The Redskins will approach preparation for next week’s playoff game as they have approached games all season long.
Jay Gruden has been to the NFL playoffs before, as an offensive assistant on his brother Jon’s staff in Tampa Bay and for three straight seasons (2011-2013) as Marvin Lewis’ offensive coordinator in Cincinnati.
What he has learned from his experience is that it is important to maintain a consistent approach even though the stakes are ramped up in the postseason.
“Not a lot is going to change in the preparation or how you study situational football, the time of day of the meetings,” said Gruden. “We're not going to increase meeting times or make the day longer or practice longer or harder. We're going to be consistent in our approach of how we handle the mental part of it.”
So the meeting schedule will stay the same next week as will the practice schedule.
But the intensity of practice, how many sessions are full speed and how many are walkthroughs, will be determined by the condition of the players practicing.
“The physical part of it will depend on how we walk out of this game on Sunday, how many more injuries we have. We've had days the last couple of weeks where we had to cut back on practice depending on how many defensive backs we have and how many guys up front. Preparations stay the same . . . The mental approach has to stay the same.”
It will be hard to maintain a “business as usual” atmosphere at Redskins Park while playoff preparations are going on. As Ricky Jean Francois, a veteran of a 10 playoff games with the 49ers and Colts, said, “The playoffs are going to take up every bit of your day.”