September 20, 2020

Washington Redskins: Week 5 Friday Press Conference Wrap Up

On the last day of the media availability before the Washington Redskins travel to Atlanta for a matchup against the Falcons, head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay spoke to the media. DeSean JacksonDeAngelo HallJordan Reed, and Chris Culliver were all ruled OUT for Sunday’s game on Friday.

The Redskins secondary will be extremely thin when facing off a solid Falcons receiving corp. Mid-season signee Will Blackmon, a nine year veteran, will start for the Redskins across from Bashaud Breeland. Behind Julio Jones, Atlanta also has talent from veteran Roddy White and former Redskin Leonard Hankerson. Expect converted safety Kyshoen Jarrett to play much of the team’s nickel position because as Joe Barry admitted yesterday, the team is not overly confidence in the inexperienced talent of Quinton Dunbar and DeShazor Everett, both of whom were promoted from the practice squad last week.

It has not become a pattern for Washington to be up at halftime but come out in the third quarter relatively flat. Sean McVay says it has turned into a point of emphasis for the offense to keep their foot on the pedal when having a lead. Specifically McVay said “we’ve gotta figure out a way to create some momentum” or more importantly maintain the advantage already gained in the first half. This has not just been a problem on the offensive side of the ball, as last week it was clear the defensive pass rush was lacking until they caught their second wind late in the game. If the Redskins want any chance to upset the Falcons, they will have to consistently put pressure on Atlanta because they will take advantage of poor play on both sides of the ball.

 The offense will surely be challenged without two of their top playmakers in Jackson and Reed, but McVay said they are counting are others to play well when called on. One of those players who will be called upon included Derek Carrier, traded for from San Francisco, who McVay called “a very athletic tight end”. The Redskins can also count on more production from third string running back Chris Thompson because he has “always been a guy that’s had a bunch of talent” when healthy.

On the play of the offensive line through the first quarter of the season, McVay reiterated the beliefs of Gruden by saying they were “outstanding”. Because they have “protected the quarterback well” and “been able to run the football efficiently” they are at a high level. McVay credited offensive line coach guru Bill Callahan for getting the most out of a mix of veterans and young players in the trenches. Probably the biggest benefactor of the solid offensive line play is Kirk Cousins who McVay will continue to improve all aspects of his game because he is “so coachable”.

Sean McVay, one of the few holdovers from the Shanahan era, says that he still is in contact with Kyle Shanahan and other former Redskins on the Falcons staff because they are some of his “best friends”. McVay kidded with his worker co-workers that there is “nothing wrong with going 15-1″ though he is happy with their successful 4-0 start. Former Washington receivers Leonard Hankerson and slot speacilist Nick Williams, also received compliments from McVay because they are “good, productive football players”. It might be a lot of familiar faces, but when game time comes it will be all business from both sides of the ball.

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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