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Gruden needs to fix Redskins' culture


Gruden needs to fix Redskins' culture

The Redskins’ 45-14 loss to the Giants on Thursday night was painful for everyone—players, coaches, the fans at FedEx Field, the television audience—to go through. But coach Jay Gruden believes that it may have been just what the players and coaches needed. Even though going into the game they were 1-2 on the season and had won just four of their last 19 games going back to the start of the 2013 season, they perhaps were a bit full of themselves.

“I think we have a good group of guys character wise and I’m hoping that this is a wakeup call, like I said last night, a slap in the face,” said Gruden. “Hey, you’re not as good as you think you are, you have a lot more work to do than you think you do and hopefully they’ll get it done and realize that. Both coaches and players realize we have to put in the extra time, we have to put in the extra work, we have to put in the extra [preparation], we have to stay focused for longer and work harder for us to be successful. We just can’t put our uniform on and jog onto the field and act like we’re going to beat peoples’ butt without working.”

But given the team’s track record, with just one playoff appearance since 2008 and no playoff wins since 2005, why would they think they were anything special?

“That’s a good question,” said Gruden. “We had some success a little bit. We went to Philadelphia, they played hard, lose 37-34 . . . I just think that sometimes you need a beating like this to let people know that we have a lot of work to do. When you’re in close games like that or you win 41-10 and get 10 sacks on defense and you have 500 yards of offense [in their Week 2 win over Jacksonville] people might tend to think that they’re a little better than they are, coaches included.”

With the bar for success in the organization being so low, perhaps it’s just human nature to be satisfied with relatively modest success, even when that success doesn’t result in a win. But it sounds like now that they’ve hit rock bottom Gruden is going to get them to aim higher and to do what’s necessary to get them there.

“I think that at 1-3, reality check has come in full force and we don’t have a choice now,” said Gruden. “There are no wasted reps now. We have to take advantage of all of our reps and all of our time together to get this thing turned around because we have dug ourselves into a hole so to speak and we’ve got to get out of it quickly.”

We will see if Gruden can get this ship turned around. It’s not just a matter of studying more film and getting the players to hit the blocking sled for a while longer in practice. It’s about changing a culture and that never is an easy fix nor is it a quick one.

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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.