Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 16, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.
—Today's schedule: Practice 11:55 Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice approx. 1:30 p.m.
—Days until: Browns @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Ravens 23; Eagles @ Redskins 30
Around Redskins Park
—Fans and players who were here last year all have respect for Alfred Morris. But Matt Jones, who came in as a rookie last year, has a special bond with the former Redskins running back. “He’s like a big brother to me, helped me a lot,” he said. “He taught me how to be a man on and off the field. I’ll be happy to see him out there playing against him, against a guy who taught me a lot.” The Redskins hope that seeing his mentor will help gets Jones going; he needs to gain some traction and get his season underway.
—I’d like to add one more number to the Jay Gruden isn't really pass happy pile before I put it to bed. Some of the push back I got centered around him supposedly padding the rushing stats by running a lot in the fourth quarter when they were trailing. So I ran the numbers. In the 34 games that Gruden has been here the Redskins have run in the fourth quarter while trailing by more than one score (deficit of 9 or more) all of 33 times. So of the 860 rushing attempts in the Gruden era 3.8 percent have been throwaway plays in desperation situations. That is not significant.
—With 53 fairly healthy players the decision on who will be inactive on Sunday will be a tough one for Gruden and company. The only two easy ones to figure are QB Nate Sudfeld and G Arie Kouandjio. With only eight offensive linemen on the roster they have to leave a backup tackle (Ty Nsekhe) and backup interior lineman (Spencer Long), leaving Kouandjio as the only extra lineman. Wide receiver Rashad Ross’ kickoff return skills are unlikely to be needed with Dan Bailey able to pound the ball out of the end zone.
—On defense, they had Anthony Lanier down against Pittsburgh and they went with five active defensive linemen. I think the undrafted rookie sits again. Since signing Cullen Jenkins the probably will have him active for a sixth DL in the rotation against Dallas’ we need to find three other defensive players who will sit. S Duke Ihenacho and CB Kendall Fuller were down last week so they should sit this week. The other inactive defender? I'll take a guess at LB Terence Garvin, although they might keep him up for special teams and sit someone else.
—It looks like Joe Barry is catching some flak for his comment that he “felt really good” about the defensive game plan against the Steelers and that now, after the fact, he still does. I do think that the Redskins could have had more bracketing coverage on Antonio Brown. But they did on the first touchdown pass to him, according to DeAngelo Hall, who admitted that he was late getting over to help. The second one came on third and three. That was not an obvious passing situation for the Steelers but perhaps Breeland should have had some help. Still, it took a perfect pass to beat Breeland's coverage. Bottom line, they gave up 38 points and any game plan that has that as a result should at least be thoroughly reexamined.
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In case you missed it
- Look for an increasing role for Redskins' Doctson
- Giants' Cruz decides that Redskins' Josh Norman needs his advice
- Cravens not talking to his Cowboys fan mom
- How pass happy is Jay Gruden?
- Josh Norman cares about wins, not who he covers
- Redskins Playbook: What can defense fix, and what's unfixable?
- Doctson leaps for impressive catch in practice