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Posted at 03:54 PM ET, 09/30/2014

Trent Williams says desperate Redskins can beat Seahawks


Trent Williams, Roy Helu Jr. and the Redskins are feeling the desperation. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Washington Redskins know they have many problem areas to fix, and they acknowledge that they have a long way to go before they can climb into the ranks of the league’s contenders.

The team next Monday will host the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. But left tackle Trent Williams says although it looks like a gross mismatch, he and his teammates are fully capable of rebounding from last Thursday’s defeat to beat Seattle.

“Can we beat them? Yeah,” Williams said, nonchalantly. “At the end of the day, they’re not robots. They’re human beings and nobody’s perfect. Nobody plays perfect every Sunday. They have been beaten before. It’s not like they’re unstoppable. They’re a great team, no doubt about it, but anything is possible in the NFL.”

The Redskins entered the game against the Giants badly battered, with 17 players listed on the injury port. They then hurt themselves further with poor execution on all sides of the ball. The final outcome: a 45-14 thrashing, which dropped Washington’s record to 1-3.

Coach Jay Gruden gave his players a four-day break so they could heal physically and mentally. He challenged them to return fully energized and ready to work hard this week so they have a chance to beat the Seahawks (2-1).

Williams said that he thinks the Redskins underestimated the Giants. Resting on their laurels following a decent showing in a narrow 37-34 loss against the Eagles four days earlier, Washington’s players didn’t attack New York with the ideal sense of urgency.

“I think just coming off of a hard-played game where we went up to Philly, gave it all for 81 snaps and came up three snaps short, to lose a captain of the defense in DeAngelo like we did, it’s tough, and to have a quick turnaround against a divisional opponent. It was extremely difficult and I think guys kind of took it for granted. I don’t think we put forth our best efforts on Thursday. … I think they kind of figured that all we had to do was show up and we’d get that same effort.”

Immediately following the game, coach Jay Gruden said he hoped the ugly loss served as a “slap-in-the-face wakeup call.”

Williams said that the players all now know that they must do better.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that we need to step up,” he said. “We’re going against one of the best teams in the NFL right now on Monday night. I think guys are going to come with their best effort, and hopefully we’ll turn this thing around.”

Asked to describe the level of desperation within the locker room, Williams said, “It’s rising. It’s not at an all-time high desperate level, but sense of urgency has to pick up. Everybody understands that. We know that’s the only way we’re going to be able to get this thing going in the right direction; for everybody to pick their sense of urgency up.”

E-mail a Redskins question to mike.jones@washpost.com, with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered in The Mailbag.

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By  |  03:54 PM ET, 09/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Trent Williams

Posted at 02:50 PM ET, 09/30/2014

Jordan Reed returns to practice in limited capacity

Sidelined since his Week 1 hamstring strain, tight end Jordan Reed returned to practice Tuesday morning and said although it’s still early, he hopes to play Monday night when the Redskins host the Seattle Seahawks. Teammates Trent Williams and Niles Paul also said they hope to play next Monday.


Jordan Reed, top, hasn’t played since early in Week 1 against Houston. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press)

Reed didn’t practice at full speed, so he doesn’t yet know how his hamstring will respond to a full workload. But he said he stuck with the plan that the team’s trainers laid out for him. The Redskins didn’t release an injury report on Tuesday because league rules do not require them to do so until Thursday, four days before their game on Monday.

“We’ll see how the week goes, and if any tweaks happen, then I’m obviously not going to be able to go,” Reed said. “But if everything goes smoothly, I’ll try to be out there.

“The plan was to go out there but not go full speed on the first day,” he added. “I’m going to be a little tentative at first until I’m really confident in it. We’ll see how it goes later in the week.”

Reed strained his hamstring during the first quarter of Washington’s season opener at Houston. He hadn’t played or even practiced since that time, working only with the team’s trainers in a limited capacity until taking a step forward on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, backup linebacker Akeem Jordan, who hadn’t played or practiced at all this season, did some positional drills on Tuesday. He sprained a knee during the preseason and had only worked with trainers on the side for the past month. Defensive lineman Kedric Golston also practiced after missing the past three games with a groin strain.

The Redskins were without cornerback Tracy Porter, who re-injured the strained hamstring that forced him to miss the first three games of the season. Porter played during the second half of last Thursday’s game, but had some soreness in the same hamstring the following day. Porter wasn’t anywhere in sight Tuesday, and Gruden said that he was “just taking it very slow right now.”

Williams, the starting left tackle, and left guard Shawn Lauvao, a fellow starter, both watched practice and are listed as day-to-day. Williams partially dislocated his right knee late in Thursday’s game. But he said the findings the following day did not reveal any torn ligaments. He said, however, that he remains optimistic that he will play Monday.

Lauvao strained his right knee in Washington’s second game of the season, and then re-injured it in Week 3 against Philadelphia. Lauvao continued to experience swelling and soreness and did not play last week.

Tight end Niles Paul continued to be held out of practice as the team follows league protocol for concussions. Paul ran on a treadmill Tuesday and reported no setbacks. Although he acknowledged that the decision rests in the hands of the team’s trainers, Paul said that he remains hopeful that he can return to action Monday night against the Seahawks.

E-mail a Redskins question to mike.jones@washpost.com, with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered in The Mailbag.

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By  |  02:50 PM ET, 09/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Akeem Jordan, Jordan Reed, Kedric Golston, Niles Paul, Shawn Lauvao, Tracy Porter

Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 09/30/2014

Jay Gruden’s Redskins focus on themselves, not Seahawks, as practices resume


Jay Gruden on Thursday night. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins returned to the practice fields after receiving the past four days off to recharge following last Thursday’s blowout loss to the Giants.

Players described the practice session as rigorous and a bit jarring. Coaches didn’t ease them back into action. Instead, they started the cracking the whip right away.

Jay Gruden and his assistants didn’t use Tuesday’s practice to begin preparing for the Seattle Seahawks. Instead, the session had more of an introspective focus.

“We came back fresh today and it was good to take a step back and evaluate ourselves and not so much worry about who we’re playing next,” Gruden said. “We have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to worry about that. Today, we were worrying about ourselves, evaluating what we’ve done so far and what we’ve done not-so-well. … Hopefully it’ll be beneficial to us.”

Gruden said he and his assistants in the past four days took inventory of everything from the roster to their coaching methods.

The Redskins on Monday made additions intended to shore up the special teams units and secondary, signing safety Jamarca Sanford and cornerback Richard Crawford.

Gruden said he has confidence in the roster as a whole, and in the ability of his assistants and players to rebound from the poor start.

“We still have the talent in this building to do some great things this year. We just have to be smarter and more efficient,” he said before adding, “We’re not excited to be 1-3, but it is where we are. We’re moving forward with the players we have and the coaches have and we have and hopefully, we get this thing turned around.”

E-mail a Redskins question to mike.jones@washpost.com, with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered in The Mailbag.

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Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

By  |  02:15 PM ET, 09/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Jay Gruden

Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 09/30/2014

Open locker room: Niles Paul hopes to play, and other news from Redskins Park


Two Giants defenders are about to converge on Redskins tight end Niles Paul, who suffered a concussion during the play. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Redskins got back to work today after a four-day period to heal up, physically and mentally, from their blowout loss to the New York Giants last Thursday.

Here are some of the updates coming out of the locker room:

● Tight end Niles Paul said he’s feeling better following the concussion he suffered Thursday night. He doesn’t remember the hit. He said he foggily remembers trying to get up before trainer Larry Hess slowed him down and told him not to move. Paul said he hopes to play Monday, but that the decision rests in the hands of the team’s trainers as they follow league procedures.

● Left tackle Trent Williams said that he expects to play Monday despite leaving last week’s game with what turned out to be a slight dislocation of the knee cap. Williams didn’t have any ligament tears, however, and is listed as day-to-day. He thinks he’ll be fine by next Monday.

● Fullback Darrel Young said that the Redskins were embarrassed by how they played against the Giants. He winced when told that the team had lost its past six prime time games, with another one on the way. He said he and his teammates can’t continue to perform so poorly regardless of where they are, but especially on the national stage.

● Young hopes that the mini-getaway he and his teammates had helps them. While away, a number of Redskins said they re-watched the four games they have played thus far and looked for ways to get better.

● Williams said the desperation level is “starting to rise,” but that while the players have increased their sense of urgency, they have not reached panic mode.

Jordan Reed practiced for the first time since suffering his Week 1 hamstring strain. He said if all goes according to plan without any setbacks, he could play on Monday.

Pierre Garcon said he emerged from the game without any physical ailments, but he thought the last four days served as a good mental break. He said he’s ready to get back to work.

● Logan Paulsen said it was hard to leave off after that devastating loss, but that he did welcome the chance to be with his family. He and his teammates said Tuesday’s practice was rigorous and a bit jarring after having time off. They hope it helps jump-start the team as they begin preparation for a tough team in the Seattle Seahawks.

E-mail a Redskins question to mike.jones@washpost.com, with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered in The Mailbag.

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More NFL:  Home page  |  Sports Bog  |  Early Lead  |  Fancy Stats  |  Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

By  |  01:25 PM ET, 09/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Darrel Young, Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Pierre Garcon, Trent Williams

Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 09/30/2014

Redskins bring nose tackle Robert Thomas back to practice squad

The Redskins announced Tuesday morning that they have re-signed nose tackle Robert Thomas to their practice squad three days after releasing him from the 53-man roster.

An undrafted rookie out of Arkansas, Thomas had spent the offseason, preseason and first four weeks of the season with Washington. He was a member of the practice squad before getting called up to the active roster last Thursday with a number of defensive linemen nursing various ailments. Thomas did not dress for the Redskins’ game versus the Giants, however.

Washington cut Thomas two days later. He passed through waivers unclaimed, and Washington brought him back to the practice squad. To make room for Thomas, the Redskins cut defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo from the unit.

The Redskins also announced on Tuesday the signing of linebacker Gabe Miller to the practice squad. Miller’s agent had announced the signing Monday night.

E-mail a Redskins question to mike.jones@washpost.com, with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered in The Mailbag.

More from The Post:

Outsider: Why Orakpo isn’t living up to the big contract so far

T Jones to practice squadS Sanford signed | CB Crawford re-signed

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More NFL:  Home page  |  Sports Bog  |  Early Lead  |  Fancy Stats  |  Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

By  |  10:33 AM ET, 09/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Robert Thomas

 

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