Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 17, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Tennessee Titans at FedEx Field.
Five observations on the Redskins
—I get asked about the “mood” of the Redskins or the “tone” of the locker room and I have to say that it’s tough to figure it out. The players are going about their business, not panicking or particularly down. I do get the impression they’re mystified as to why things aren’t working.
—Everyone wants to know why Alfred Morris and Pierre Garçon aren’t getting the ball. Perhaps it’s because there are fewer footballs to go around this year than there were last year. In 2013, the Redskins averaged nearly 70 snaps a game. This year, if you exclude the Jacksonville game, an 83-snap outlier, they are averaging about 60 per game. That’s 10 fewer chances every week for Morris or Garçon or your other favorite but underutilized player to get the ball.
—That being said Morris needs to get the ball more. Even when it’s not working very well, they need to run the ball. It’s just hard to justify only 13 carries each in the Seahawks and Cardinals games, given that they were both one-score games most of way. It seems like it’s a vicious cycle; they aren’t running because it’s not very effective and the run game is not effective because they aren’t using it. I think that if they hand the ball off more things will take care of themselves.
—Jay Gruden said that “it’s going to be close” whether or not Perry Riley will be able to play on Sunday. If he can’t go, that would mean his second straight missed game after 45 consecutive starts and 69 games played in a row. Always hate to see someone injured but if Riley is out, I’ll be interested in watching Will Compton make another start. He made some mistakes against the Cardinals but he settled in a played pretty well. Compton could be a cheaper replacement for Riley ($4 million cap number) in 2015.
—I have heard that the Redskins thought that Jordan Reed was ready to play against the Seahawks in Week 5 but they decided to give his hamstring one more week to rest just to make sure there wasn’t a setback. Gruden essentially confirmed that today when I asked him if they were confident in Reed’s health. “He might have been able to play a week sooner but to get that thing fully strengthened where he can go out and run and feel good about it was important,” he said.
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:10 (closed to media after first 30 minutes); Open locker room and Jay Gruden news conference following practice
—Days until: Titans @ Redskins 2; Monday night Redskins @ Cowboys 10; Redskins @ Vikings 16
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
In case you missed it
- Gruden on Bowen and Hankerson: 'They’re both going to help us'
- Trent Williams and Ryan Clark return to practice
- Redskins' Gruden doesn't rule out QB switch to McCoy
- Fantasy Fix: Reed, Morris rising in Week 7 rankings
- Gruden: Moses, Long both pushing for playing time on Redskins' O-line
- Hatcher doesn't regret leaving Cowboys
- Stock report: Who's up, who's down at Redskins Park
- Redskins Park notes--Cousins says he may be forcing things