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Gruden wants the Redskins to be able to rally


Gruden wants the Redskins to be able to rally

Jay Gruden wants to see his team become more resilient. He has seen the Redskins fall behind time and time again and they have not rallied to even make the game close in most cases, much less pick up wins.

“We haven’t figured it out yet since I’ve been here,” said Gruden. “I don’t know if we’ve had a come-from-behind victory yet. We may have, I can’t remember.”

Let’s take a look. It won’t take long since the team has only won five games since Gruden has been here. They never trailed the Rams in their win this year and they were not behind the Jaguars or Cowboys at any point last year. They trailed by three in the second quarter in their Week 15 win over the Eagles and they were behind by four points at halftime against the Titans and again by a point in the fourth quarter before winning by two at the final gun.

But it’s hard to blame just Gruden for whatever is missing in the team’s makeup that keeps them from being able to come back. Going back to 2008, the Redskins have won just two games that they trailed by 14 points at the end of the first quarter; at Philadelphia in 2008 and at Oakland in 2013. In that same time frame they have trailed by seven points or more going into the fourth quarter 40 times; they have rallied to win just two of those.

In contrast, in the last two weeks the Atlanta Falcons have rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter and 11 down at halftime to win on the road.

“It’s very important for us to be resilient. We preach it all the time,” said Gruden. “When you play in the National Football League, you’re going to have your good plays and your bad plays, your good series and your bad series, your good quarters and your bad quarters, your good halves and your bad halves, your good games and your bad games. How you bounce back from these down moments is how you are as a person, as a team. We have to be mentally tough. We have to understand that we’re all fighting together, fighting with each other.”

It’s a chicken-or-egg dilemma here. Would leading games wire to wire on a consistent basis is something that should come first, giving the team the confidence to come from behind? Or would rallying to pull off an improbable win or two develop winning habits?

One way or the other, the Redskins need to solve the formula. 

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Jonathan Allen is experimenting with a new helmet and may wear it in 2019, which would be awesome

Jonathan Allen is experimenting with a new helmet and may wear it in 2019, which would be awesome

One thing stood out on an otherwise quiet August Monday at Redskins Park, and that was Jonathan Allen. More specifically, what Jonathan Allen was wearing on his head.

In fact, if you focused solely on the defensive lineman, you might've gotten confused over what decade you were in.

Usually, Allen suits up in a fairly standard helmet and facemask combo. But on Monday, No. 93 experimented with both a dark visor and a totally different facemask that featured a single, vertical bar down the middle of it, the kind of thing you saw on legends like Deacon Jones or Bruce Smith.

To put it simply, he looked awesome. Soooo awesome:

While walking out of the locker room following practice, Allen explained that he was recently watching NFL Network and felt inspired to try it out after seeing throwback footage on his TV. When asked if he plans on actually bringing it on the field with him for regular season action, he answered: "I'm planning on it."

As you — and the Raiders, especially — are aware of by now, the NFL has specific regulations regarding helmets and facemasks, but Allen seemed to believe he'll have no problem rocking his vintage setup.

Daron Payne, on the other hand, does have a problem with it.

"It's terrible," Payne said, while also shaking his head like a slightly disappointed parent. "It's terrible."

Payne is a smart and reasonable guy most of the time, but here, he's wrong. That look is the exact opposite of terrible. It's sick and it needs to be shared for every one of Washington's 16 games in 2019.

In fact, Allen should probably receive a Pro Bowl nomination strictly for even thinking about making that his new helmet. Bringing back the single bar would be truly epic.


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Jay Gruden on Trent Williams' holdout: 'No updates whatsoever'

Jay Gruden on Trent Williams' holdout: 'No updates whatsoever'

The Redskins are now less than three weeks away from taking the field in Philadelphia to kick off their regular season on Sept. 8, and Washington's cornerstone left tackle has still yet to report to the team.

As the Burgundy and Gold gear up for their third preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, left tackle Trent Williams continues to hold out.

After the Redskins practice on Monday concluded, head coach Jay Gruden was asked if he had any updates on the situation. He immediately shot that down.

"There are no updates whatsoever," he said.

The third preseason game is usually the 'dress rehearsal' for the regular season, with the starters playing close to a half before the reserves enter. But No. 71 still remains absent from Redskins Park and has given the team zero indication whether he plans on returning or not.

For now, Washington must roll with the players they have present. 

"We're preparing with the guys we have right now," Gruden said. "That's all we can do. We're getting Geron [Christianson] ready. We're getting [Donald] Penn ready. So we'll go that route."

Throughout his holdout, Williams has chosen to remain silent. He has not spoken publicly once since the start, and the actual reasons he has still yet to show up still remain in the rumor phase. He has reportedly made it clear he doesn't plan to return, and other teams have reached out about a potential trade.

Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, one of Williams' longtime close friends, doesn't even know what Williams plans to do.

"I shot my shot. I know how Trent is, so I just left it alone," Peterson told reporters last week. "After we talked that first time about it, I wasn't going to be the guy that was going to pester him or anything like that... I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't come back, and if he did, I wouldn't be surprised. That's honestly where I sit."

When asked on Monday if he had communicated with Williams during his absence, Gruden refused to give reporters a clear answer.

"Talked? Maybe," Gruden said on his communication with the Redskins' Silverback. "Texted, talked, maybe. It is what it is right now. He's not here, so we're going to talk about the people we have."