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Jay Gruden Redskins Presser: Case Keenum will start vs Giants, Colt McCoy likely inactive

Jay Gruden answers questions after today’s practice

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Jay Gruden answered questions from the media after the Redskins last practice of the week before traveling to New Jersey to face the Giants. Injuries once again dominated the questions today. Jordan Reed(concussion) and Chase Roullier(knee) have both been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Brandon Scherff(ankle) and Terry McLaurin(hamstring) are both listed as questionable and will be game-time decisions.

Tony Bergstrom will get the start at center. If Brandon Scherff can’t play, Wes Martin will start at right guard, and Ross Pierschbacher would also be active. This would be the first time either rookie offensive linemen have been active this year. The Redskins would move some of their young WRs around if McLaurin can’t go. Robert Davis would start and Trey Quinn could also be used on the outside.

Case Keenum is healthy after suffering a foot sprain against the Bears on Monday night. He was wearing a boot the first day, but has been practicing all week and will get the start. Dwayne Haskins Jr. will still be backing him up this week. Colt McCoy returned to practice, but will likely be inactive again this week.

Injury updates:

Colt McCoy:

Case Keenum:

Terry McLaurin:

“I think Terry and Brandon will both probably come down to an hour before the game, see how they’re doing. We’ll get a good workout in before the game and see where they’re at. If Terry can’t go, obviously we have [WR] Robert Davis here. He can play some spilt end. We can move [WR] Trey Quinn out there a little bit and move [WR Steven] Sims [Jr.] inside. We can do a lot of different things. Those guys are pretty versatile. [WR Kelvin] Harmon’s got some outside receiver work as well on both sides. They’ll be called to duty and expected to perform.”

Kelvin Harmon’s development:

“Pretty good, pretty good. He’s starting to branch off and learn both spots, outside spots. He’s doing a good job. He’s been really strong in the running game. Made a couple plays for us and I think he’ll be asked to do a lot more as the season goes on. I think he’ll be ready to go.”

Offensive line depth:

Wes Martin’s ability to play on the right side:

”We shall find out. We have a couple different options there if [G Brandon] Scherff can’t go. Nobody’s going to try and get himself ready quicker and better than Brandon Scherff will. I’m still holding out hope for Brandon.”

Kevin O’Connell Presser

The importance of timing on running the jet sweep:

“That’s a really good question. There’s about five variations to it, sometimes we want to snap it and it’s the primary location we want to snap it on. Sometimes we want him to go past then come back. But the penalty was very, very unfortunate. We’ve talked a lot to your guys this week about the importance of tempo coming out of the huddle and getting set, getting their alignments, knowing where to line up every single time. It’s been documented we can line up a lot of different ways and sometimes that puts some stress on players to know exactly where to line up. We put a lot on them for a reason, we expect them to handle it. But that play, we weren’t all set, there was a little pre-snap movement. We started [WR] Steven [Sims Jr.]’s motion and they flagged us for it. We gotta make sure all 11 guys break the huddle with emergency and purpose and we get that ball snapped with great timing, which leads to a great play normally.”

Using the jet motion too much?:

“I don’t think so. I think the more you can make things look the same while doing multiple things after the ball has been snapped the better. I know it gives defenses trouble, especially when you get a guy like [WR Steven] Sims or [WR] Trey Quinn flying across there. The biggest thing, without question though, all those motions and shifts, all comes back to our process breaking the huddle. First of all, calling the play, breaking the huddle, everybody getting set, lined up and then we can legally start our motions and make sure our motions and shifts are legal before we snap the ball. That’s the biggest thing is the procedural side of those things.”

Adjustments due to the injuries on the offensive line:

“Well really for us, we have next man up mentality for it. Those guys, [Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line] Coach [Bill] Callahan and [Assistant Offensive Line Coach] Phil Rauscher really develop those guys. I can look out there right now and see those guys working as we speak and it’s a ‘Fast Friday’ type of practice. But we just gotta execute. We gotta make sure we cover up any advantages they may have schematically anyway we can – bangs, chips, all those things -- to try to best execute the plan we wanna have and if we gotta make adjustments versus the risk-rewards of somethings, we’ll do that. I know we’re all hoping [G] Brandon [Scherff] still has a chance to go.”

What he needs to see from QB Dwayne Haskins to show he is ready:

“I think it’s hard to really put specific thing, specific detail. I think he starts to feel it. I think he starts to feel the way he carries himself in meetings and his ownership of the information. His ownership of fundamentals on the practice field. Taking those scout team reps and converting it. It’s crazy to see, there’s so much carryover in the NFL. Those scout team reps are mirrored reps from our offense in a lot of ways. There’s ways to look at a [play] card and say, ‘Hey, that’s just this, this and this. I should have made that protection call or I should have recognized that coverage and thrown that ball over here.’ Very rarely do the defensive coaches say, ‘Hey, we want you to throw the ball to this guy.’ They want to see a real look as well. So those reps are so valuable that when he starts really taking advantage of those reps in a way where we’re like, ‘Man, did you see him throw this pass or that pass or that play.’ And it’s a carded period, you start to see some carryover. And he’s done that. There’s been times, we watch him very closely, we kind of switch from offense to defense and we’re constantly taking our turns with [QB] Dwayne [Haskins] as far as the information. You don’t want to overload him with five voices at once. And [Quarterback Coach] Tim [Rattay] does a great job, [Senior Offensive Assistant Matt Cavanaugh] ‘Cav’, they do a great job with him. But there’s no doubt, you’ll start just things click. You’ll start to see the carryover of information from week to week and the ownership of the offense I think is the biggest thing. As far as one specific thing, i can’t really put my finger on that.”

Receiver rotation without McLaurin:

“Obviously, [WR] Robert Davis would have a bigger role, but we still have those core four as well. But obviously [WR] Terry [McLaurin] is a big part of what we do, we’re hoping to have him. It’s just a matter of figuring out kind of how that next group of guys how it slots when we have our two-receiver sets, our three-receiver sets, potentially four-receiver sets, all those things where you at and say, ‘Ok, maybe [WR] Trey Quinn needs to be here or [WR] Paul Richardson [Jr.] needs to be there.’ Maybe we try to work something with [Running Back] Chris [Thompson] or [TE] Vernon [Davis], however it may be. That’s the luxury of having the group we have that we’ve talked a lot about is the skill group and the versatility and the skill sets of all those guys when you throw them in a grouping, you can versatility on game day if you need it.”