September 21, 2019

Washington Redskins: Week 7 Monday Wrap Up after Record Comeback to top Bucs

After the Washington Redskins set a franchise record for the largest comeback in team history (24 points), they are heading into the bye week on a positive note. Before taking off for a short vacation, Jay Gruden addressed the game, injuries, and more. Gruden is always in a better move after victories after he made all of the media laugh when he said he did “like that” when referencing Kirk Cousins comments to CSN’s Tarik El-Bashir postgame. You can expect more of this passion from Cousins now that he has “earned his respect” according to Gruden.

Gruden expressed his satisfaction with the teams “character and will to come back from something like that [24 point deficit]”. After taking Tampa Bay’s punches, the Redskins “came out swinging in the second half and made it a game” by performing best in when they historically played the worst this season, the third quarter.

The head coach has remained true to his word that the team is still working in fixing their struggles in the running game and they must stick with it in order to set up the pass. That being said, Gruden acknowledged that the team feels like Kirk Cousins is “capable” of winning a game with his arm even though they “don’t want to put that much pressure on him”. Gruden maintains that the team is still looking for consistency from Cousins who he says is getting better to the point that he has “the right to be a starter”. At the high points of his somewhat inconsistent play, Gruden said that Cousins has “shown flashes of being one heck of a quarterback” although he has also had times “when you scratch your head”.

Although Matt Jones looks like the more productive back right now, and quite possibly the back of the future, Gruden insists that the team has “got to get Alfred going”. Gruden still intends to divide carries between both Alfred Morris and the rookie Jones who he applauded for doing a “great job” of providing a different “flavor”. Jay Gruden still seems to have faith in the Mike Shanahan holdover because “it’s not all on Alfred obviously”. Although the offensive line did a “great job in obvious passing situations” according to Gruden, he knows that they can certainly improve in their run blocking.

Conversely on the stopping the run, Gruden reiterated that the team has to tackle better, the newest “point of emphasis”. The team will get back to fundamental tackling skills in practice Tuesday in individual sets as Gruden wants to “stand up” and do something about the past three weeks of poor run defense.

Jordan Reed, when healthy, is a dominant force in the NFL possibly just a tier lower than Rob Gronkowski. “He’s a great pass catcher…it’s a matchup issue for the defense…he’s very good in zone coverage and excellent after the catch” were just a few of the many compliments Gruden afforded the Florida product. Not only is Reed a major weapon in general, but specifically in the red zone the Redskins like his matchups in single coverage against a safety or linebacker.

Besides maybe Breeland’s game-saving tackle towards the end of the game, the gutsy onside kick attempt was a close second to being the most important play of not just the game but season. Gruden knows that it was a risky call, but he said he “felt like the look was too good to pass up”. Not only did Gruden have the “courage” to call it, but the team was “excited for it”. We may see this more going forward as Gruden said that “if you have faith in your defense, there’s really not a lot of risk”. Luckily for the DMV, we are having a happy start to the bye week because of great execution from special teams starting with Dustin Hopkins.

On a broad evaluation of the team, Gruden said “I think we’ve got a long way to go obviously, but I think there is progress being made and I think we can make a lot more progress” after self-scouting throughout the “off” 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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