Here is a recap of Jay Gruden’s Monday press conference the day after the Redskins lost to the Eagles:
—One positive from the loss was that there were no injuries. “We just had some bumps and bruises here and there,” Gruden said. “Everybody came out pretty good.” It should be noted that in the past Gruden has said something similar the day after a game and then a key player would show up on the injury report on Wednesday.
—Gruden talked last week about the need for his team to be “multidimensional” on offense. Then on Sunday his running backs combined for 13 carries. “It got away from us a little bit,” he said. “We had a couple of runs called that we threw quick passes on. We’ve got to get the running game going.” Of course, that’s hard to do with only 13 rushing attempts by the backs.
—The primary reason that the running game couldn't get going was blocking issues, specifically the offensive line. “They have a good [defensive] front, that’s well documented,” said Gruden. “We have good front also. We should block better than we did . . . I was surprised. We expect great things from our offensive line.”
—Gruden said that the defense played hard but there was one persistent issue, one that carried over from last year. “Just one glaring stat that just blinks out at you is seven out of 13 on third down,” he said. That’s just something we have to be better at.”
—On why Josh Doctson played only 20 snaps against the Eagles and didn’t get any passes thrown his way, here is Gruden’s answer in its entirety:
“I don’t think it is ‘readiness issues.’ I think he is ready to go. I think it is something more that he has to perform and he has to play well to earn more playing time. You know, he hasn’t practiced a whole lot. Last year he didn’t practice a whole lot. This year, he has been in and out of the lineup a little bit. I think once he establishes himself as an everyday player, he is going to get the reps and he is going to prove that he is one of our top receivers. He’ll get more and more reps as the season goes on without a doubt, but he has got to earn that right like everybody does.”
—Gruden does expect Doctson and Junior Galette to play more next week and in the weeks to come. He figures that Doctson will get 35 or 40 snaps and Galette, who was in for 16 plays against the Eagles, will play 25 or 30.
—Gruden said that we have seen the play that ended up being a Kirk Cousins interception in the red zone before. “The pick was unfortunate,” he said. “A very similar thing happened against Arizona last year at the end of the game. We had pressure in his face and the ball got away from him and Patrick Peterson picked it. It was the same exact route and the same exact outcome.” That interception happened near the end of the game when the Redskins needed a touchdown and two-point conversion to send the game into overtime. This one was not as decisive but perhaps more damaging.
MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS NEED MORE FROM COUSINS
—Back to Doctson, Gruden said his playing time was a matter of performing in practice (cue the Allen Iverson sound). “I need to see him out here at practice, you know, on a consistent basis,” he said. “He will make plays in practice. The more plays he makes in practice, the more comfortable that Kirk will be, the more reps he is going to get and that is going to happen. It will happen. I know that will happen.” It almost sounds like he’s trying to convince himself at the end there, doesn’t it?
—Gruden essentially denied the report that came out yesterday saying that Jordan Reed was still dealing with issues related to the toe injury that had him on the PUP list for all of training camp. “No, I think his toe is fine,” he said. “I think he had enough time off to get it healed. He’s got the orthotics in there and I think he ran around pretty good. If anything, he might’ve just been a little rusty, just a little too quick with some of his cuts, all that stuff.”
—Gruden said that they missed at least four opportunities to sack Carson Wentz.
—The film didn’t tell Gruden much about the controversial fumble that ended the Redskins’ chances of a comeback win. “I couldn’t tell. I couldn’t tell,” he said. “Maybe the ball was still in his hand. Sounded like it was blocked from where I was. I ran it back on the sideline copy, I couldn’t tell.” In case you were wondering, he really couldn’t tell.