After successfully handling ex-offensive coordinator Sean McVay and his developing Rams team in Week 2, the Redskins will now look to defeat another old friend in Week 6.
Pierre Garçon is a 49er now, and while nis new team isn't producing, he certainly is. The 31-year-old has 28 catches for 379 yards through San Francisco's first five games, numbers that equate to a yards-per-catch average of 13.5. For comparison's sake, he only had one year out of five with the Redskins (2012) where he posted a better YPC average.
Jay Gruden, who used Garçon as a focal point in his offense from 2014 to 2016, listed many of the things the receiver does well on Monday. To him, Garçon still qualifies as a threat even though the Niners' offense as a whole isn't exactly dynamic.
"He is still one of the top possession-type receivers there is in football," Gruden said as the Redskins returned from their bye. "He is really good after the catch. That’s the one thing we really have to make sure [that] we tackle well when he gets the ball in his hands out in space because he can really run after the catch. He runs very good, precise, crisp routes and has got strong hands."
"He is definitely their best playmaker," the head coach concluded.
In his response, Gruden dropped one of the words that constantly find their way into descriptions of the 10-year vet. Along with strong, adjectives like aggressive and physical have practically become required vocabulary when assessing Garçon on the field.
Unfortunately for the Burgundy and Gold, they'll be without Josh Norman for Sunday's matchup. Norman is a corner who, like Garçon, is also aggressive and physical, and he would've been an excellent adversary for No. 15.
Bashaud Breeland will likely see a good deal of Garçon as Norman sits with a rib injury, and like Gruden, he fully understands what the ex-Redskin is all about.
"He's an exceptional guy, he makes good plays on the ball and he runs his routes hard," Breeland said. "It's gonna be a good task for us, and I'm up for it."
Garçon will likely come into D.C. with two goals: 1) Win and 1a) Catch as many passes and break as many tackles as one man can in 60 minutes of football. If the Redskins can prevent the second one from happening, their odds of also stopping the first one will increase dramatically.