The Redskins are not running the ball well; this is not news to anyone who follows the team. And everybody seems to have an idea of how to fix it.
Some want different plays called. Others want the team to stick with the run even when it not working. There are those who think the solution would be to play Alfred Morris more while those in another camp say Morris should be benched and the ball should be given to Matt Jones.
Jay Gruden has a solution that might be the only one that will work—time. At his press conference today he rattled off all of the inexperience that is at work with the running game.
“We have a center [Josh LeRibeus] who just starting playing,” said Gruden. “We have a right guard [Brandon Scherff] who is a rookie, a right tackle [Morgan Moses] who just started playing. We have a left guard [Spencer Long] who just started playing, this is his second year and really his first year playing left guard. We have a rookie running back [Matt Jones], we have a tight end [Derek Carrier] who got here about five or six weeks ago. And Jordan Reed who is more of a pass catching tight end. We aren't exactly one cohesive unit, a finished product yet. We're working towards that, we're going to get to that.”
LeRibeus, a fourth-year player who logged little playing time as a guard in his first three years, is filling in at center with Kory Lichtensteiger out with a neck injury. Long, a third-round pick last year, has been starting since Week 4 after Shawn Lauvao suffered a broken ankle. Scherff, the team’s top draft pick this year, and Moses, a third-round pick in 2014, were paired on the right side in training camp. Jones was a third-round pick this year. The Redskins acquired Carrier in a trade on August 21, so he has been around for closer to 10 weeks.
Add it up and it makes sense to see that the combination of going with youth along the line and some key injuries have thrown the running game out of whack. But nobody cares about the labor pains; people just want to see the baby. The Redskins had better gain that cohesion soon or their season could be lost.