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Need to Know: Gruden says last year’s Rams game will not be motivation for Redskins

Sep 18, 2015, 5:13 AM EDT

McCoy-sacked-vs.-Rams

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 18, two days before the Washington Redskins host the St. Louis Rams.

Redskins podium: Read and react

Here are some quotes from Jay Gruden and Joe Barry followed by some comments on them:

Gruden on if the Redskins 24-0 loss to the Rams last year will be used as motivation this week: “We shouldn’t need any motivation right now. We’ve won seven games in two years. So we’re motivated to get this thing turned around whoever we play. Obviously you never want to get shutout, but I think our guys are motivated to get our first home win in front of our crowd.”
Reaction: If this team needs anything more than sheer professional pride to play as hard as it can then something is very wrong. While I think this game can be used as a measuring stick—if they win that could be evidence of real improvement—I don’t see last year’s game being blackboard material. The Rams were just better. Gruden also said that Jeff Fisher’s trolling of the Redskins by sending out the players the Rams acquired with the picks they landed in the Griffin trade would be a non-factor. Good.

Gruden on who the No. 2 quarterback will be on Sunday: “We’re practicing and we haven’t figured out who all of our people are yet. Everybody gets their practice time and reps and they’re doing a good job. We’ll make that final 46-man roster deal at whatever time – 11:30 on Sunday.”
Reaction: I think we all know that Colt McCoy will backup Kirk Cousins and that Robert Griffin III will be inactive, right? You can agree with it or not but there is no mystery here. It is very likely that Griffin has taken his last snap for the Redskins and has.

Joe Barry on having to shuffle the secondary due to injuries and suspension: “Yeah, but that’s the NFL. It’s a challenge each and every week, but the thing that we just keep preaching and keep talking to guys about it is the NFL season is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. It’s war of attrition and you’ve got to have the best guys up every week. We kind of have a motto, We have starters and we have starters-in-waiting.”
Reaction: The Redskins will not get any sympathy cards from around the league for the Ihenacho injury and the suspensions of Breeland and Culliver. It’s just the way it is around the NFL. Coaches have the right frame of mind about it; fans and the media need to look at it the same way.

Barry on Bashaud Breeland’s return to the lineup: “I think it’s huge. He can play inside. He can play outside and we will do that with him. We have different packages. Bottom line, I’m fired up for him because a guy that is so passionate about the game, a guy that loves the game so much, it’s going to be fun to have [No.] 26 out there with a helmet on.”
Reaction: Breeland is fun to watch because he loves playing. He has a lot of rough edges but he plays hard and won’t back down from anyone.

Gruden on newly-signed cornerback Will Blackmon: “Well, he’s a very bright man. He knows football. He’s played a lot of football in his day. He’s picked up this system very fast. He’s going to play some, no question about it. How much, I don’t know yet. It just depends on what type of packages they’re in and we’re in at the time.”
Reaction: Blackmon isn’t going to make a Pro Bowl visit or anything but he does have 66 NFL games under his belt since breaking into the league in 2006 so he is capable. He will almost certainly see some action against the Rams this week. It will be an interesting decision to see if the Redskins will keep Blackmon or Justin Rogers when Chris Culliver returns from his suspension on Monday.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:15; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice approx. 12:30

Days until: Rams @ Redskins 2; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 6; Eagles @ Redskins 16

In case you missed it

  1. redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 5:52 AM

    “I think we all know that Colt McCoy will backup Kirk Cousins and that Robert Griffin III will be inactive, right? You can agree with it or not but there is no mystery here. It is very likely that Griffin has taken his last snap for the Redskins and has.”
    –We need to see what Cousins does as the season progresses. He tallied 4 interceptions against the Rams last season. Would Gruden keep Cousins in the whole game under a repeat of that performance? What happens if Cousins and McCoy failed to hold the starting role (i.e. injury or performance)?

    Many scenarios can play out quickly in the NFL. What has me interested is how the team would react if it needed to turn to a 3rd QB again during the season? Start RG3 would add a tremendous risk to next years salary cap, so why even do it if RG3’s time here is nearing an end? No team is going to trade for RG3 with that $16 million dollar option looming. Ultimately, I think RG3 would prefer to enter the free agent market next season so he can choose the best team for him. So don’t expect RG3 to be in a hurry in negotiating out of that option contract. The whole idea about RG3 still being on this team doesn’t add up unless the organization is holding onto a string of hope of giving him on final chance.

    Anyway, I hope it doesn’t come to such a scenario since then it would probably mean a repeat of last year’s fiasco. If Gruden can’t put a stable QB on the field then most the blame falls on him.

    • gasngo14 - Sep 18, 2015 at 7:17 AM

      ” We need to see what Cousins does as the season progresses. He tallied 4 interceptions against the Rams last season. Would Gruden keep Cousins in the whole game under a repeat of that performance? ”

      Wow if memory serves me correct i don’t think Kirk even took a snap against the Rams last season….???

      The problem in this game last year was we could not run the ball and it went downhill from there it had nothing to do with your assessment of Kirk who did not play btw !

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 7:23 AM

        I’m wasn’t even speaking about any specific game here. I was speaking about if there becomes another collapse at the QB position then what would the team do if they needed to turn to a 3rd QB?

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 7:20 AM

      Correction: I meant to state Giants not Rams on the 4 INTs

    • jumbo611 - Sep 18, 2015 at 7:32 AM

      I kinda feel that despite what the press is saying/had been reporting that the G.M isn’t exactly on board with the whole Cousins starting thing,and they’re giving Gruden x amount of games to prove it was Griffen and not Gruden’s offense. So after 4-6 games if they’re still only putting up 10-20 points a game or less. it’s bye bye west coast offense and hello RG3 and a new coach who will maximize the talent on the team.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 7:37 AM

        I think you’re on to something! Is it possible they are working RG3 in practice as a backup using another style of offense just in case a switch becomes necessary? I know we are speculating here but crazier things have happened. It’ll be hard to fire Gruden with that guaranteed contract. However, a change in QB with a change in offense just may be possible.

        • berniebernard666 - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:16 AM

          LMAO…what is this “secret” offense that they practice with RG3 that allows him to read the defense and spot open receivers and not panic and not fumble and where his spindly legs don’t go in different directions when he panics? What is the name of that offense?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 10:03 AM

          No secrete offense dude! Get off your soap opera. A change in offense when putting another QB in is hardly that rare in the NFL. Ever heard of a spread offense?

      • mauriceatwood - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:38 AM

        I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. Snyder is giving Gruden the rope to hang himself. If we end up 4-12 or worse I think Gruden is gone and RG3 will be still be a Redskin next season with a 1 year contract and a new coach who will build the offense around the talents of RG3.

        • bangkokben - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:59 AM

          I certainly think that this is a plausible contingency. I suspect if it comes to that, he’ll have to twist the GMs arm to comply or find a new job.

        • ET - Sep 18, 2015 at 11:55 AM

          With Snyder at the helm, this may be possible. But even Danny Boy should be able to think far enough ahead to realize that’d be a situation fraught with potential setbacks, defections and low morale.

      • Rich Tandler - Sep 18, 2015 at 10:17 AM

        Well, Jumbo, we don’t kinda make stuff up like that. It’s pretty well known around Redskins Park that McCloughan is on board with Cousins starting. Could there be changes if things don’t work? Sure, but for right now, which is all we know, McCloughan backs Gruden’s decision to start KC.

        • jumbo611 - Sep 18, 2015 at 10:50 AM

          All I’m saying is that McCoughan seems to me like the type of guy/GM that allows the coaches to do their jobs and coach,and not dictate who plays,so that would put him on board with the decision. It doesn’t mean he agrees that Cousins is the better Quarterback. Maybe the better quarterback for this particular offensive system. And I don’t know what everyone else sees,but from my seat,outside of the Jaguars game and the first half of the first Pilly game the Offese hasn’t been very good no matter who played quarterback. So mabe a change of offisive philosophy might be in order.

        • jumbo611 - Sep 18, 2015 at 10:54 AM

          And for the record I don’t,and never will accuse YOU of making up anything. I come to this blog every morning because I feel as you just report what’s going on, and don’t play favorites. And as a fan that’s all I can ask for.

    • brucefan1 - Sep 18, 2015 at 11:57 AM

      “The whole idea about RG3 still being on this team doesn’t add up unless the organization is holding onto a string of hope of giving him on final chance.”

      How about this scenario, jd? Obviously no one is saying it outright, but what if there are some in this organization who want to keep Griffin around mainly to hedge their bets, just in case Gruden2.0 flops and is not around next season — and then they can go about finding a coach who can get the most outta RG’s skill set. (something many of use were duped into thinking that Gru was gonna do! Gullible us.)

      Too far-fetched?!

      I wish someone could give us solid intell into what the GM in particular thinks Griffin’s future in the NFL might be. It’s been widely reported that Snyder still sees promise, probably Allen, too –so those are pretty much given. But what about SCOT?

      SOMEONE (more than one?) in the Skins’ F.O. wants Griffin to remain part of this team — otherwise Gru would have disappeared him ASAP. Me? I would love to know who/how many decided to keep Griffin, as well as their level of belief that RG3 can still be an effective QB going forward.

      • brucefan1 - Sep 18, 2015 at 12:19 PM

        Boy I shoulda read other replies to your original post redskinsname! (Guess that’s what happens to late sleepers at NTK! LOL) It seems I ain’t the only one entertaining those wacky conspiracy theories!

        And I appreciated Rich weighing in on his sense of how Scot is buying into the Cousins switch, and his speculation that all that could change. If its from RT, its that “solid intell” I’m looking for.

        But can’t help thinking that if some assumed that keeping Griffin around the team this season was going to be distraction-free or controversy-free this season, they made a grave miscalculation. Anybody got an “over/under” on how many times they will show his face or mention his name on TV on Sunday? (Especially as compared to how many times they refer to the actual backup QB!)

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 2:45 PM

        “Too far-fetched?!”

        I don’t think its too far fetched. However I the organization would have to be very confident in RG3’s ability to stake 16 million on it. The big question maybe what Scot really feels about RG3’s ability as an NFL QB. Again, if you go by what he stated publicly back in May, he had no intention on giving up on RG3.

        • brucefan1 - Sep 18, 2015 at 4:21 PM

          Which leaves a situation that is rife with distracting speculation about the future of this QB, this head coach, and this team.

          And unless something happens to quell it (which winning, for one, would do quite nicely!) the whispers of “dysfunction” are not going to go away.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 19, 2015 at 4:53 AM

      To me, the worst possible thing for this team would be to start 3 QBs again. I may not believe Cousins is the best QB on this roster, but I hope they start him the whole season unless there’s an injury. This organization needs stability. None of the QBs on our roster are elite or even what most people consider good. It’s completely unrealistic and unfair to think they won’t have a bad game here and there, or string a few bad games together. But if you bench one, your just replacing him with another bad QB who will probably do the same but also igniting controversy, distractions, and instability. Just figure out who your guy is, and stick with him. Grunden’s guy seems to be Cousins.

      I believe RG3 still has something left in the tank and may even be a good QB again somewhere. Just not in DC. That ship has sailed. There’s been too much damage done. I personally just think we all need to move on from the idea of him playing in DC again. I don’t care what the GM thinks of him, if the players won’t play for Griffin, then he won’t succeed. I personally think the players are done with him. For whatever reason, they just seem over it and don’t believe in him anymore. If we start RG3 again, I think the only thing we will accomplish is confirming it’s time for both sides to move on.

      • abanig - Sep 19, 2015 at 11:48 AM

        I agree with most of this, but I actually think Colt McCoy gives the team the best chance to win. Out of the 3 qbs we have, he’s the best leader. Colt McCoy can be this teams Todd Collins from 07, if he gets the shot.

        In some ways I believe if Colt was actually a starter that in time he could be like Rich Gannon. Not the strongest arm in the world, but an accurate passer, who’s smart, a good athlete, doesn’t make many mistakes and is a great leader.

        I definitley don’t want the Qb carousel and I hope Cousins plays well enough for that not to happen but there’s just something about Colt that I really, really like and I’ve liked it since his days at Texas.

        As for Robert, I agree he has a future still in the nfl and it’s not likely to be in DC. The only way I see Robert being back in DC is of Cousins & Gruden totally fall on their face this year and they’re both gone. Then, Allen and Snyder convince McCloughan to give it one last shot with Griffin in an offense that suits him better with a HC like Darrell Bevell from Seattle – who they should have hired in the first place!!

        I think the likelihood of that happening is slim. Most likely the skins are about how they were last year and we’re drafting a new qb in the top 10 next year.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 19, 2015 at 3:42 PM

          We can agree that Gruden probably shouldn’t have ever been given this job. I liked him before all of this too. I wasn’t upset when they hired him, but I did have questions about if he was ready or not. Questions answered.

          I won’t argue with you about the Colt thing either, because I just don’t know. He’s had his moments, but he also had some pretty bad moments last year. And durability has been an issue.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 19, 2015 at 3:50 PM

          Sorry guys, accidentally hit post before I was ready.

          But with Colt…. I just can’t believe in him too much. True, some QBs that lack arm strength have managed to do okay in the past. But this team is t good enough to mask Colt’s deficiencies. He just can’t make every throw. He isnt obysicly able to. And if he gives the team the best chance to win, how many more games than Cousins are we talking? 10? Then yes, Colt McCoy please. But 1-2? Meh… Not worth the circus to me. I think stability is more valuable to this team than maybe one more win at this point. Start being functional again.

          But remember, I think any combo of changing QBs is just swapping one bad QB for another. So the change doesn’t make sense to me personally.

          We’re probably saying goodbye to these guys in 2016, maybe keeping Colt as a veteran backup, and drafting a QB high in what seems like a decent draft class (early in the season). I’m trying to spend as much time possible flipping through channels when my game isn’t on and taking a look at all the potential QBs for us to draft next year. There’s a couple options that are exciting and we could probably get without shipping off 10 first round picks again.

  2. gonavybeatarmy - Sep 18, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    Last season’s Rams game was hideous. McCoy had zero TD, 2 Int and was sacked 6 times. Morris had less than a yard per carry. The Rams played career back-up Sean Hill, scored 24 points and even missed two chip shot FG attempts.

    This game should be closer, but the Rams are just a much better team and should win.

    • sidepull - Sep 18, 2015 at 7:27 AM

      Yea you are probably right, the Rams are a much better team….but On Any Given Sunday……Go Redskins, HTTR!

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:49 AM

      Our O.L. was turrrible last year. TURRRIBLE!

      I’m mildly encouraged (and surprised) by how well the new guys played against Miami’s solid D.L.

      The Rams have one of the best in the NFL. – let’s see if TWill and the gang can do it again.
      ~

  3. berniebernard666 - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    and there you have what is wrong with the redskins; It’s the wimpy coach and his wimpy attitude.

    “…….Heck no, I didn’t mind St. Louis rubbing our faces in crap last year by sending out those players they got for Griffin…..and heck golly no I didn’t mind being embarrassed when we were dominated and shutout last year as they rubbed our faces in a pile of crap. Heck golly gee……we just gotta go out and play our game and I’ll collect my 5 million dollars a year……what’s the big deal.”

  4. jpesos23 - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    this team needs everything as a motivation

  5. bangkokben - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:16 AM

    I don’t like the fact that Culliver is suspended, Ihenacho is out for the year, and Jordan Reed is once again listed on the injury report but no way am I conceding this game. And of course, professional football players don’t need added motivation but it would be good to hear that we remember what happened last year and won’t let that happen again – especially if you want to see people in the stands wearing something other than blue.

    • berniebernard666 - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      “professional football players don’t need added motivation”…………

      You have a lot to learn about football players in the NFL. If you believe they all come to the field and play really really 100 percent hard on every play for every game then you haven’t been paying attention.

      • bangkokben - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:55 AM

        Yeah. That’s EXACTLY what I meant.

      • brucefan1 - Sep 18, 2015 at 12:42 PM

        Along those line, bernie, I just heard old NY LB Carl Banks on WFAN reminisce about how PISSED the NYG’s were that the 49ers were packing for the Super Bowl BEFORE they even played the Giants in the 1990 NFC Championship game.

        Parcells was RIPPING at the ‘9er disrespect, and told his guys that THEY better go to SF packed to go straight to the Super Bowl XXV too!! (Of course, the Giants won in an upset.)

        Tuna was one BA who never let an affront go unchallenged, an insult be ignored.

        That’s not to suggest there’s an ounce of similarity between Tuna and Gru, but it just points up one example of the rich history of blackboard material and long memories that are part of NFL lore.

        (And besides, however complaisant GRU may be, can you see guys like Trent, Pierre, Keenan and DHall taking what the Rams did to them last year lying down?! LOL)

  6. mauriceatwood - Sep 18, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    While I hope we win I am anticipating another home blowout loss. If that happens get ready for a long and dismal season.

  7. Darren - Sep 18, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    Wow there’s actually still Griffin fans thinking of him coming back in, hajajahajaahaha. Guys it’s over, no secret offense, this is a different team this year! We are competing, stop looking at last year, damn!

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 10:22 AM

      He’s still on the team, right? If he was cut then you might just make sense.

  8. shermanp79 - Sep 18, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    OK I think its pretty stupid if it’s not motivation. They threw the RG3 trade in our face and embarrassed us 24-0.

    I have been a Gruden supporter and have had the opinion he could get the job done. Understanding he had improvements to make but the conservative play calling last week and saying this has me wondering. At the same time this team needs talent, we lack playmakers and that isn’t his fault. We are not going to win moving 3 yards at a time. Get Jones and Thompson in and play Ross to see if he can get deep. I would send Roberts deep too, he has some ability, he showed it in ARI. I would use the RB screen game too. I know that isn’t a strength of Morris but he can do it. We are too predictable. The WR screen are constantly stopped. He has to show he can adjust in games.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      ” I would use the RB screen game too. ”

      Yes and at least use that instead of those useless lateral passes to the receivers that seems to net more negative yards than positive yards. I’d like to see them dump passes off to Jones more often. Rams like to blitz so let them and then have Jones waiting for the easy pass with Scherff moving in front of him to block further down field.

  9. goback2rfk - Sep 18, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    Rams are a great squad. Playoff contender for sure especially with that staunch defense. I expect at least 2 more INT’s and a strip sack fumble from the blind side.

    Rams 27
    Skins 14

  10. kenlinkins - Sep 18, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    IMO Gruden is right, this team is not yet ready to try and place a target on another teams back. You do not do that until you are equal to that team and the Redskins have not shown that they are anyone’s equal yet. The Redskins have to get that losing monkey off the backs before they start taking aim at someone who has “done them wrong”. They had a good first half against the Dolphins before falling back into old habits (both players and coach’s) and that MUST stop this week. The Redskins need to be cleaner, faster, better and put points on the board. Everything else is just noise. Points and lots of them guys. Coach, it is time to start putting up, you have your QB now make it work.

    • brucefan1 - Sep 18, 2015 at 1:32 PM

      Wow, it seems like the Skins are gonna hafta just get punked and take it then. Right?

      Ouch.

      Doesn’t sound like McCloughan’s pledge — that win or lose, the Skins opponents will know they’ve been in a dog fight; that they will be aching for days afterwards — will be taking effect until the Redskins actually show a consistent ability to win these games.

      Till then, I guess the Skins are just gonna hafta swallow whatever the BIG BOYS (like the RAMS? Yikes!) are dishing out — no matter how humiliating.

      Just another empty promise from the Redskins’ front office?? We’ll see.

      • ET - Sep 18, 2015 at 3:25 PM

        “Doesn’t sound like McCloughan’s pledge — that win or lose, the Skins opponents will know they’ve been in a dog fight; that they will be aching for days afterwards — will be taking effect until the Redskins actually show a consistent ability to win these games.”

        No? There are at least five Dolphins who’d likely disagree with you. Four are questionable or out for their next game.

        There are numerous problems with this year’s team. We all know that. But from what I’ve seen, the players are doing their damnedest to deliver on Scot’s plans for a more physical team.

        • brucefan1 - Sep 18, 2015 at 4:13 PM

          Really? Injured Dolphins? Good news, ET! How’d I miss that?!

          And while a posted those words, I was really kinda playin devil’s advocate, in a cheeky response to ken’s (very reasonable) assertion that the Skins weren’t ready to go out looking for payback … yet. (Cuz we don’t need no stinkin reasonabilty! ;^})

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 3:02 PM

      “IMO Gruden is right, this team is not yet ready to try and place a target on another teams back. You do not do that until you are equal to that team and the Redskins have not shown that they are anyone’s equal yet. ‘

      Ken, I don’t think coming into any game “humble” is a recipe for victory. On game day, the Redskins don’t have to think they are the Rams equal, the team has to think they are better.

  11. mauriceatwood - Sep 18, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    I don’t think Gruden knows how to motivate his team. If I were the coach I would be doing as was explained that Bill Parcells did above. Anything and everything Gruden can do to fire this team up needs to be done before every game not just this game. The fact that he isn’t wiling to harp on the EMBARRASSMENT the team endured at the hands of the Rams last season demonstrates to me even further that he is too monotone to inspire this team. Motivation is one of the most intangible factors on this level of play because everybody is a great athlete with the size, speed, and strength it takes to play in the NFL. Gruden is right in that the players should be self motivated, but that isn’t enough. He has to do something. The position coaches have to do something. The entire coaching staff has to do something.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 18, 2015 at 2:59 PM

      That was well stated and I agree on all points! Motivating others doesn’t seem to be a part of Gruden’s persona.

  12. abanig - Sep 18, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    Redskins lost to the Rams 24-0 last year, NOT 27-0.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400554379

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