Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 13, one day before the Washington Redskins open their home season against the Jaguars.
Redskins Park news and notes
Emptying out the notebook from the week at Redskins Park:
—The Redskins face their second straight 0-2 start to a season. They have not opened 0-2 in consecutive years since 1965-66. Washington is currently on a nine-game losing streak spanning the last two seasons; it is the longest since 1960-61.
—If the Redskins are going to avoid that dubious start, coach Jay Gruden thinks they need to create a home field advantage with some good play. “It's very important for our fans to be loud and very important for us as a team to make them have something to cheer about,” he said. “We have got to do something early in the game to get the people excited so we get rolling."
—Ideally, the Redskins should be able to break off some substantial gains when they are facing a soft zone defense like they did in Houston but everything has to be just right. ““It’s very important but we have to make sure we get them in space,” said Gruden. “They were catching tackles right now. We have got to be able to get some guys in space where they have a chance to break some tackles. A lot of that has to do with play design and ball location and then the receivers creating space for themselves with the route, then after the catch making some people miss. So there is a lot involved in that.”
—The Redskins should not expect to see the Jaguars imitate that zone that the Texans ran. Their defensive philosophy is to run a tight man to man and it sounded like Gus Bradley will stick to it. ““Well, I think Houston has got a really good defense, but our schemes are different,” said the Jaguars second-year head coach. “You look at them and you watch personnel, maybe how they attacked them, but we’re different too as far as personnel and our alignments and things that we ask of our players.”
—Like almost everyone who watched the Texans game, Gruden liked how Keenan Robinson played last Sunday. "I was very impressed with Keenan,” he said. “I thought he had a very good game. You know, he's one of the few – not one of the few – but one of the bright spots of this team, I think. Just his energy, his understanding of the defense, his ability to communicate and then tackle. I thought he played extremely well and he's a guy that's just going to get better and better with the reps that he gets and the game time that he gets.”
—Perhaps Gruden didn’t want to venture to pronounce the name of Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny but he was impressed by what he saw of him on film. “I think the way they play hard,” he said. “They fly to the football, they play extremely fast, they get good upfield pass rush, and like I said, they're very energetic. You can tell they're young and really have fun playing, but really the middle linebacker stands out. He's a heck of a player.”
—The Redskins need to make some hay while the sun is shining here. Their first two opponents this year were a combined 6-26 last year. The next four teams they play—the Eagles, Giants, Seahawks, and Cardinals—went 40-24 in 2013.
—Niles Paul had 14 career catches in his three NFL seasons going into the Texans game. He caught four passes in that game, increasing his career total by 28 percent. With Jordan Reed out for this game, he should get some targets on Sunday.
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.
—Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park, no availability
—Days until: Home opener vs. Jaguars 1; Redskins @ Eagles 8; Thursday night Giants @ Redskins 12
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