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Need to Know: Moses now in comfort zone at right tackle for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Moses now in comfort zone at right tackle for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 16, two days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets.

Read and react

Comments from Jay Gruden and Joe Barry along with my reaction to them.

Joe Barry on the Falcons’ last drive against his defense:
Our mentality was they needed a touchdown. You have a different mentality when the two-minute starts on what they need—do they need a field goal or do they need a touchdown? I’m a firm believer in our rush and coverage . . . We got them to fourth and two with 30 seconds left. We’ve got to find a way to win a down. Whether it’s a sack-fumble, whether it’s a tipped pass, we’re going to make them earn everything they get. We didn’t make the play. They made the play.
React: For all of the discussion about soft coverages and not being aggressive enough, doing anything on a football field does ultimately come down to players making plays. With the Redskins’ depleted secondary, the odds were against them no matter what the scheme. That said, I would have liked to see a little more pass pressure with Atlanta's main receiving threat, Julio Jones, obviously hampered by his hamstring injury.

Jay Gruden on Morgan Moses’ performance this year:
“I think reps, number one, since training camp and OTAs – really since training camp – and then the comfort level playing right tackle. Like I said before, he played left tackle his last two years at Virginia and then we tried to flip him last year and he wasn’t quite ready. Everything was backwards to him. His sets were different, but having another year under his belt playing just right tackle, I think it’s helped him out the most. And [Offensive Line] Coach [Bill] Callahan has done an excellent job with him. The comfort level with his pass sets, his combination blocks on the right side is the big difference.”
React: Moses has been the Redskins’ biggest surprise contributor this year. Not much was expected of him since he missed the entire offseason program rehabbing his injured foot. Plus they drafted Brandon Scherff fifth overall to play tackle. But they made the shuffle on the line in training camp, Scherff moved over a slot, Moses moved in a right tackle. He has been far from flawless but he has played well enough to think that he will be a solid part of the line going forward.

Barry on his defensive philosophy:
"You know, there's three things that we've really preached since the very first meeting we had back in May. That's to compete, to be physical and to finish. We're never going to be satisfied and we're definitely not satisfied yet. As long as we show up every day and we compete and we play physical and we finish, I think those are the things that we are always going to be striving for and make the fans of the Redskins proud.
React: Of course we have a long way to go this season but it’s so far, so good for Barry’s defense. They are not dominant by any means but they have improved on a lot of meaningful categories including net yards per pass attempt, total yards per game, and, on the bottom line, points per game by almost a full touchdown. And they have done this with a secondary that was not very good to begin with and has had to deal with multiple injuries on top of that. Again, it’s too early to come to a conclusion that Gruden’s controversial decision to hire Barry was the right call. But things are looking up almost a third of the way into the season.

Gruden on the need to get bigger chunks of yardage:
“It’s a matter of when we do take the shots making something out of them. We do need to get more plays in chunks. You know, it’s difficult against a defense like this to think that you’re going to go — we’ve had a lot of good 15/13/14-play drives, I think more than anybody in the league. But we do need to work on our long gains, chunk plays somehow, whether it’s in the running game, screens, or shot plays down the field.”
React: The Redskins’ ability to grind out long drives of 10 plays or more (14 this year with 12 of them resulting in scores) is very useful. But they also could use an occasional quick advance down the field. The Redskins have just two quick strikes this year, drives that started in their own territory that took six plays or fewer and resulted in a touchdown. You’re not going to get those every game but it’s hard to grind out those 10-play drives because each snap increases the odds of a penalty, turnover, missed assignment, or other miscue scuttling the possession.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00.

Days until: Redskins @ Jets 2; Bucs @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Patriots 23

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Redskins' Jay Gruden is looking for Kirk Cousins to become a coach on the field this year

Redskins' Jay Gruden is looking for Kirk Cousins to become a coach on the field this year

Gruden is looking for Cousins to become a Redskins coach on the field

While it’s still possible for the Redskins to trade quarterback Kirk Cousins, team president Bruce Allen has said that no talks have taken place and coach Jay Gruden is looking forward to having Cousins at the helm for the third straight year.

“He’s getting ready, he’s excited about the season, been in contact about what he wants to work on,” said Gruden on Tuesday at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “We’ve addressed that so when OTAs hit we can hit hard. It’s great to have a guy who’s been in the system for two years now can just jump right in to hard core situational work, just really fine tune the other things like cadence, just the little things you want to fine tune without starting from scratch. He can be a big part in the teaching process also with the young players.”

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

Actually, Cousins has been “in the system” for all three years that Gruden has been the head coach in Washington. He started five game in 2014 before turnover problems sent him to the bench. The following seasons Gruden named Cousins the starter at the end of August and he has played every meaningful snap since then.

Cousins has played well, passing for over 9,000 yards and leading the team to its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1997-1997. Gruden will be looking for more out of his quarterback, who will be making $24 million this year if he plays on the franchise tag.

“In a perfect world, you want your quarterback to be an extension of the coaching staff,” said Gruden. “I think that’s why you look at the great quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, they’re extensions of the coaching staff. The coach doesn’t have to go out and tell everybody what to do all the time. Sometimes the quarterback can just go right out and whisper it to them. It helps that we’re saying the same thing and speaking the same language and that takes time.

“It’s not perfect yet but being in the third year of the system I think he’ll be a lot more comfortable in that role. I hope he does because we can’t see everything out there on the field all the time and it’s good to have the corrections come within the team and not just from the coaches all the time.”

MORE REDSKINS: Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Although Cousins’ future with the team is very uncertain—even if he is around this year there is a good chance he will be able to leave as a free agent in 2018—the quarterback and Gruden will do the only thing that they can do. The will get ready for the coming season and let the chips fall where they may after that.

Gruden pointed out that Cousins is not the only player on the roster with just one year left on his deal. Indeed, WR Terrelle Pryor, OT Morgan Moses, CB Bashaud Breeland, and C Spencer Long are all set to be free agents a year from now.

“We’re going to have a number of guys on one-year contracts and I fully anticipate them coming in and working their tails off and being prepared and doing everything they can to win a championship,” said Gruden. That’s what it’s all about. And at the end of the year we’ll come back to the negotiating table to try to get something done. But ideally, you’d like to have everybody under long-term contracts and that’s obviously not possible.”

Gruden confirmed that Cousins was in Tampa yesterday along with some of his receivers including Pryor, Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder getting in some work with Gruden’s brother Jon. It looks like it will be business as usual unless and until something happens change things.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: Redskins' rule change rejected but others will make game safer, move faster

Need to Know: Redskins' rule change rejected but others will make game safer, move faster

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 29, 29 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 19
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 44
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 56
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 108
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 156

Rule changes with commentary

—Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays.

Tandler: While it’s a fun play when it’s executed properly I can see the player safety angle of it. I’m not sure why teams didn’t just run some placement kicks with delayed snaps to get a free five yards because once a player has committed to the leap he can’t stop.

—Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. 

Tandler: One of the few times that this came into play was in Week 3 when Giants center Weston Richburg got the boot for multiple penalties against the Redskins. I suppose most Redskins fans will be fine with it until a Washington player gets kicked out of a key game. Last year the rule was experimental and this makes it permanent

—Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line for one year only. 

Tandler: I think this is kind of a dumb rule but it's designed to reduce kickoff returns and they did go down from 1,138 in 2015 to 1,012 last season. That’s an 11 percent drop and they want to give the experimental rule another year to see if that was just a statistical anomaly. It should be noted here that the Redskins’ proposal to place a kickoff that goes through the uprights at the 20-yard line did muster 11 votes but that’s far short of the 24 needed to pass it. The No Fun League indeed.

—Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection. Makes crackback blocks prohibited by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped. 

Tandler: These are two different rules but I’m combining them into once comment—good for player safety, not sure why it took them so long to pass these rules.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

—Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the Officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews. 

Tandler: This is good for so many reasons. We should get better, more consistent decisions (although there’s no guarantee that my evergreen “Siri, what is a catch” tweet will be retired permanently). And the time that replay uses up should be greatly reduced.

—Makes it Unsportsmanlike Conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock. 

Tandler: This keeps teams from grabbing multiple receivers to prevent a Hail Mary attempt at the end of half or a game and prevents them from holding multiple players on a punt attempt to run out the clock at the end of a game. It’s a loophole that was closed, forcing a team to play defense or execute a punt instead of committing intentional penalties. The key is that the clock is reset to where it was when the ball was snapped.

—Makes actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.

Tandler: This just takes the penalties that result in 10-second runoffs in the last minute of a half, mostly false starts when the clock is running, and makes them illegal any time after the two-minute warning.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Tandler on Twitter

Responding to a tweet saying that the rule to put replay in the hands of official at the NFL offices:

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