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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Can Gruden build on success?

Aug 19, 2016, 5:44 AM EDT

Gruden-RVA-2016-USAT

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 19, the day the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Jets, 7:30 pm, FedEx Field, telecast on CSN

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 222 days ago. It will be 24 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Final roster cut 15; Cowboys @ Redskins 30; Browns @ Redskins 44

The Redskins week that was

Cousins’ goals for Redskins: win games, be boringI’m not sure if they will ever get to be the San Antonio Spurs, as Cousins said his goal is. Since the 1998-1999  season the Spurs have won five titles. The Redskins have not made an appearance in their conference championship game in that time span. Even if the Redskins did get to be a powerhouse, the NBA is better set up to have a dynasty that is the NFL. But the part about being boring as far as distractions is absolutely possible. It’s the way most NFL teams operate.

NTK: Cousins thinks he missed a chance—Against the Falcons, Cousins said that one of the running plays that didn’t go much of anywhere while he was in the game could have been avoided had he audibles to a different play. He didn’t say why he didn’t audible when he was at the line, whether he didn’t recognize the bad matchup at the time or if he left the play as is for another reason. In either case, it’s part of the learning process for Cousins. If he starts catching defenses cheating up to the line often enough and burns them through the air, things may open up in the running game.

Michael Crabtree? Josh Doctson? What’s the connection?—An interesting post by JP Finlay, looking at how Scot McCloughan may be using history (part his history, part not his) in guiding the team as it navigates the Doctson injury.

Sloppy Redskins practice requires Gruden’s loud correction—The book on Jay Gruden as a head coach is not yet written; his persona is very much a work in progress. He let loose on the team with an expletive-laden rant during a sloppy practice at Redskins Park. Gruden has the credibility to be able to do this because the team is headed in the right direction, with a division title last year. A first-time head coach who had posted, say, double-digit losses in his first two seasons at the helm might not have the credibility to off on the team and have it have any effect.

NTK: Room on the Redskins roster for Toler, Sudfeld?—The one hard and fast rule about putting together a roster is that only 53 players can be on it at any given time. That means if you want to add somebody to it, somebody must be removed. To get players like Greg Toler, a veteran cornerback on a team loaded with young talent at the position, and Nate Sudfeld, a promising but raw rookie quarterback who likely won’t see the field this year, you have to cut players you may want to keep.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it 

  1. colorofmyskinz - Aug 19, 2016 at 5:58 AM

    I hate to say it, but the Williams injury is very concerning. Every time there is a report it is more than what they thought. Now it is a full blown injury, vs. “just a little knee soreness, he will be back to practice most likely at the end of the week…”

    Trent is too important to have him tanked with issues prior to the first preseason game. I love Ty as a backup, but wow, we could have a huge problem here, HUGE.

    I am not buying the reports from Redskins park on injury updates or any injury report. There has not been one that has been accurate or correct. Without Trent starting on the field for our 16 games, advancing deeper in the playoffs is completely off the table.

    If the next step here for him is a little scope to “clean things up”, we can kiss the high hopes goodbye. We need some accurate reporting on what is going on with him.

    WTH?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 19, 2016 at 6:16 AM

      It should be noted that NFL teams to not have to divulge accurate injury information until Week 1.

      Right now, I have no reason to believe that you are not getting accurate reporting about Williams. It’s a minor situation and there simply is no point in risking it becoming a major situation.

      • colorofmyskinz - Aug 19, 2016 at 6:52 AM

        I hope you are right about Trent. Sure hope this does not turn out to be a DJax tweak of 2015 or a Doctson Achilles soreness story, or a Kerrigan 100% for game one with admitting was now “right” until game 9, or a griffin concussion. We get many of these from redskinds park. Just hope this Trent one is as they report it.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 19, 2016 at 6:18 AM

      There are some signs that the Redskins don’t always have a handle on the worst case scenario related to injuries or, more likely, do not feel there’s any need to convey that information, but this may also have something to do with what players are (or are not) conveying to the team.

      I am okay not playing any veteran starter in preseason games as long as it is not a position / role change (e.g., the safeties should be getting reps) and they keep up with their conditioning and skills training in weekly practices. I would not risk a preseason injury to one of them.

      I thought the Browns played the Falcons better during the 1st half than the Redskins did. RGIII played well too.

      • colorofmyskinz - Aug 19, 2016 at 6:56 AM

        Agreed on the players not being forthcoming. I am not worried at all about starters or Trent playing in the preseason games. I am worried about them being available for a game one and 16 games plus postseason. I just hope what were seeing with Trent is complete precautionary so he’s fresh for the season versus turning into one of these other injury stories that was completely done with inaccuracy.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 19, 2016 at 11:52 AM

          Healing for the human body also isn’t an exact science. People respond differently to different injuries and different treatments. Of course the team will error on the side of optimism this time of year. They’re trying to sell tickets, build hype, and not divulge too much to other teams. But that doesn’t mean they’re lying.

  2. redskins12thman - Aug 19, 2016 at 6:29 AM

    Hope Marshall, Kelley, Brown, Goldson, Reyes, Paea, Hood, Gavin, Jefferson, Trail, Toler, Reiter and Paulsen get a chance to play against starters tonight.

    Looking forward to seeing if Cravens and Spaight can continue to show bright spots while eliminating some of their mistakes.

    • kenlinkins - Aug 19, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      Great point, as anyone of the above listed players might be able to jump to the next level. I like the talent level but need to see them produce against first team players.

  3. redskins12thman - Aug 19, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    I hope Gruden does well this season as I want him to succeed (although I don’t want to lose either coordinator and all those wishes may conflict).

    The coaching staff comes across as very earnest and I like that.

    • bk70 - Aug 19, 2016 at 10:14 AM

      Hey, who is the Asst Coach if Gruden is absent?

      • redskins12thman - Aug 19, 2016 at 10:22 AM

        Doesn’t happen that often in pro football, but have to believe it would be Sean or Joe.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 19, 2016 at 2:12 PM

        It would make sense for Callahan to take over. Obviously the offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator seem like the clear line of succession. But Callahan has the experience, and then McVay and Barry could just focus on their playcalling duties. If something happened to Gruden, like what happened to Chuck Pagano, I would be surprised if Callahan didn’t get the nod.

  4. kenlinkins - Aug 19, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    The “fan” in me wants to see the running game with Williams at LT but the “coach” in me understand that the season is a long haul and allowing Williams to get right is a major key to winning this year. The Redskins took a chance on signing Williams to a big contract knowing his injury history, but IMO it was the correct move. Like most Redskins fans I want to see the Redskins at their best and that will not happen until the season opener. Until then I just try and watch the guys one on one in preseason games to see who has taken the next step in development and who has lost a step. After only one preseason game I am not ready to throw away anyone on the 90 man roster as any one of them might step up. The talent level has improved, now we need to find out if they can play like a team.

  5. Trey Gregory - Aug 19, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    The article on Crabtree vs. Doctson was very clever. I’m surprised nobody thought of that sooner.

  6. dkat44 - Aug 19, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    I’m not sure I agree with Kirk not playing tonight but gotta trust grudens call. Colt definitely redeemed himself after that pic in the end zone. Especially with the first quick td toss to Ross which was on the money. Ross definitely made a statement with his play tonight. He is an important piece to special teams as well. I don’t trust crowder with punt returns. I haven’t been a big fan of Grant but I have to say he played great tonight and played aggressive. Hope jones isn’t injury isnt a big deal. Good to see Dunbar step up as well. I definitely feel more reassured overall tonight. HTTR

    • Trey Gregory - Aug 20, 2016 at 12:27 AM

      I didn’t get to watch, was working, but I’ll catch the rerun. I did get to watch some on my phone and saw the Jones injury. AC sprains are worse than they sound (people tend not to think much of sprains) but he should heal just fine within a month. It’s not as bad as a torn labrum or ratator cuff. From what I saw on Twitter they diagnosed him with a mild to moderate sprain. But, if we’re really, really unlucky, further examination could show he needs surgery. That would be bad. It probably won’t require surgery, but everyone should know that’s a possibility.

      It’s obviously time to explore all options at RB. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Kelly (I only saw a couple runs tonight), and I understand the Pierre Thomas plan. But I don’t think Thomas could take over as the #1 bellcow at this point in his career. Really, he was never that guy even in his prime. I’m sure McCloughan has already examined possible trades and players to pick on the waiver wire after cuts. But it’s time to seriously think about pulling the trigger. The plan was to have Jones be the workhorse and provide him good support. Now we’re seeing how possible it is for that plan to fall through.

  7. dkat44 - Aug 19, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    Good to see a shout out to chief z as well tonight.

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