Brady sits; RG3 gets a series as Redskins top Pats
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — For his first preseason game as an NFL head coach,
Jay Gruden said his goal was to "eliminate the chaos" on the sideline.
Did he succeed?
"It was chaotic more so for me than everybody else," the Washington Redskins coach said with a chuckle. "It was a little crazy just with
all the headsets."
Gruden only needed the offense pumped into his ears during his three
years as an offensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals. Now he
was monitoring offense, defense and special teams and managing all the
"Having 85 to 90 guys on the sideline," he said. "It's rough."
History will record that Gruden managed his debut just fine. The
Redskins beat the New England Patriots 23-6 Thursday night.
"Unfortunately," he said, "it doesn't count."
Robert Griffin III played only one series, and Tom Brady and most of
the Patriots starters didn't play at all in a game that served mostly
as an audition for players trying to move up the depth chart or simply
make the roster.
Griffin completed 2 of 4 passes for 9 yards, and Alfred Morris ran for
27 yards in an 11-play drive that ended with a 39-yard field goal from
Kai Forbath. Forbath hit the right upright from 34 yards, but he was
given a second chance because the Redskins were whistled for delay of
"We came out and did what we wanted to do," Griffin said. "Got the 1's
in and out, had an effective drive. Got some points, almost had a
That was enough Griffin for Gruden, who is in charge of reviving the
Redskins — and the franchise quarterback, in particular — after last
year's 3-13 tension-filled season that got coach Mike Shanahan fired.
Gruden, 47, looked boyish manning the sideline in a burgundy
horizontal-striped team shirt, while New England's Bill Belichick
sported the more traditional Patriots short-sleeve blue — it was too
warm for his hoodie.
Griffin, who didn't get to play in the preseason a year ago while
rehabbing from major knee surgery, said Gruden was "funny" on the
sideline — an adjective most definitely not associated with Shanahan.
"He's not telling me knock-knock jokes as he's giving me plays,"
Griffin said, "But just on the sideline, you kind of get to see how
(the coaches) dialogue. They have a good time on the sideline and
that's good to see."
The Patriots held sway earlier in the week when the teams held three
days of joint practices at Washington's training camp facility in
Richmond, Virginia. The sessions showed the Redskins have a ways to go
before they can match the polish and efficiency of a perennial Super
So Thursday turned into a well-deserved day off for all but nine of New
England's projected opening day starting 22, including Brady, top
offseason acquisition Darrelle Revis, receivers Danny Amendola and
Julian Edelman and linebacker Jerod Mayo. Tight end Rob Gronkowski also
remains out as he recovers from knee surgery.
The backups failed to do much to pick up the slack. Ryan Mallett
started at quarterback and completed 5 of 12 passes for 55 yards.
Second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo played the second half and went 8 for
12 for 141 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown to Brian Tyms.
"I didn't think really we did very many things the way we wanted to do
them tonight," Belichick said. "We just weren't very good in any phase
of the game. We had the ball on the ground. Didn't play well enough on
defense. Didn't move the ball, were in too many long-yardage
situations. Not good enough in the kicking game. So just overall, we've
got a lot of work to do."
The Redskins' prized free agent pickup, receiver DeSean Jackson, was
also sidelined after hurting his left ankle during Wednesday's
practice. Among others sitting out for Washington were receiver Pierre
Garcon, safety Ryan Clark and safety Phillip Thomas — all nursing
Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy each threw touchdown passes for the
Redskins, who have won seven consecutive preseason games. Last year
they won more games in the preseason (four) than in the regular season
Cousins finished 9 for 13 for 103 yards. McCoy was 8 for 9 for 102
Notes: Patriots second-year defensive tackle Chris Jones left with an
ankle injury. ... Forbath, facing a challenge from draft pick Zach Hocker, was short on a 46-yard attempt and put a kickoff out of bounds,
while Hocker made field goals from 27 and 39 yards.
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