Many have speculated that Gruden's hands would be tied by owner Daniel Snyder, who is said to be enamored of the quarterback the team spend three first-round picks and a second to acquire in 2012, and team president and general manager Bruce Allen. But this report appears to indicate that Gruden has the authority to handle the situation as he sees fit.
Rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland leads the 49ers in tackles despite having played in only seven of the team's 10 games. He picked off two Eli Manning passes last week. He will be a handful for the interior of the Redskins' line.
2. Team focus: Griffin isn't the only player in need of some mental fortitude. The Redskins had far too many mental errors against the Buccaneers - penalties, turnovers and blown assignments. The mistakes kept the offense from ever finding a rhythm. On defense, they led to a second-half collapse that helped put the game out of reach. They must take care of the ball on offense, lock in on defense, nail their assignments and force turnovers.
But the Redskins took a step backward in last Sunday's 27-7 loss to Tampa Bay, in which quarterback Robert Griffin III was intercepted twice and running back Roy Helu Jr. fumbled the ball away. Darrel Young contributed the only positive play to the giveaway-takeaway ledger, recovering a muffed punt. The upshot dropped Washington to a season-low minus-11 turnover differential, which ties for 29th in the league.
More than anything, they need Griffin to be more decisive on his throws. By not doing so last week, he left countless plays on the field -- and it led to issues in the pocket, where he'd take a sack on a quick drop, for example. The line gets blamed in some of those cases, but the coaches didn't put it on them. Four of the six sacks last week were because of quarterback mistakes. On one play, in which receiver DeSean Jackson put his hand up off the line, the drop wasn't deep enough and the safety wasn't then properly maneuvered, so another good opportunity was missed.