When Redskins secondary coach Raheem Morris walks into Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon, hell do as an opposing coach for the first time.Morris climbed the coaching ladder in Tampa, rising from defensive quality control coach in 2002 to head coach seven years later. In 2010, he directed the Buccaneers to a 10-6 record as a 34-year-old but was fired last January after the team stumbled to a 4-12 mark that included some unsightly losses down the stretch.Its always emotional, Morris of returning to the team that gave him his start in the pros. But its not really weird. You dont want to win any more. I dont think thats any more motivation.Theres no ill will, he added. They helped me and developed me throughout my professional career. I can still talk to ownership, management, whoever I need to.But after saying his hellos at the stadium, Morris said hell immediately get to the task at hand: turning around a Redskins secondary thats yielded 300 or more passing yards in each game this season not to mention a league-worst 10 passing touchdowns.Really, those things are put away, said of the friendships he forged over the years in Tampa. Right now, its about getting our secondary to be the best that we can be. We have to play better obviously. Weve had had two back-to-back games where we were subpar.He added: We have to eliminate those big plays. Thats about players being accountable for themselves. Were playing great up front. Were playing great at the linebacker position. If we can get the secondary to play a little bit better, well be a great football team and we know that.
At least 51 Redskins will be making the trip to London on Thursday night, including some who are pretty banged up. And there is hope that the other two will be able to make it across the pond.
“We're taking everybody, which is a good thing,” said coach Jay Gruden. “If something happens on Friday or Saturday, we can make adjustments if needed.”
He later clarified the statuses of tight end Jordan Reed and cornerback Josh Norman. Both of them are in the NFL’s concussion protocol, at least partially.
“I’m not too sure about this — Thursday they are going to the independent doctor and if they’re cleared they’ll go on the trip,” said Gruden. “If not, if we’re still having some pain and setbacks, at that point we’ll make that decision to probably leave them back.”
In other words, stay tuned on those two key players.
Two players were out of practice on Wednesday. Reserve linebacker Terrance Garvin was out with a hip injury, and starting running back Matt Jones missed with a knee problem.
The injury was as much a surprise to Gruden as it was to reporters when they saw that Jones was not participating in practice.
“He just came in, I guess, today, had some soreness laterally,” said Gruden. “Had some pain cutting, has to problem running straight ahead so we kept him out today.”
Limited in practice were wide receivers Jamison Crowder (groin) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring/shoulder); guard Brandon Scherff (shoulder), offensive tackle Trent Williams (knee), Reed, Norman, offensive lineman Spencer Long (chest), cornerback Bashaud Breeland (ankle) and tight end Vernon Davis (groin).
With six offensive starters limited and Jones out, Gruden had to alter practice somewhat.
“We had to do kind of a slower tempo on the offensive side of the ball because of the amount of injuries we had,” said Gruden.
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Both Josh Norman and Jordan Reed, two important players who are in the concussion protocol, were on the field for the early part of Redskins practice today,
But starting running back Matt Jones was not with the running back during individual drills. He out of uniform, doing some rehab work off to the side. The team did not announce an injury to him during or after the game.
The presence of Reed, who has missed the last two games after suffering a concussion on October 9, at practice was expected. Coach Jay Gruden announced on Monday that Reed would participate today for the first time in a week.
Norman left the Redskins game against the Lions last Sunday in the third quarter and was diagnosed with a concussion. It was a mild surprise to see him on the field so soon.
Reed and Norman practicing today is a positive sign but far from a guarantee that either will play against the Bengals on Sunday in London. Both must be cleared by an independent neurologist prior to playing and that usually doesn’t happen quickly. It’s possible that they may need to be cleared by tonight in order to go to London since there are no NFL-approved independent neurologists in England.
We will find out more about Reed and Norman and get information on Jones’ injury when Gruden addresses the media after practice.
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