September 23, 2020

Washington Redskins: Week 9 Monday Press Conference Wrap Up

In the first practice coming off a bye week filled with self-scouting as well as preparing for the defending champion New England Patriots, Jay Gruden addressed the media for the first time in nearly a week.

With regards to injuries, which Gruden is not bound to discuss until Wednesday, Bashaud Breeland (hamstring) did not participate although he was rehabbing on a side field. Breeland described his hamstring strain as grade two and does not know if he will play Sunday even though he is on the “up and up“.

DeSean Jackson (hamstring), Chris Culliver (knee), DeAngelo Hall (toe), Ryan Kerrigan (hand), Kory Lichtensteiger (neck) all suited up for practice and participated in at least a limited sense. Hall, who was upgraded to day-to-day, has been diagnosed with grade two planter plate tear in his foot, the grade three variety is what sent tight end Logan Paulsen to injured reserve. Following surgery a week ago Kerrigan’s hand was heavily wrapped and although he had his helmet on, he did not take part in sled drills. Lichtensteiger was participating but did not seem to be working with the rest of the starting unit.

Chris Thompson has a baseball sized bruise on his back but surprisingly said that it is significantly smaller than it was previously. The change of pace back says he expects to play against the Patriots.

Gruden finally hopes to have a “full cast of characters” available to him in his secondary which will help against Tom Brady’s quick passing game. Even if the Redskins have Breeland, Culliver, and Hall all available to potentially take away Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Brandon LaFell, Washington will have a tough time covering tight end Rob Gronkowski. My guess is that you will see a lot of double teams between linebackers and safeties, but even that leaves holes in between the two levels.

As much of this season has been a challenge for the Redskins, Gruden calls the “very well coached” Patriots a “great challenge”. One of the main keys to the games according to Gruden will “somehow, someway” get Brady off his spots with an effective pass rush which may be fairly realistic because of New England’s injuries on the offensive line. Gruden knows that Brady is a future hall of famer because “you can’t say anything negative about him” and said he actually studied his play as a young coach. Washington will have to their “best week of preparation” from both a physical and mental state.

One of the biggest point of emphasis for the coaching staff over the bye week was to find a way to get the ground game back going offensively with Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, which will see no change in the depth chart. Gruden believes that they have identified some things to tweak and use the run game more effectively, but of course the true test will be seen on the field Sunday.

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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