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Gruden hopes Redskins use predictions vs. Patriots as 'motivation'


Gruden hopes Redskins use predictions vs. Patriots as 'motivation'

The defending champion Patriots are favored by 14 points over the Redskins on Sunday.

Tom Brady and Co. are 7-0 this season and have lost only twice in their last 22 games. And, oh yeah, the defense ranks among the top-10 in points allowed.

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden is well aware of all that—and he’s hoping his players are taking the predictions of a lopsided loss personally.  

“On paper, it looks like [a mismatch], but that’s motivation for us, obviously,” Gruden said after Monday’s practice. “Really, anytime you have a chance to play a football game on Sunday in Foxborough, you’ve got to be ready to play, mentally and physically obviously. Their record with Tom Brady starting at Foxborough is 76-15 or something outrageous like that.”

Brady’s record at home is actually a little better than that. In fact, it’s 94-15, according to Either way, Brady, Bill Belichick and the Pats present the Redskins’ biggest challenge to date. And it’s not really close.

“We know what’s at stake,” Gruden said.

A lot is at stake, indeed. Although the Redskins had their bye on Sunday, they still managed to make up ground in the NFC East when the Giants lost to the Saints. Heading into Foxborough, they’re just a half-game out of first place in the decidedly mediocre division.

The Patriots, on the other hand, also will be coming off an extended break. They crushed the Dolphins, 36-7, on Thursday Night Football last week. In that game, Brady tossed four touchdowns and now sits tied with Arizona’s Carson Palmer for the league lead (20). Brady has also thrown just one interception, the fewest among full-time starters, as the Patriots' offense has soared to the top of the NFL in points per game (35.6).      

“We know how good they are, how well-coached they are, how well-prepared they are,” Gruden said. “We just have to be as prepared as they are and play harder and make some things happen [and] protect the football.”

“They put on their pants just like we do,” he added. “We’re going to go out there and compete our butts off and play.”

After Monday’s brief workout, the Redskins’ players will take Tuesday off before returning Wednesday to begin installing the game plan for New England.

“It has got to be our best week of preparation, no question,” Gruden said. “Hands down it has got to be our best week of preparation, physically and mentally.” 

[RELATED: Kerrigan hopes to play against Patriots]

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Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

The Redskins aren’t in the quarterback business, so it’s highly unlikely that they will look to trade up in the first round of the draft on Thursday. But their phones will be open for business to move down. 

Speaking at the team’s pre-draft press conference, Doug Williams didn’t rule out trading up from the team’s first-round spot at 13thoverall but he doesn’t think it’s likely. 

“The chances of trading up might be a little slimmer than trading down,” he said. 

Williams said that the phones in the room will be ringing and that they will listen to any offers. But usually the team that wants to move up initiates the call and because the Redskins are set at one particular position they probably won’t pick up the phone. 

“If we were in the quarterback business, which is what this league is about, if we were in the heavy quarterback business we’d talk about moving up,” he said. “At this time, we can sit back and see what comes up if we stay at 13.”

The Redskins are set at quarterback after they traded their third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller for veteran Alex Smith to replace the departed Kirk Cousins. Williams thinks that the Redskins already got good value from the pick. 

“When I think about Alex Smith, I say we got the best third-round pick in the draft,” he said. “I don't care what nobody says. You can't get a better third-round pick.”

Because they think they got a good player, albeit an older one, with that pick, the Redskins are not necessarily looking to make a deal to move back and recoup that pick on draft day. 

Williams emphasized that in order to move back, you have to have a team that wants to trade up. Often that is easier said than done. 

“They don’t just call you to ask you, they have to get a player that they want,” said Williams. “At that particular time, they’re afraid that somebody else might pick him. They might call you to ask you if you want to move back . . . If we move back, that’s because somebody called us to see if we want to move back.”

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Why the Redskins should take a serious look at Virginia Tech’s Terrell Edmunds

Why the Redskins should take a serious look at Virginia Tech’s Terrell Edmunds

NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the second episode above and more here.

Many Redskins fans are hoping the team secures a defensive back in the first round by landing a guy like Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick. But if Washington opts to address a different position in Round 1, there'll be a quality safety available in the middle rounds in Terrell Edmunds.

Terrell, the brother of top-10 prospect Tremaine, is projected to be taken in the third or fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. As of now, the Redskins don't have a selection in the former, but a trade could change that. They pick 109th in the latter.

"Terrell possesses high end speed and explosion traits that are coveted for his position," writes "He has man cover talent against big targets and should step right into a role on the coverage units for special teams."

With D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson, Washington's starting safety tandem is taken care of on paper. Nicholson was injured often as a rookie, though, so depth is needed behind him. And their special teams have been leaky for quite some time, providing the Virginia Tech Hokie a place to make an immediate impact while he works his way into the defensive rotation.

It's a rotation he would likely feel at home in, too. Edmunds is more than comfortable talking trash, so if he does become a Redskin, he'd fit right in alongside the likes of the fellow vocal guys like Swearinger, Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar.