Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 16, four days before the Washington Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles.
Three and out—Thompson impresses Gruden
1. The Redskins will be at work today instead of taking their usual Tuesday off. That’s because of the Saturday afternoon game against the Eagles. Starting quarterback Robert Griffin III will be speaking at the podium. And since many of you are so concerned about where Griffin speaks to the media, it should be noted that Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins have addressed the media from the podium the weeks when it was known that they would be the starting quarterbacks. So did John Beck, Rex Grossman, Donovan McNabb, and Jason Campbell. It’s just the way it’s done at Redskins Park.
2. Chris Thompson played 20 snaps against the Giants in his NFL debut from scrimmage. He caught three passes for 22 yards and a touchdown and ran three times for 12 yards. “I was impressed with Chris,” said Gruden. “I think Chris has earned the right to get more chances as a third down back.”
3. Going into the Giants game, Alfred Morris needed 101 yards rushing to top 1,000 yards for the third time in his three years in the NFL. He is still 52 yards away. If you want to look at one reason why his production is off this year, check out the team’s third-down conversion rate. They are converting less than a third of their third downs, drives are not being sustained, so they are running fewer plays. Last year they ran 1,107 plays; in 2014 they are on pace to run just over 1,000 plays.
Out: NBC 4 is reporting that Gruden has been informed that he will be back to coach the Redskins in 2015. Although I’m not taking that as the final word—things could always change—it’s the right course of action. Instability has been this franchise’s major issue since Dan Snyder became the owner. Does Gruden have a lot to learn? Certainly. But he’ll look a lot smarter with more talented players, something the organization hopes to obtain with a full compliment of draft picks and salary cap room that should be in the $20 million range. That won’t be an instant cure-all but we will be able to get a fairer assessment of Gruden’s coaching abilities with some better safeties and some upgrades along both lines.
—Today’s schedule: Practice 1:20; Jay Gruden and Robert Griffin III news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3:15.
—Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 4; Cowboys @ Redskins 12; 2015 NFL Draft 136
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.
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