Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 1:46pm
According to Redskins beat writers from CSN Washington, HC Jay Gruden seems to be losing his patience with the stagnant running game.
“Where do you want me to start?” he said Monday, asked what’s wrong with the ground attack.
But after saying Alfred Morris has missed some cutback opportunities in addition to numerous other systemic breakdowns, Gruden also gave Morris a vote of confidence, saying, “We still like Alfred. We still feel like he’s going to carry us to where we need to go.”
So it doesn’t sound to me like making a change is even in the discussion.
The normally consistent Morris has been anything but this year. It's a similar situation where LeSean McCoy is struggling but Darren Sproles, in less carries has a higher yards per carry average. The same can be said for Roy Helu and Morris in Washington, although Helu's carries are much less, like Sproles, he's performing better behind a bad offensive line. The schedule does ease for the short term so we'll see if the team can get some momentum in the running game. The possible return of Robert Griffin III at QB could also help.
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Robert Griffin III returning for the upcoming Monday night game at Dallas, but went ahead and named third-string Colt McCoy as Washington’s starter.
“He still has a long way to go,” Gruden said of Griffin during Monday’s press conference. “I wouldn’t rule him out, but he has got a way to go to show that he can play, show that his ankle is 100 percent. That’s the big thing: He has got to be 100 percent ready to go. We don’t want to put him out there at 85 percent, have it be weak and have him do something to it. We want to make sure he’s ready to go when he’s out there.”
Griffin dislocated his left ankle in the first quarter of Washington’s Sept. 14 game against Jacksonville and has been sidelined since. Backup Kirk Cousins stepped in to win that game but lost the subsequent four and was on a downward trajectory Sunday against Tennessee, having turned the ball over twice, when Gruden benched him at halftime in favor of McCoy.
“Right now we’re going to move forward with Colt,” Gruden said. “I’d like to make the decision as soon as we can so we can get the reps. I’m a big rep guy. I want to make sure we get the starter ready to go, so we’re moving forward with the Cowboys with Colt, and Kirk is going to get the reps he gets and he’ll be ready to go if need be. But Colt will be the starter on Monday night.”
The team can't wait until Monday to name a starter just because of preparation, so McCoy gets the nod for now and will take the first team reps. It sounds like RGIII has a way to go and would likely need to get his reps in during the week in order to start on Monday, so that's something to keep an eye on. It's not a great situation, and to make matters worse it's a Monday night game at Dallas against their surprisingly good defense. RGIII is worth a pickup if you're in need of help at the position but probably shouldn't be saved to play on Monday night with too much up in the air at this point.
Monday, October 20, 2014, 10:49am
Coach Jay Gruden made a concerted effort to call more running plays; they accounted for 26 of the 57 offensive plays in the game, gaining 3.8 yards per rush and accounting for 100 yards of the total offensive output of 351 yards.
“We had some good runs and some not-so-good runs today,” Gruden said afterward. “We have to improve our running game, obviously. It’s still not that up to par, in my opinion, for us to be successful. We want to get the ball out of our hands, for good reasons.”
Morris hurt an ankle and briefly came out of the game, but he didn’t miss a series. Morris has been anything but his usual, consistent self this season. He's had over 20 carries just twice this year, those coming in Weeks 2 and 3. His Week 7 total of 18 carries is his highest since Week 3 but he only managed three yards per carry. Owners may have one last gasp at Morris bouncing back - if the return of QB Robert Griffin III can open things up. That could happen Week 8, but it's a Monday night game at Dallas so the matchup isn't a great one again this week for Morris owners. The schedule does ease a bit and he has good playoff matchups in Weeks 15 and 16.
“You would like to have your decision made as soon as possible,” Gruden said. “Now, you throw Robert into the mix. Robert has a chance to practice on Wednesday and we have to see where he is. See where he is health-wise, and from there I will make a decision from watching the tape of what I’m going to do.”
The story goes on to say that if Griffin can prove to the medical staff and Gruden that he’s ready to return from the dislocated left ankle he sustained in Week 2, Gruden’s decision would be a rather straightforward one. He’s already said Griffin will reclaim his No. 1 status when he’s medically cleared. Griffin worked out on the field prior to Sunday's game, dropping back, eluding an imaginary pass rush, sprinting on bootlegs and firing on-target passes. If Griffin is not cleared to play, the story added, that’s when Gruden will have a tougher choice between Cousins or McCoy. McCoy replaced Cousins at the start of the second half against the Titans after Cousins committed his second turnover of the game and 11th this season. Washington takes on a red-hot Dallas team whose defense has been playing better than expected this season. Since the game is Monday night, things could get tricky if you're planning on playing any of the three.
Redskins HC Jay Gruden had opted to stick with QB Kirk Cousins this week, even after he threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss at Arizona. He believed that the third-year quarterback needed to continue to work his way through his turnover tendencies, and that eventually he would achieve a breakthrough.
But the problems resurfaced, and when Cousins threw right to linebacker Wesley Woodyard, Gruden had seen enough.
“After the interception, we decided to go with Colt,” Gruden explained. “... I thought after the interception – turning the ball over – we talked about accountability, ball security. That was a standard pass play that we’ve run for a long, long time and he threw it right to him, unfortunately, and I decided to go with Colt in the second half.”
Cousins also fumbled during his time on the field. McCoy finished 11-of-12 for 128 yards and the TD to Pierre Garcon. If you saw the play, you know his final numbers are a bit misleading. Who starts in Week 8 is a bit of a mystery. There has been all kinds of speculation Robert Griffin III will be able to take part in team drills and take the field in Week 8. The Skins play at Dallas on Monday night. It's pretty safe to say when RGIII is ready, the job is his.
Friday, October 17, 2014, 6:20pm
Thursday, October 16, 2014, 6:18pm
Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6:35pm
The number one thing to consider is the health of Robert Griffin III’s injured ankle.
Doing agility drills and even sprinting full speed in a straight line across the field have a much lower level of stress on an ankle than does playing in an actual NFL game. From the outside we can’t tell if Griffin’s left ankle is ready to withstand the rigors of preparing for and playing in an NFL game at this point.
If he’s not, he will remain sidelined regardless of how well or how poorly Cousins is playing. But if he can take some practice snaps without risking any sort of a setback to the ankle, it would not be surprising to see him doing some limited work in practice this week.
It seems unrealistic to think that Griffin will be able to play this Sunday against the Titans, five weeks after the injury. But if he can get some practice in this week and ramp it up next week, Griffin could play against Dallas.
Please note the “ifs” and “coulds” there. It’s a very fluid situation. But it’s possible that Griffin’s return was once on a slow roll and it’s now on the fast track. We will see how things develop.
It turns out Griffin could get individual reps this week and perhaps team reps the following week, according to ESPN's John Keim. That could put him on track for a Monday night game with Dallas in Week 8, which kind of matches what the story above talks about. For what it's worth, Washington has a Week 10 bye.
Friday, October 10, 2014, 6:13pm
Thursday, October 9, 2014, 6:46pm
Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 6:37pm
Washington HC Jay Gruden made clear Tuesday that Robert Griffin III, who has been sidelined since Week 2 by a dislocated left ankle, won’t be taking the field as Washington’s starting quarterback in the near future.
“I don’t envision that any time soon,” Gruden told reporters during a conference call, asked about the timetable for Griffin’s return.
Griffin wasn’t wearing a protective boot. And he looked in great shape, sporting a skin-tight compression shirt and customary sleeve on his left arm he threw easy passes to one of his favorite targets. But he didn’t plant firmly on the throws, so it was impossible to gauge his readiness.
Gruden also dismissed a suggestion that Griffin might join the 1-4 team for practice in the near term, saying that the next step would likely be to increase his work load on a treadmill under the team trainer’s supervision.
“Maybe we’ll get him out here when the time is right,” Gruden said, declining even a cursory stab at a timetable.
In terms of fantasy points allowed to QBs, the Skins schedule now eases a bit. The Cardinals are ranked 20th, the Titans 17th and the Cowboys 14th. Those are the next three games for Kirk Cousins who has had two tough matchups following after lighting up the Eagles. He struggled against the Giants, but posted good fantasy numbers against the Seahawks.
Robert Griffin III returned to the practice field Saturday for the first time since dislocating his left ankle in Week 2.
The Washington Redskins quarterback shed the walking boot and wore cleats on both feet as he joined teammates for agility drills and stretching.
According to The Washington Post's Mike Jones, RGIII appeared to jog fairly well before returning to the practice bubble to continue his rehab work.
"He's making progress," coach Jay Gruden said after practice. "He's doing a great job working."
Griffin didn't practice with the team in actual position drills. The Redskins have no timetable his return, but reports say the target is five-to-six weeks after the injury -- which means RGIII could be ready to return before the team's Week 10 bye. After lighting up the Eagles in Week 3, QB Kirk Cousins struggled against the Giants last Thursday night and has a tough matchup with Seattle in Week 5.
Friday, October 3, 2014, 6:19pm
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 5. Kirk Cousins gets another start after a nightmarish performance against the Giants in Week 4. Unfortunately, he has to face the Seahawks as they come off of their bye.
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