Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden and Offensive Coordinator Matt Cavanaugh spoke with reporters after practice yesterday. Gruden said 5 players were limited in practice and listed them as questionable for the Raiders game Sunday night. Both coaches were asked about the Raiders safety blitz, Cavanaugh talked about the run game. It's been reported already the Redskins will have 4 RBs active due to Rob Kelley's rib injury.
#Redskins TE Jordan Reed, RB Rob Kelley, LB Mason Foster, CB Josh Norman and S Montae Nicholson all questionable for Sunday's game.— Stephen Czarda (@SCzardaRedskins) September 22, 2017
Gruden said Reed has worked w WRs this week just to keep him from blocking (further injuring chest) but to keep him catching and running.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) September 22, 2017
Gruden says #Redskins will consider if 100 percent of Jeremy Sprinkle is better than 70 percent of Jordan Reed.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayCSN) September 22, 2017
"Mack [Brown] is ready to go. [Jeremy] Sprinkle is ready to go if Jordan can’t go. Josh Harvey [Clemons] is ready to go if Mason can’t go, and the rest of them we have backup plans.”
Raiders safety blitzes helping Khalil Mack:
"Yeah, I think that’s part of the reason they do it – for run blitzes and to try to get [Khalil] Mack one-on-one a little bit more, so it’ll be a good challenge for us. They bring them any time – third down, first down, second down. Reggie [Nelson] comes, sometimes [Karl] Joseph comes. They do a nice job. It’s a good package for them. It helps them in the run game and in the pass game.”
Kirk Cousins getting into a rhythm:
“I think he is, yeah. I think he’s getting close. We all are. I’m never going to stand here and that it’s one guy that’s got to get better. We as a group have to get better. We made great progress in the run game last week, which, from a quarterback standpoint, you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, that’s pretty good. Second-and-four, first-and-10, second-and-three, first-and-10.’ So we really didn’t put a lot on his plate last week and it wasn’t by design, we just came out and ran the ball really effectively. But from his standpoint, I know he’s excited about getting a chance to play again. And that’s what you want – you want a guy who… we’re 1-1, wish we were 2-0, we’ve got a long season ahead of us, he wants to get better every week no matter how he played the week before, so we’re excited about it.”
Cousins chemistry with Terrelle Pryor Sr.:
"As you can imagine, the more time you spend with a guy, the better you should be getting. And I think their rhythm is coming around. I think the ball placement, I think Terrelle is starting to understand ball placement, his relationship to a defender, where he should expect the ball based on the route he’s running, whether it’s a deep ball or an intermediate route, a short-game throw. He’s starting to get a feel for what Kirk’s seeing. That’s huge… And by the game token, Kirk has to see what the receiver’s seeing too, when he’s running his route, what kind of leverage that he has, how he anticipates the break that he’s coming out of. So that just takes time. You can sit here and say, ‘Well, they’ve been together since OTAs,’ but sometimes it takes a while. I think each day they’re working. They’re aware of it, they want to be better at it, and they’re working real hard to get on the same page all the time.”
"He has great passion for what he does. He loves the game. He works really hard. For two years now, I have been watching him work real hard for the scout team and he treats it like it is a game. He takes the ball and runs hard and finishes. He understands run concepts. He hasn’t had a lot of work in protection, full-tempo protection, but he’s very capable of doing that. I just think he has got some explosiveness to him, strong runner. He can break tackles. So there is some real upside there, it’s just he has to get his opportunity. We will see if it is this week or down the road.”
RBs picking up Raiders safety blitz:
"Well, by design, our protections, we have guys assigned to certain people. There’s clearly protections where the back is responsible for a safety. But I have no doubt, if recognized, he knows what his responsibility is and he’ll step up there and make every effort to block the safety. I’ve got confidence that they all can do that. A lot of that is just being aware and anticipating it. Sometimes the looks, it’s hard to disguise secondary blitzes because they’ve got to get rolling, they’ve got to start coming toward the line of scrimmage. If you’ve got your eyes up and you know what your first responsibility is, you see the next one start to show up and you’re ready for it, it makes it a lot easier. And that’s just experience too."
Sticking with the run game:
"I think with any time you’re trying to execute a game plan, when something’s working, you’re silly not to stick with it. We obviously had success running the ball early. The first drive was an example – just getting good chunks. At that point, you’re nuts to say, ‘Now we’re going to just start throwing the ball every down.’ Vice versa, sometimes you come out throwing the ball a lot and have success, and we keep throwing it. I always say you want to have balance at the end of the game. Sometimes you don’t get it, because you’re so successful doing one thing. We’ll do what we’ve got to do to win – whether it’s run or throw.”
Redskins vs Raiders Injury Reports:
Redskins-Raiders final injury report. pic.twitter.com/RQ8f4XtTJ1— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) September 22, 2017
Five Redskins are questionable for the Raiders game tomorrow. Jordan Reed was the only player to miss pratice this week. "He said he has full range of motion in his shoulder but he still has pain." Reed and Rob Kelley both said the pain was more manageable and they hope to play vs the Raiders.
The Redskins also have 3 players on defense who are questionable tomorrow. ILB Mason Foster separated his shoulder, but returned to catch the game-sealing interception after popping his shoulder back in himself. He wants to play this week. Rookie safety Montae Nicholson was also limited with a shoulder injury.
CB Josh Norman said his shoulder was hurting early in the week. Norman suffered the injury while attempting a tackle and could affect his ability to punch the ball out. Here is a limited Josh Norman at practice yesterday: