The Washington Post

Gruden plans to play his starters a quarter

Starters such as Pierre Garcon will play one quarter in Monday night’s preseason game. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said that his starters will see roughly a quarter’s worth of action in Monday night’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.

In last week’s preseason opener against New England, Washington’s starters played one series, which amounted to 10 snaps. Washington’s defensive starters played a total of nine snaps over the course of two series.

Gruden had planned on increasing the workload of the starters in the second preseason game. But because his team has a short turnaround – playing on Saturday at Baltimore – he wrestled with the decision of how much action they should receive.

“It’s something we’ve talked about a lot a far as should we play everybody in the second preseason game and the rest of people for the third because it’s a short week?” Gruden explained on Thursday. “But, we decided to treat the second game like a second preseason game and the third preseason game, the one that we’re going to really prepare for and treat it like a game week and have the meetings in the morning and then practice and get them acclimated to what it’s going to be like during the season.”

At the time, Gruden had yet to totally decide how much he would play the starters.

Asked on Friday if he had made a decision, the coach said, “At least a quarter.”

Cleveland’s starters will play a half. Brian Hoyer will start for the Browns, but rookie Johnny Manziel also will see some time with Cleveland’s first team.

Washington’s players said they didn’t have strong preferences on how much they play. But quarterback Robert Griffin III said his goal – regardless of how many snaps he gets – is simple.

“Go out there, get some points, play good, situational football and then get off the field,” he said.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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Mike Jones · August 15, 2014