of 55 defensive snaps and he made the most of it with a hat trick with a sack, forced fumble, and 40 yards later a fumble recovery. Barry said that Smith is “able and ready to play more” against the Rams.
  • It was well known that after getting his knee scoped earlier in the offseason, Ryan Kerrigan was held out of the entire preseason. Barry said that it “killed” Kerrigan to be held out and that he was “pissed off” that he was not “earning his check”. Kerrigan recently inked a 5-year/$57.5 million extension making him one of the highest paid linebackers in the league.

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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