In the wake of his team’s fourth straight loss and its 13th in 14 games, Washington Redskins Coach Jay Gruden addressed a host of issues during his Monday news conference, including possible changes to the lineup and the need for vast improvement in third-down efficiency and the run game throughout this week of practice, in which Robert Griffin III is expected to begin individual drills.
Gruden did not specify which players or positions may be in flux, except to say emphatically that he has no intention of replacing starting quarterback Kirk Cousins with third-stringer Colt McCoy. Cousins leads the league with eight interceptions this season, with seven of those coming in the past three games.
In Sunday’s 30-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Redskins’ ninth defeat in a row on the road, Cousins threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter. Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson returned the third interception 28 yards for a touchdown to seal the outcome with 18 seconds to play. The late-game meltdown marred what otherwise was a statistically productive performance from Cousins that included 354 passing yards and two touchdowns.
“We have to look at the guys in our plan,” Gruden said. “There’s a reason why we have the guys in front of them, but we’ll see if there’s a way we can upgrade our roster. Mainly I’m looking at maybe ways to prepare, practice, our practice schedule. I’m looking at something, you know. You have to do something a little bit different. Obviously status quo is not doing so well.”
The Redskins’ precipitous fall into last place in the NFC East, four games behind the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, has come with Griffin nursing a dislocated left ankle from the
season opener second game of the season. Griffin last week joined teammates for pre-workout calisthenics but has not been cleared to participate fully in practice. Gruden indicated that if Griffin does not encounter any setbacks from individual drills, he could practice next week.
Washington is at home Sunday to face the Tennessee Titans and then has consecutive road games against the Cowboys on Monday night and Minnesota on Sunday afternoon. Some initial reports had Griffin coming back for the Cowboys game, but a more realistic timetable perhaps would involve bringing him back against the Vikings or even waiting until after the Redskins’ Week 10 bye.
“As far as actually taking practice reps, I think that’ll be at least another week,” Gruden said. “But get him out there, do some individual drills, maybe throw some balls to the wideouts. That’ll be the first step, and then next week maybe we’ll try to get him in some practice situations and see where he is.”
E-mail a Redskins question to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered in Tuesday’s Mailbag.
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