Redskins

Quick Links

Doug Williams believes Nate Sudfeld is much better now than he was as a rookie

Doug Williams believes Nate Sudfeld is much better now than he was as a rookie

Since his promotion in the Redskins front office, Doug Williams has handed out plenty of praise for Kirk Cousins. The new Senior VP of Player Personnel has also dished out a compliment to Colt McCoy .

And after some comments he made last week about Nate Sudfeld, officially no one on Washington's quarterback depth chart can claim that Williams hasn't said something nice about them in the past week or so.

"Sudfeld's one of my favorites," Williams answered on ESPN 980 when Doc Walker brought up the second-year passer, which happened on the same day of his title change. "You know, he was one of the guys when we drafted him, when we sat in the room [and] we talked about drafting a quarterback, I was a Sudfeld guy."

MORE REDSKINS: TRENT WILLIAMS GIVES LOGICAL EXPLANATION FOR SKIPPING OTAS

Physically, the Indiana product looks like a QB that you'd assemble if you had the choice of doing so. But his transition to the NFL as a rookie last year was bumpy; reports of his play at training camp and practice didn't quite reach Christian Hackenberg levels, but by all accounts, his performance pretty much matched his sixth-round selection.

According to Williams, however, Sudfeld's been much better this offseason.

"He’s learned," Williams said. "And I’ll tell you what: Out of the quarterbacks that came out this year, if he was coming out this year and looked like he looked [he did at minicamp], he would be up there anywhere from the second to first round. The kid has improved."

The true test for Sudfeld will come in July and August when he gets another shot to grow in training camp and in exhibitions. It's not like he's coming for Cousins' spot and he probably isn't going to push McCoy, either, but this town loves third-string signal callers, and it would certainly embrace Sudfeld if he's progressing as nicely as Williams says he is.

RELATED: HERE'S ALL THE PRESSURE THAT'S ON JAY GRUDEN'S SHOULDERS IN 2017

Quick Links

Jay Gruden address comments that he doesn't like AP's running style: 'You want north-south running backs'

gruden-adrian-peterson-split-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Jay Gruden address comments that he doesn't like AP's running style: 'You want north-south running backs'

In the early stages of Sunday's Redskins-Cowboys clash, FOX Sports' Pam Oliver dropped a bombshell on the broadcast.

"Jay Gruden, to be perfectly clear, he is still not in favor of Peterson's strength, which is a north-south running style," Oliver said. "He feels like it limits the offense and gives the defense way too many opportunities."

If true, that helps explain the decision the Redskins head coach made prior to Week 1, making the 34-year-old and future Hall of Fame running back a healthy scratch for the first time in his career.

What it doesn't explain is the reasoning behind it. Peterson, who was signed just a couple of weeks prior to the 2018 season, ran for over 1,000 yards for the Burgundy and Gold a season ago, earning the team's Offensive Most Valuable Player award.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Gruden, NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay asked the head coach about Oliver's comments.

Gruden refuted the claim. 

"You want north-south running backs. I don’t think you want east-west backs, that’s for sure," Gruden said. "[Peterson] is a north-south runner....when he gets going north-south, what that does is creates a physical mentality for our offense. Our linemen love it, and it opens up our play-action passes. We do love north-south backs.”

What the fifth-year head coach did touch on, however, is the limited amount of plays that the offense can run with Peterson is in the game. That could explain the origin of where Oliver's comments came from. 

"[Peterson] is a north-south runner," Gruden said. "What that does, sometimes, ya know it’s hard when he’s in the game, like yesterday we were in 11 personnel and they but base on the field and said ‘heck you’re just not going to run it’ and you know we had to throw it." 

It's no secret that Gruden prefers a running back that can be involved in the passing game as well. While Peterson has improved in that facet, the Redskins other options -- Chris Thompson, Wendell Smallwood, and even the injured Derrius Guice -- are currently better pass-catching backs.

Of the Redskins 62 offensive snaps, Thompson, the best pass-catching running back of the bunch, was the one who played the most. Peterson played just 18 snaps, 29 percent of the team's offensive plays.

The flow of the game also could have affected this, as the Redskins found themselves trailing for the majority of the afternoon. 

Still, Gruden insists that there's a role for Peterson in the offense.

"You know, he played last year and had a thousand yards, so..." he said.

Regardless of who the running back has been for the Burgundy and Gold thus far in 2019, they largely have been ineffective.

Against Philadelphia, Guice mustered just 18 rushing yards on 10 carries. Peterson received the same amount of carries in Week 2 vs. Dallas and didn't perform much better. Sure, he found the end zone, but was not a factor otherwise, rushing for a total of just 25 yards.

Through the first two games, the Redskins have been outrushed 336-75. That is not a winning formula by any means.

When asked why the rushing attack has been so poor in 2019, Gruden couldn't point to one specific reason.

"Combination of things," Gruden said. "Philadelphia, we tried to run the ball in the second half and we had a negative play and a holding penalty. You know, there are things that take you out of the running game, and then you lose the lead and you have to try and play a little bit faster, play a little bit of catch up and you aren’t able to run the ball. So, we haven’t been able to stick with the run for four quarters and we haven’t had enough production out of the running game."

That must change immediately, starting next Monday against Chicago, if the Redskins want to turn their season around. Gruden is confident that it will.

"We had a couple of good hits, AP had a couple of good hits [Sunday] against Dallas, we can build off of that," he said. "But I also think that when you have a new left tackle and a new left guard coming in for the first time and you have the tight end issues we’ve had a little bit, I think we’ll get there."

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

The 49ers and Patriots need tackles, and the Redskins should trade Trent Williams

The 49ers and Patriots need tackles, and the Redskins should trade Trent Williams

Trent Williams does not want to play for the Redskins. If he did, he'd be playing for them.

It's time for all parties to stop the charade that Williams might come back to Ashburn and everything will be water under the bridge.

In fact, it's time to trade Trent Williams. 

On Sunday, the 49ers and the Patriots suffered injuries to their left tackles. In San Francisco, Joe Staley broke his leg and will miss a few months if not the rest of the season. The Niners are sitting at 2-0 and look to have their best chance at making the playoffs in the three seasons under Kyle Shanahan's watch. Losing Staley will hurt those chances. 

Sure, there's plenty of bad blood between Shanahan and the Redskins organization. The San Francisco coach believes the Redskins did him and his father wrong during their ugly divorce in 2013, when the organization chose Robert Griffin III over the coaching staff. 

Know what? Who cares. This is professional football and the front office needs to do what's best long-term for the Redskins, not hold a team back due to petty squabbles from nearly a decade ago. 

If San Francisco wants Trent, and makes a reasonable offer, Washington needs to listen. 

New England has already inquired about Trent. That happened. There was no real conversation about a trade then, but that doesn't mean there can't be now. 

Other teams will have injuries, and other teams certainly have needs on the offensive line. 

The Redskins appear to be taking a stand, refusing to bow to Williams' demands and waiting for his return. ESPN reported that could happen this week as Williams is racking up millions in fines. It's also worth pointing out that potential trade partners could be scared off if Williams is working behind the scenes in demand of a new contract. 

At some point, however, the organization is cutting off their nose to spite their face. Trent doesn't want to be here. It's obvious. If he wanted to be in Washington, he would be in Washington. 

There is another angle to this, now, after an 0-2 start that didn't apply in August or July or any earlier point in Williams' holdout. Earlier in the year, the Redskins had hope of delivering some strong on-field performances and proving they're not a team in the middle of a rebuild.

At 0-2 and with a defense giving up 31.5 points-per-game, it's extremely unlikely the 2019 Redskins season ends in a playoff game. Nearly 90 percent of teams that open 0-2 don't make the playoffs. 

It's time for honesty in the Trent Williams situation. He wants out. Teams could use him, multiple teams, and it stands to reason the Redskins could recoup at least a first-round pick if they move Williams. 

Going into 2020, Washington will be looking at Dwayne Haskins at quarterback and there could be a significant amount of salary cap space to maneuver in Washington. Wouldn't an additional first-round pick help the team more in the long run? Consider, too, that even if Williams returns in 2019, he's unlikely to be happy about his contract or whatever else is on his mind in 2020. Does Washington really want to elongate this drama and deal with it all of next season?

Trent Williams wants out. Teams need him. Make the deal. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: