September 20, 2020

Washington Redskins: Week 5 Thursday Press Conference Wrap Up

Besides injury updates, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Joe Barry continued to shed light on Sunday’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

In the theme of conducting a culture change around the franchise, Gruden made one remark that summed up exactly what you will hope can come out of all of it. “The players have done an excellent job of buying in and performing”. Not that the Redskins had not always believed what their coaches are telling them but that they actually have something to show based on their performance is more exciting. In short, Gruden wrapped it up by saying “we’re trying to let the past be the past and we’re trying to make this [something] new”.

On Jamison Crowder‘s consistency after being named the starting slot receiver for the team, Gruden explained that whenever the Duke product was healthy, he consistently flashed. Gruden followed that up by saying “I don’t have any doubt that he’s going to continue to progress as a young player and be a big impact for this football team”. For a fourth round pick fans might not have been expecting much given the Redskins recent lack of success in the draft, but if Crowder continues to perform as he did against the Eagles he could develop into a great complement to a receiving corp that already boasts Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson when healthy.

Last year and throughout much of the preseason, the Redskins offensive line was putrid. Now with the rebuilding around rookie Brandon Scherff, things seem to be taking a turn for the best. Even though the team lost Shawn Lauvao when he was playing at a high level, Gruden thinks that they have done a good job for having three players who combine for just a handful of snaps coming into this season. Te best news is that “those guys are just going to continue to get better and better” according to Gruden. If Bill Callahan can get this unit to the level of the Cowboys last year, Alfred Morris and Matt Jones might both make it to a Pro Bowl this year.

Many, including myself, have been impressed with the play of true safety Kyshoen Jarrett, a former Virginia Tech Hokie, in the nickel back position. Defensive coordinator Barry called it “a blessing in disguise” when the team fell into it. Barry called Jarrett “one of those mature rookies that really works at it (like a bulldog)” who he thinks will just get “better and better and better with it”. Jarrett will clearly play a big role in this defense, especially with DeAngelo Hall sidelined, because as much as Quinton Dunbar has been hyped up, Barry admitted that he does not have a “good” comfort level with Dunbar playing significant minutes with little experience.

Ryan Kerrigan took a lot of heat, from myself included, for missing two “layup” sacks as Barry put it. Some may think that Kerrigan is still knocking off the rust after sitting out the preseason, which Barry agrees with the medical team, following an offseason knee scope. Barry is not too pressed about the matter because Kerrigan “is playing his butt off” and “no one is harder on himself than Ryan Kerrigan”. Kerrigan already admitted his frustration with a lack of statistical production last game, but neither Barry nor Gruden are too worried about it. It will be interesting to see if Barry continues to line Kerrigan along with Trent Murphy up in non-edge rushing situations on the line of scrimmage to give the defense a “different look” like he did briefly at the end of last week’s contest with the Eagles.

If Chris Culliver is unable to go against Atlanta in a couple days, Barry is confident in Bashaud Breeland’s ability to matchup against Julio Jones after shutting down Dez Bryant last year in the Redskins road upset of Dallas. According to Barry, Breeland “has been able to go against top-notch wideouts and perform very well” and that in itself is something to be happy about even if Jones does break off a few big gainers during the course 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.

%d bloggers like this: