“I don’t buy that narrative,” Shurmur said Wednesday. “I felt like deals were presented for the two players that we traded. … From an organizational standpoint, you think about it in the short-term and the long-term. As the coach, my concern is getting the team ready to play the Redskins. So, we’ve got some guys that we’re going to put in there that have been rotating in with these players that we traded and they’re just going to get more opportunity.
“We have Dalvin [Tomlinson] who will play the nose a little bit more than he has and we'll get some other guys in there filling in for him."
The Redskins won’t admit to licking their lips, but losing two starters doesn’t seem to help the G-Men on defense this week. And the Washington offense can use all the assistance it can get as Alex Smith continues to try to get a pass game rolling with a beat up receiving corps and a unit that has scored just one second-half touchdown all season. The Redskins rank No. 25 in points (21.0 per game), No. 24 in total yards (337.5) and No. 26 in passing yards (218.5).
New York already had the No. 26 scoring defense (26.4 points) in the league and that was before trading two starters.
"Well, I think the Giants have been playing a lot of guys, so I don’t know,” Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said. “I’m not in their building, I don’t know why they did what they did, but I know that they played a lot of guys in their rotation and, obviously, they feel good about the things they got in that deal. But, we’re going to prepare for the system that they are in and try to attack the people who we think we are going to play against. That’s all we can do.
“They still have very good defensive personnel over there, guys that can rush the passer with [Olivier] Vernon. Guys that can cover. They still have [Janoris] Jenkins and, obviously, Landon Collins. They have some pretty darn good players over there even without those two they lost, so we're getting prepared for the Giants and expect a very hard fought game like it always is with the Giants."
The Detroit Lions sent a fifth-round pick to New York for defensive lineman Damon Harrison, a first-team All-Pro in 2016. The Saints sent a 2019 fourth-round pick and a 2020 seventh-round pick to the Giants for cornerback Eli Apple.
Harrison has the fifth-best run stop percentage in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Apple ranks as the No. 29 cornerback among those who’ve played 50 percent of the team’s snaps.
Shurmur addressed the trade with the team, said the players understand there’s a business side to the NFL and everyone had moved on.
The Redskins said all the right things about not overlooking an NFC East rival even if things seem a bit in disarray. Running back Adrian Peterson, who will benefit the most from Harrison being gone, didn’t know much about the player nicknamed “Snacks.” Teammates clued him in, but it still didn’t matter to AP.
“We need to run the ball. I don’t care who’s up there,” Peterson said. “That’s kind of how I view things.”
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