Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 18, two days before the Washington Redskins host the St. Louis Rams.
Redskins podium: Read and react
Here are some quotes from Jay Gruden and Joe Barry followed by some comments on them:
Gruden on if the Redskins 24-0 loss to the Rams last year will be used as motivation this week: “We shouldn’t need any motivation right now. We’ve won seven games in two years. So we’re motivated to get this thing turned around whoever we play. Obviously you never want to get shutout, but I think our guys are motivated to get our first home win in front of our crowd.”
Reaction: If this team needs anything more than sheer professional pride to play as hard as it can then something is very wrong. While I think this game can be used as a measuring stick—if they win that could be evidence of real improvement—I don’t see last year’s game being blackboard material. The Rams were just better. Gruden also said that Jeff Fisher’s trolling of the Redskins by sending out the players the Rams acquired with the picks they landed in the Griffin trade would be a non-factor. Good.
Gruden on who the No. 2 quarterback will be on Sunday: “We’re practicing and we haven’t figured out who all of our people are yet. Everybody gets their practice time and reps and they’re doing a good job. We’ll make that final 46-man roster deal at whatever time – 11:30 on Sunday.”
Reaction: I think we all know that Colt McCoy will backup Kirk Cousins and that Robert Griffin III will be inactive, right? You can agree with it or not but there is no mystery here. It is very likely that Griffin has taken his last snap for the Redskins and has.
Joe Barry on having to shuffle the secondary due to injuries and suspension: "Yeah, but that's the NFL. It's a challenge each and every week, but the thing that we just keep preaching and keep talking to guys about it is the NFL season is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. It's war of attrition and you’ve got to have the best guys up every week. We kind of have a motto, We have starters and we have starters-in-waiting.”
Reaction: The Redskins will not get any sympathy cards from around the league for the Ihenacho injury and the suspensions of Breeland and Culliver. It’s just the way it is around the NFL. Coaches have the right frame of mind about it; fans and the media need to look at it the same way.
Barry on Bashaud Breeland’s return to the lineup: "I think it's huge. He can play inside. He can play outside and we will do that with him. We have different packages. Bottom line, I'm fired up for him because a guy that is so passionate about the game, a guy that loves the game so much, it's going to be fun to have [No.] 26 out there with a helmet on."
Reaction: Breeland is fun to watch because he loves playing. He has a lot of rough edges but he plays hard and won’t back down from anyone.
Gruden on newly-signed cornerback Will Blackmon: “Well, he’s a very bright man. He knows football. He’s played a lot of football in his day. He’s picked up this system very fast. He’s going to play some, no question about it. How much, I don’t know yet. It just depends on what type of packages they’re in and we’re in at the time.”
Reaction: Blackmon isn’t going to make a Pro Bowl visit or anything but he does have 66 NFL games under his belt since breaking into the league in 2006 so he is capable. He will almost certainly see some action against the Rams this week. It will be an interesting decision to see if the Redskins will keep Blackmon or Justin Rogers when Chris Culliver returns from his suspension on Monday.
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:15; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice approx. 12:30
—Days until: Rams @ Redskins 2; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 6; Eagles @ Redskins 16
In case you missed it
- Redskins D-line may be the key
- Barry will look to increase Preston Smith's playing time
- A common theme to Redskins' successful third downs
- Redskins TE Jordan Reed listed on Thursday's injury report
- Steve Young on RG3: "Something's wrong"
- Gruden on facing Rams after RG3 trade: I don't care who they send out
- Will injuries force another Redskins roster shuffle?
- Evaluating the players St. Louis got as a result of the RG3 trade
- Five Redskins who are under the gun on Sunday
- Fantasy Football: Week 2 ranks and the fall of Peyton