Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 8, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Atlanta Falcons.
Read and react
Here are some quotes from Jay Gruden’s and Kirk Cousins’ press conferences from Wednesday and my reaction to them.
Gruden on Matt Jones: “He’s never lost my trust [because of fumbles]. A couple of weeks ago it was Alfred [Morris] who was in my doghouse and he’s not. It’s just the way to works out with the handoffs and the carries. I like both of those guys.”
Reaction: We tend to overact to each week’s snap count and the number of carries each running back gets each week. Against the Giants the talk was that Morris is on hiw way out and then against It goes under a microscope each week based on what really is a small sample size of 30 carries or so. When we look at the end of the year we will see who really is the “lead dog”.
Cousins on red zone opportunities: "Too many times we probably haven’t come away with touchdowns when we need to in the red zone. That will be a point of emphasis going forward—how can we get six instead of three?
Reaction: The Redskins are about average in the red zone. They have put it in the end zone on 60 percent of the time they get inside the 20. That’s 12th in the NFL, not great, not bad, especially considering that they don’t really have a classic, big end zone receiver to throw to. They will try to improve, and they should. But expecting to get much higher than 60 percent in the red zone could be unrealistic.
Gruden on the two unnecessary roughness calls against Trenton Robinson: “We always send in plays [to the league] throughout the week and we get answers back . . . We got that information and we talked to Trenton . . . He was not at fault in those instances.”
Reaction: I don’t see any reason why every unnecessary roughness call should not be reviewed, especially the bang-bang helmet to helmet variety. It’s just happens too fast on the field for the officials to make the proper call. And if time is an issue, just have someone in the league office take a look. It’s 2015; if there is a way to do a better job on this, they should do it.
Cousins on why the Redskins are having more success on third down: I think it’s a combination of things, I don’t think there is one area that stands out. I do believe another year in the system, familiarity with concepts. I’ve always believed that you get what you emphasize and I think our coaches went back and said, ‘we need to be better on third down, let’s emphasize that.’
Reaction: The Redskins have made a remarkable turnaround in their third down conversion rate, improving from a 32 percent success rate in 2014 to 46 percent this year. What is surprising is that they have not been in easier distance situations this year. In 2014 they had an average of 7.48 yards to go on third down. This year the average is 7.54 yards. So they are putting themselves in roughly the same situations and having a much better success rate.
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:40; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30
—Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 3; Redskins @ Jets 10; Bucs @ Redskins 17
In case you missed it
- 'It’s going to be weird'
- Culliver misses Redskins practice; has MRI
- Former Redskins WR Hankerson off to 'great start' with Falcons
- Source: Redskins in mix to play in London next year
- Redskins' Jackson at practice but Sunday status up in the air
- After concussion, status for Jordan Reed remains unclear
- When, and where, will Kyle Shanahan be a head coach?
- State of the Redskins, Week 5: An important drive for Cousins
- Andre Roberts' contract would make trade difficult for Redskins
- Redskins should stick to the script vs. Falcons