Here are the big takeaways from Jay Gruden’s Wednesday news conference:
—The Redskins remain reasonably healthy, although Josh Doctson was limited in practice with a hamstring issue that just won’t go away. “He’s just been tight,” said Gruden. “Precautionary this time of week.” The “Where's Doctson” saga continues, we’ll await the injury report on Thursday.
—On Monday, Gruden said that the plan was to have Doctson play 35-40 snaps against the Rams after he played 20 last Sunday. Wednesday, he was asked if the limited practice status might alter that plan. “It doesn’t help,” said Gruden
—S D.J. Swearinger also was limited. All other players were full participants including OT Morgan Moses, who seemed to be affected by an ankle injury against the Eagles.
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—Gruden’s bottom line on stopping former offensive coordinator Sean McVay’s offense on Sunday: “You’ve got to get after the quarterback. It’s the only option.” The Redskins did get after the quarterback against the Eagles, getting two sacks, forcing an intentional grounding, and getting their hands on Carson Wentz several other times. If they get the same rush on the Rams’ Jared Goff they should get close to half a dozen sacks.
—Gruden downplayed the “matchup” with McVay, who was his offensive coordinator for three years and called the plays the last two. “None of that matters,” he said. “You don’t know what they’re going to run anytime. I know he’s a good football coach. He’ll have his team ready. That’s all I know. We have to treat this like another game.”
—This is the first of three games the Redskins will play in the Pacific time zone so the Redskins went to some experts to make sure the team is well rested. “We’ve talked to sleep specialists and all that, we’re going to have to tinker with the schedule a little bit, try to get them some more sleep,” said Gruden. The game will be played when the players’ body clocks are at 4:25 p.m. EDT so in that respect the time isn’t all that out of whack from the routine Sunday schedule.
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—Before practice on Wednesday, Swearinger brought the team into a large huddle on the field and gave a little pep talk. “I think everybody is still smarting a little bit,” said Gruden of the gathering. “We should be. I am, at least. But it’s time to get over it. I think D.J. just wanted to give them a little kick in the rear, make sure we are working towards our first win and not trying to talk about what we didn’t do or feeling sorry for ourselves about the last one that is already gone.”
—In answer to the final question of the presser, which was about how much film study by the opposition has taken away the element of surprise in play calling, Gruden again emphasized the importance of getting to the quarterback. “You need to have a good pass rush,” he said. If that message is going out multiple times in 10 minutes with the media you can be assured that it’s going out to Greg Manusky, Jim Tomsula, and the players in the front seven on defense.